Prince William and Princess Kate’s iconic royal wedding – best photos and memorable moments – HELLO!

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The world seemingly ground to a halt to witness the Prince and Princess of Wales‘ historic wedding on 29 April 2011, from the 200 fans who gathered outside Westminster Abbey to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds, to the 2,000 guests inside witnessing the nuptials and the 22 million TV viewers.

As well as fans, close friends and family gathered in London in their droves to support the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Among them was Kate’s bridesmaid and sister Pippa Middleton, who caused a stir in her gorgeous bridal white gown, and Prince Harry, who appeared to be William’s best man, but later admitted in his book Spare that he was a public decoy for William’s private friends James Meade and Thomas van Straubenzee.

On Prince William and Kate’s (nee Middleton) 13th wedding anniversary, join us as we look back at the best photos of the bride’s two regal wedding dresses, the couple’s rule-breaking kiss and more…

© Getty

Bridesmaid Pippa Middleton

Maid of honour Pippa Middleton kept her eyes on the page boys and flower girls, which included Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem, Louise Windsor, Tom Pettifer and William Lowther-Pinkerton.

Pippa Middleton holds Kate Middleton's dress as she prepares to walk down the aisle© Getty

While she expected all eyes to remain on her sister, Pippa became an overnight sensation after stepping out in a figure-skimming satin bridesmaid dress with a cowl neckline by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen – the same designer responsible for Kate’s wedding dress.


Prince William takes the hand of his bride Catherine Middleton, now to be known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, followed by Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton© WPA Pool

As well as looking after the bridal party, Pippa was also responsible for helping Kate with her nine-foot train.

Kate and William wedding photo leaving Westminster Abbey© Getty

The wedding dress

Thought to have cost Carole and Michael Middleton £250,000, the bride’s gown featured handmade lace created by the Royal School of Needlework and an ivory satin Victorian-inspired corset bodice which was “narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips”, according to the Palace. It was finished with 58 organza-covered buttons and a skirt that “echoes an opening flower.”

Princess Kate walking into Westminster Abbey on her wedding day© Getty

The wedding flowers

Kate turned to Shane Connolly for her bridal bouquet, which consisted of a combination of the Middletons’ and the royal family’s favourite stems. The symbolic blooms included: lilies, for the return of happiness; hyacinths, for steady love; ivy, for fidelity and friendship; and myrtle, the emblem of matrimony.

As tradition dictates, Kate’s bridal bouquet was laid at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior inside Westminster Abbey after the royal wedding ceremony.

Prince William holding hands with Kate Middleton on his wedding day© Getty

William’s outfit

William looked dapper in his red Irish Guards uniform, his most senior military position, but it was not his first choice. He admitted his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II was behind the decision.

Journalist Robert Hardman told the MailOnline that William said: “I wanted to decide what to wear for the wedding. I was given a categorical: ‘No, you’ll wear this!'”

Prince Harry as William's best man at royal wedding© Getty

Grand entrance

Harry revealed his brother was “tipsy” the night before his wedding, and said he gave him a mint to mask the smell of rum as he made his way to Westminster Abbey for his ceremony. “When I went to collect him in the morning and he looked as if he hadn’t slept a wink. His face was gaunt, his eyes red,” he wrote.

However, William was all smiles as he waved to crowds alongside Prince Harry, who wore a black military uniform.

Kate Middleton on her wedding day in the car with Michael Middleton© Getty

Fans got a first look at the bride as she made her way from The Goring Hotel to Westminster Abbey in the back of a Rolls Royce Phantom VI.

Prince William speaks to his bride Princess Kate and father-in-law Michael Middleton at Westminster Abbey© WPA Pool

Kate’s father Michael Middleton looked every inch the proud father-of-the-bride as he walked her up the aisle, sharing a joke with William at the altar. According to lipreaders, the Prince reportedly joked to his father-in-law: “We were supposed to have just a small family affair.”

Princess Kate holding the programme at her royal wedding© WPA Pool

The vows

The ceremony was performed by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Dr Rowan Williams. In their vows, the couple promised to love one another for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for as long as they both shall live.

Following in the footsteps of Princess Diana, Kate did not promise to “obey” her husband like some outdated church services.

william kate wedding rings altar© Photo: Getty Images

Wedding ring

Prince William presented his bride with a ring made from Welsh gold, as is commonplace in the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth II in yellow© Kurt Krieger – Corbis

Guest list

The late Queen Elizabeth looked delightful in yellow as she entered the Abbey. William’s grandmother opted for sunshine yellow, which she teamed with a cream bag and cream shoes.

Princess Anne in a purple and green dress getting out of a car© Brooks Kraft

Princess Anne really went all out for this royal wedding. The Queen’s daughter opted for a floral jacket and skirt combo. A flamboyant hat completed the look.

Eugenie and Beatrice at William and Kate's royal wedding© Getty

Perhaps the most memorable wedding guest outfits were from Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice who both wore elaborate headgear. Eugenie opted for a blue Vivienne Westwood dress with a feathered Philip Treacy fascinator, while her elder sister’s sculptural Philip hat from the same milliner proved to be divisive among fans.

Prince Albert II of Monaco in a grey tailcoat with Princess Charlene in a grey coat dress© Ian Gavan/GP

Princess Charlene of Monaco looked effortlessly elegant in her pale grey coat dress, hat and heels.

Chelsy Davy in a green wedding guest dress© Martin Fraser

Harry’s ex Chelsy Davy was a vision in green, with her bold dress accentuating her golden tan.

David Beckham and Victoria Beckham dressed in blue at William and Kate's wedding© Getty

Victoria Beckham, who was pregnant with daughter Harper at the time, wore a loose bump-skimming navy dress and skyscraper heels.

Kate Middleton and Prince William wave from State Landau horse drawn carriage© Getty

Afternoon reception

The newlyweds took a quick trip in the 1902 State Landau carriage – the same one used by Prince Charles and Princess Diana on their wedding day – along the Processional Route to Buckingham Palace while waving at the cheering crowds. 650 guests headed over to Buckingham Palace to continue the celebrations at a lunchtime reception hosted by William’s late grandmother.

William kissed his royal bride Kate twice on the Buckingham Palace balcony© WPA Pool

The rule-breaking kiss

The happy couple and their jubilant families took their places on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to see the crowds. Following a tradition started by William’s parents, the royal couple delighted fans by kissing on the balcony. Due to the crowd’s encouragement, the pair broke tradition and kissed again.

Grace van Custem covering her ears at the Prince and Princess of Wales' royal wedding kiss© Getty

Kate tried to cheer up an unimpressed flower girl, five-year-old Grace Van Cutsem, who wasn’t used to so much noise. The little girl became one of the most famous figures from the wedding, earning her own meme.

Princess Kate leaving Clarence House in her second wedding dress© WPA Pool

Evening reception

Just 300 of the couple’s closest friends and family were invited to the evening reception, which saw the bride, groom and their guests change into different clothes. Kate’s second wedding dress featured a sweetheart neckline, an embellished belt and a satin A-line skirt, which she layered underneath a fluffy cardigan.

Prince Harry and Lady Louise at Prince William and Princess Kate's wedding in 2011© Getty

The bride and groom joined their guests in the Palace’s Ballroom for dinner, where Prince Harry made a speech. In his book Spare, Harry revealed his best man speech was a mix of entertaining and heartfelt. After brandishing a leathery ermine thong that one American fan had made from stoat, Harry became more serious and commented on their late mother Princess Diana, whom he said she would have loved to have celebrated with her eldest son.

LOOK: Prince Harry, Prince William and more royal grooms’ unfiltered reactions to seeing their brides 

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