British Royal Newlyweds Fly to Secret Honeymoon Destination

Prince William and his new wife, Kate, flew by helicopter from Buckingham Palace to a secret honeymoon destination after a wedding reception with friends and family that lasted into the early hours of today.

They departed in a small commercial helicopter following a celebration in the palace in London with close family and friends. Some of the 300 guests celebrated until about 3 a.m., according to images broadcast by Sky News television. William and Kate, who wore a white evening gown by Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton, stayed at the palace after the reception, according to the British Broadcasting Corp.

The couple, who are now officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, married in London’s Westminster Abbey yesterday as 1 million people lined the streets and an estimated 2 billion around the world watched on television. Kate is the first woman from outside royalty or the aristocracy to marry so close to the throne for 350 years. When William becomes Britain’s monarch, she will be queen.

It was the 16th royal wedding at the 1,000-year-old abbey, and the service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, John Hall, and the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres. The wedding ceremony was led by the senior cleric in the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

William’s father, Prince Charles, hosted last night’s party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the marriage, during which his brother, Prince Harry, paid tribute to the couple.

Best Man’s Speech

Harry made a light-hearted best man’s speech, laced with jokes at his brother’s expense and even some of his more elderly relatives, the Telegraph reported today.

Prince William and Prince Charles had earlier used parts of their speeches at the Queen’s afternoon champagne reception at the palace to mock each other, with the Prince of Wales drawing attention to his son’s baldness while William highlighted his father’s waistline, according to the newspaper.

William and Kate today released three official wedding photographs of the couple, their families and young members of the wedding party taken by Hugo Burnand in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace.

The celebrations were the U.K.’s biggest royal event since the funeral in 1997 of William’s mother, Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris. Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, ended in divorce, as did the first marriages of his brother Andrew and sister Anne.

Among the wedding service guests were more than 40 foreign royals such as Queen Margrethe of Denmark. Also in the abbey were members of both families, and friends and acquaintances of the couple, including soccer player David Beckham and his wife Victoria and Elton John, who sang at Diana’s funeral.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Patterson in London at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Torday at ptorday@bloomberg.net

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