William and Kate: Wedding of the Century


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As the British royal wedding between Prince William and Kate (sorry, Catherine!) Middleton draws nearer, the world has caught wedding fever, with experts revealing that viewing figures - thanks to the wedding being live streamed on the internet - could top the 750 million people who tuned in to watch Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles back in 1981. With around 1,900 gold-stamped invitations having been sent out to royalty, world leaders, celebrities, aristocracy and even a handful of lucky commoners, the wedding is sure to be a glamorous event filled with pomp and circumstance.

"I think that there's going to be a fascination, just like there was with Charles and Diana, for years and years to come," said Senior VP at E! News, Bruce Perlmutter. And with the wedding being covered on TV channels across the globe, as well as on the internet, Twitter, radio and every other media medium, it's going to be a truly unforgettable event. e+ reveals everything you need to know about the incredible day...

The wedding party

Despite Prince Harry standing up as brother William's best man, bucking the tradition whereby royals usually choose ‘supporters' to stand with them on the day, it's the girls who most people will have their eye on. And to accompany Kate down the aisle of Westminster Abbey, the 29-year-old beauty has looked to her nearest and dearest to keep her calm throughout the wedding.

Kate has picked her event planner younger sister Pippa as her maid of honour, as the two are said to be super-close and share every secret. And it was supportive Pippa who insisted that Kate not shy away from the public eye during her months-long split from William back in 2007.

Called "exuberant and cheerful," by a source close to the Middleton family, Pippa - known as Pip to her family - will be followed down the aisle by four bridesmaids, Lady Louise Windsor, the daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall's granddaughter, Eliza Lopes, the Honourable Margarita Armstrong-Jones who is the daughter of Viscount Linley, and Grace van Cutsem, the daughter of one of William and Harry's closest friends Hugh van Cutsem.

And in addition to the little girls who are all aged between three and eight, two page boys will be joining the royal wedding party - eight-year-old Tom Pettifer, the son of William's former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke and William Lowther-Pinkerton, 10, the son of William's private secretary.

The dress

One of the most closely guarded secrets of the big day has been the dress that Kate will wear. Going for a British designer, rumours have abounded naming the Alexander McQueen label as a possible contender, along with Jasper Conran, with both fashion houses staying tight-lipped. With fashion insiders saying "speculation is at fever pitch" surrounding what will become one of the most photographed and copied gowns in the world, stylistas say Kate will play it far safer than the sometimes bizarre designs from the house of Alexander McQueen.

But one frontrunner has emerged, British designer Bruce Oldfield - a favourite of the British Prime Minister's wife Samantha Cameron and Jemima Khan, the ex-wife of Pakistani politician Imran Khan, as well as Sienna Miller and Rihanna. "His designer are classic," spilled a style source. "Princess Diana was a huge fan of his work, and it looks like Kate may follow on in her footsteps of choosing classy British designers to fill her royal wardrobe."

The A-list guest list

Thanks to both the Princes' incredible celebrity connections, the wedding and the party will be star-studded affairs. David and Victoria Beckham are top of the list, thanks to David and William forging a close link after they worked together to win the London bid for the 2012 Olympics. And the LA Galaxy footballer has revealed that Posh is "worried" about attending the wedding of the century due to her burgeoning pregnancy bump.

"She is obviously a little worried, as she'll be quite a few months gone by then," revealed Becks. But gossip insiders are insisting that while Victoria isn't happy she won't be at her slimmest for the big event, that she's excited at the prospect of landing a few big customers for her fashion line, of which Kate Middleton is said to be a fan. Heading to London alongside the Beckhams will be Elton John and Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley, as well as British TV presenter Ben Fogle. And US rapper Kanye West is also expected to attend, along with hundreds of European as well as Middle Eastern royalty.

While the Obamas have stayed silent on whether or not they've been invited - possibly due to security arrangements - one person certainly not on the guest list is Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, who says she plans to be overseas on the big day anyway.

Kate's style

Glossy, put-together Kate has won a legion of fans across the world thanks to her classy style and groomed appearance, and on the day, the future Queen will be no different. With sales of glossing shampoos rocketing across the UK as women seek to emulate Kate's shiny locks, Kate has also embarked on a super-strict diet to accompany her usual daily workout routine.

Kate loves running and rowing, and has cut back on carbs in the run up to the wedding, having lost so much weight that UK sources are claiming she's had to have the size of her diamond and sapphire engagement ring reduced. "She is finding it hard to eat," said royal expert Ingrid Seward.

"She has a knot in her stomach. She appears dignified, but she must be terrified." Munching on fruit and cereal for breakfast and salads and soups for lunch and dinner, Kate rarely drinks, and when she does snack she'll reach for a handful of her favourite Haribo jelly sweets.

The honeymoon

The pair are said to be eyeing up a credit-crunching honeymoon in the British Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall in South West England, so as not be seen to be spending a fortune.

"In respect for the recent austerity measures, they've been discussing the possibility of honeymooning in Britain," said a royal source. "Several options are being considered." And the Isles of Scilly hold a special place in William's heart as he vacationed there at the age of seven with Charles and Diana, where he was photographed riding his bike.

Honeymooning in Britain will see Kate and William follow in Diana and Charles' footsteps as the couple stayed in the county of Hamsphire after they wed on July 29, 1981. But Australia is also being touted as a possible honeymoon destination, with William said to be keen to visit the Great Barrier Reef and the private Lizard Island where he's stayed before.