William & Catherine’s Wedding – Procession, Balcony Appearance & Breakfast
After they were married, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge greeted the crowds in front of Westminster Abbey before climbing aboard a state landau which was to take them to Buckingham Palace for their wedding breakfast.
Processing through Whitehall, past Downing Street and the Cenotaph, Horse Guards Parade and then finally on to The Mall, the couple were cheered at every corner by a million-people strong crowd. Once again, the Duke saluted when the carriage passed significant military monuments – and the Duchess in turn paid her respects by bowing her head at the same time. There was a sketchy moment when the procession was rounding Whitehall.
One of the black horses near the carriage spooked and threw his rider to the ground – the cavalry guardsman tried in vain to reassure his mount in the moments prior to hitting the pavement. Mounted police officers tried to grab the horse’s reins as it raced passed the bridal couple, the Duchess looked alarmed at the sight. The crowds were quickly warned by police to shield their heads with their arms in case the horse charged the crowd. Luckily, he didn’t, instead choosing to gallop his way home within the Horse Guards’ Barracks.
The couple made it to the Palace without any further hiccups, and disembarked in the Palace courtyard before going inside for their wedding breakfast, hosted by the Queen for 650 guests, where thousands of canapés were prepared by the Palace chefs.
At just before 13:30, there was a shuffling of the curtains on the doors leading on to the Buckingham Palace balcony. And then, the doors opened and the bridal couple stepped out. “Oh my…” was the Duchess’ immediate response to the mammoth crowd which had been allowed up The Mall to the Palace gates. The couple were joined by their respective immediate family – the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Mr and Mrs Middleton, Pippa Middleton and James Middleton. The six bridal children also joined in the fun, with little Eliza Lopes getting a boost from step-grandpa Charles when she couldn’t see over the balcony railing.
And then, the kiss. The Duke leaned over to his wife and said, “Are you ready?”, to which she replied, “Okay, let’s” – and then a quick peck on the lips which sent the crowds into even larger rounds of cheer. The only one unimpressed was bridesmaid Grace Van Cutsem, who held her hands over her ears and scowled as the noise became deafening for her little ears. The traditional fly-past several minutes later did nothing to raise the youngster’s spirits – even a reassuring word from Catherine couldn’t convince her to unblock her ears (not that anyone can blame the poor girl).
A second kiss before the family re-entered the Palace, with the bride casting a quick glance back over her shoulder to take in a final moment of the astonishing sight below. The royals and the Middletons then rejoined the wedding breakfast, where the Prince of Wales made an impromptu emotional toast, in which he spoke proudly of his new daughter-in-law. “We are so lucky to have her,” he said, smiling down at William and Catherine.
The Duke and Duchess then surprised the public by leaving Buckingham Palace at 15:35 in the Prince of Wales’ Aston Martin DB6, tradionally decorated with balloons, crepe paper, a ‘JU5T WED’ numberplate and a red and white ‘Learner’ plate attached to the front grill. The Duke drove his bride down The Mall to Clarence House, where they relaxed for several hours before heading back to the Palace for their evening reception hosted by the groom’s father.Filed under British Royals
Tagged British Royal Wedding 2011, Buckingham Palace, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of Cambridge.