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Prince William and Catherine post new photo to mark 13th wedding anniversary – ABC News

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A new photo of the Prince and Princess of Wales on their wedding day has been published on the couple’s social media accounts to mark their 13th wedding anniversary. 

Prince William and Catherine — who was then referred to in the media as Kate Middleton — were married on April 29, 2011.

The new black-and-white photo shows Catherine in her wedding gown and Prince William in what appeared to be an Irish Guards frock coat after their ceremony. 

The black and white photo shows Prince William in a different outfit to what he wore in the wedding ceremony. (Supplied: The Prince and Princess of Wales/milliepilkingtonphotography)

Within hours of publishing, the image had attracted more than 1.3 million likes on the couple’s Instagram account. 

On X, the post had attracted nearly 2 million views. 

“13 years ago today!” the post read along with a credit to photographer Millie Pilkington

The couple made sure to credit photographer Millie Pilkington.(X: @KensingtonRoyal)

Heightened attention on the couple

As Prince William and Catherine are the future king and queen, there’s always great interest in the royal couple.

However, they’ve been the subject of intense media coverage in the past few months. 

The couple’s social media accounts came under scrutiny last month, after an image of Catherine and the pair’s three children posted on the UK’s Mother’s Day was revealed to have been edited. 

Several news syndication agencies — Associated Press and Reuters — had published the photos, but later issued take-down notices to subscribers

Several newspaper front pages, all with the same picture of the royal family on them

The royal snap has caused a stir in the British press.(ABC News: Adrian Wilson)

That came during a time when conspiracy theories were running rampant about Catherine, sparked by an announcement earlier in the year that she wouldn’t be appearing publicly while she recovered from abdominal surgery. 

About a fortnight after the edited Mother’s Day photo was posted, Catherine announced she had been diagnosed with cancer. 

Last week, a photo of Prince Louis was posted to the pair’s social media accounts to mark his birthday, with Catherine credited as the photographer. 

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In the BBC’s coverage of the story, the British broadcaster’s royal correspondent Sean Coughlan made a point of saying the picture was undoctored. 

“After the controversy over changes to a Mother’s Day family photograph, Kensington Palace has assured that this picture has not been edited,” he wrote. 

“The photograph of Louis, who is fourth in line to the throne, was taken in Windsor in the ‘last few days’ says the palace.”

Photographer ‘excited and honoured’ by throwback

The photo was taken in 2011 by Millie Pilkington, who continues to photograph the royal family. 

“Wishing the @princeandprincessofwales the very happiest wedding anniversary,” Pilkington said on her Instagram account. 

“Can’t believe it is 13 years ago almost to the hour, that I took this portrait.

“So excited and honoured that they should wish to share it.”

Pilkington is a commercial photographer but also works on private photography shoots of the Prince and Princess of Wales. 

“… the majority of her commissions, which range from fun and informal family portraits to the private wedding photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aren’t in the public realm,” her website says. 

Pilkington was also the photographer who snapped the latest portrait of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, which was published over the weekend. 

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The photograph was posted along with an announcement confirming the king, who has been undergoing cancer treatment, was returning to public-facing duties. 

The palace has not confirmed what kind of cancer King Charles has, only stating that it was not prostate cancer. 

In the weeks before his cancer diagnosis was made public, the palace said King Charles had been undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate. 

Wasn’t Prince William wearing a different suit?

Yep.  

For the ceremony and the balcony appearance, Prince William was wearing a red top:

Prince Harry served as best man to The Duke of Cambridge at his wedding to Miss Catherine Middleton in 2011.

Prince Harry and Prince William at Westminster Abbey. (Twitter: Kensington Palace)

Official photo of royal couple

Prince William was wearing the red uniform in the couple’s official wedding photo, taken in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.(Hugo Burnand: Clarence House)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

He was also wearing the red jacket when the pair waved to crowds on the Buckingham Palace balcony. (Reuters: Dylan Martinez)

It wasn’t just a colour choice, it was a uniform — specifically, the Colonel of the Irish Guards uniform. 

“Prince William, who is commissioned in all three Armed Services, and who has served actively with the Army (The Household Cavalry Regiment) and with the Royal Air Force (Search and Rescue Force), chose to wear the uniform of his senior honorary appointment in the Army,” the royal family said in a statement back in 2011

It was his grandmother’s — Queen Elizabeth II — wish for him to wear the red uniform, he said in an interview with Katie Couric for American broadcaster ABC in 2012.

“What I really wanted to wear was the Irish Guards frock coat,” he said. 

“We had a couple of discussions on this matter but, as I learnt growing up, you don’t mess with your grandmother.

“What she says goes.”

He changed outfits after the official proceedings, which you can see from these photos of the couple driving away from Buckingham Palace:

A close up of Prince William and Kate in a car, Kate in her wedding dress and William in a black suit

Prince William had changed outfits by this point. (Reuters: Dylan Martinez)

The lace sleeves of Catherine’s wedding gown can bee seen in this view. (Reuters: Dylan Martinez)

What did Kate’s reception dress look like?

Catherine also changed after the ceremony.

It was described as “a strapless white satin gazar evening gown with diamante around the waist and a white angora bolero cardigan” in a report by the BBC

Kate Middleton wearing a long silky white a-line dress with a sparkly belt and a fluffy white cardigan

Catherine’s evening dress would have been much easier to dance in than the gown she wore for the ceremony. (Getty Images: WPA Pool/John Stillwell)

Catherine’s ceremony dress was one of the most photographed wedding dresses of our time.

But there are less public pictures of her second dress — looking back through the archive at Getty Images, there were only four. 

They were taken as she was leaving Clarence House with Camilla “to travel to Buckingham Palace for the evening celebrations”.

In this photo from Reuters, you can see Prince William had changed again before the party:

Prince William and Charles walk wearing black suits with bow ties while Kate wears a white gown

William and Charles are wearing formal suits with bow ties. (Reuters: John Stillwell/POOL)

These days, many brides in Australia will change from their ceremonial gown into something less formal for their wedding reception. 

Some even have several outfit changes throughout the day. 

But back in 2011, that wasn’t so much of a trend.

Catherine’s wedding gown had a train that stretched 2 metres and 70 centimetres. 

And, if you remember correctly, she required a bit of help from sister and maid of honour Pippa Middleton to manage the train. 

Kate, Pippa, Prince William royal wedding

The dress Catherine wore in the ceremony had quite a bit of fabric to contend with. (Reuters: Kai Pfaffenbach)

So it made sense to have something a little more mobile for the reception. 

Both dresses were designed by Sarah Burton who was then with British fashion house Alexander McQueen.

While we may now call them second dresses or reception dresses, Catherine’s gown was referred to as “evening dress” by the BBC. 

A photo of Kate's evening gown compared to her wedding dress, which have the same silhouettes

Here are both gowns side-by-side.(Getty Images/Reuters )

A very online wedding

The wedding was a huge event around the world. 

Back in 2011, the social media scene was different and we didn’t have the streaming services we enjoy today. 

So the wedding was broadcast on television and streamed online via YouTube. 

This was a big deal. 

It was dubbed “the most digital and interactive coverage of a Royal Wedding to date” in a statement on the Royal.UK website.

The whole ceremony is still available on watch on YouTube:

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