You’ve survived the hype, and now the big day is almost here. The wedding is, of course, all about Kate Middleton and Prince William. But any self-respecting royal-watcher knows that there are a slew of subplots to be followed on April 29. Here, the top five things to look out for on the big day.
1. The dress
This is a biggie. Whoever is in charge of keeping the dress a secret deserves a raise. Despite the best efforts of just about every tabloid on the planet, nobody knows much about Kate’s gown.
That could all change at exactly 2:51 a.m. PDT/5:51 a.m. EDT (that’s 10:51 a.m. BST in London) on the day of the wedding. That’s when Kate is scheduled to leave her hotel and take a car to Westminster Abbey. The odds are quite favorable that someone could catch a glimpse of the gown, though there are reports they’ll sneak her out. The official reveal will be around 3 a.m. PDT/6 a.m. EDT/11 a.m. BST.
But William won’t see the dress. He’ll be sequestered in a backroom until the moment Kate walks down the aisle.
2. The guests
We know there will be some high-profile guests at the wedding. And while nobody will outshine Kate, rest assured that plenty of people will have their eyes on David and Victoria Beckham.
The two fashion icons are sure to turn heads no matter what they wear. Some even worry that Victoria may manage to upstage Kate (they don’t call her Posh for nothing).
Other guests known for their fashion sense include Elton John, who was a close friend of Princess Diana, and Kanye West, the rapper with a very healthy self-image. Here’s hoping he doesn’t repeat his Taylor Swift move during the “I do’s.”
Guests start arriving around 8:15 a.m. in London (12:15 a.m. PDT/3:15 a.m. EDT), but best bets are the big stars will arrive on the fashionably later side around 9:50 a.m. in London (1:50 a.m. PDT/4:50 a.m. EDT).
3. The kiss
It might seem like a no-brainer. Two people get married, they kiss once the officiant says the magic words, and everybody cheers. But royal weddings aren’t so simple.
When William and Kate say “I do,” they won’t lock lips. The rules of the Church of England prohibit it. But fear not, the two are expected to smooch from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the ceremony. And it won’t be just the guests who see the kiss. It’ll be hundreds of millions of people watching the event on their TVs and computers.
Not a pair to leave things to chance, William and Kate have apparently been practicing for the moment. In an article from Us Weekly, an aide explains, “The angle that they come in at needs to be correct, otherwise they could block the shot and the world will miss out on that momentous moment.” Give the people what they want. Expect to see the kiss at 1:25 p.m., London time (5:25 a.m. PDT/8:25 a.m. EDT).
4. Harry’s date
We all know William’s date, but what about his younger brother, Harry? Most sources seem to agree that the royal redhead will bring longtime ladyfriend Chelsy Davy.
Chelsy, a blond bombshell who has had an on-and-off-again relationship with Harry, has been recently spotted in London’s Chelsea, perhaps looking for an outfit for the wedding.
It’s hard to say when the camera might find her, but if she arrives with the “distinguished guests,” that would put her in the spotlight around 1:50 a.m. PDT/4:50 a.m. EDT/9:50 a.m. BST
5. The moment of matrimony
In a day full of moments, there will be one that will stand above all others. When Kate and William say “I do.” Believe it or not, this moment isn’t as simple as it looks. At least according to times past.
Both Princess Diana and Princess Sarah Ferguson flubbed their groom’s names when the time came. According to Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to the queen, Diana mixed up the order of Charles’s names. Diana had a pretty good excuse. Charles’s full name is Charles Philip Arthur George. Same deal with Fergie. She accidentally repeated Prince Andrew’s middle name.
There is a chance Kate might have the same problem. William has quite a handle himself: William Arthur Philip Louis. Check her accuracy at 3 a.m. PDT/6 a.m. EDT/11 a.m. BST.
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