Prince William and Kate Middleton will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29, the royal family announced, giving the first details of the event.
The religious service of which the wedding will be part will begin at 11 a.m. and will be conducted by the Dean of Westminster, John Hall, according to a statement released today by Prince William’s office. An address will be given by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres.
Middleton will travel to the ceremony by car, and after the service the couple will return to Buckingham Palace, the official residence of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in a carriage procession. The route will include Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade and The Mall, according to the statement.
The couple’s engagement was announced on Nov. 16, ending years of speculation about a possible royal marriage. William, the second in line to the British throne, had been dating Middleton since 2003. Both are 28. The wedding day will be a public holiday.
The queen will hold a reception after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace for the newly-weds and guests drawn from the congregation representing the couple’s official and private lives, according to the statement. William’s father, Prince Charles, will give a private dinner, followed by dancing, at Buckingham Palace in the evening for the couple and their close friends and family.
Royal consorts have traditionally come from the ranks of Britain’s aristocracy or other European royal houses. Middleton, the daughter of self-made millionaires, met the prince when they were students at St. Andrews University in Scotland.
William -- blond, blue-eyed and 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 meters) tall -- is a flight lieutenant in the Royal Air Force. With a fortune of 28 million pounds ($45 million), according to the Sunday Times Rich List, he was one of the world’s most eligible bachelors. He is the son of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.