Prince William and his new wife, Kate, celebrated their marriage with close family and friends at a reception in Buckingham Palace that lasted into the early hours of today.
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 newlyweds are expected to leave for their honeymoon at a secret location today, the BBC said.
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.
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.