Monday 5 December 2016

Who's who in world of sport, entertainment flock to church

And there was room in the abbey for some of William's former girlfriends

Theo Usherwood

Published 30/04/2011 | 05:00

David Beckham and Victoria Beckham arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. Photo: Getty Images
David Beckham and Victoria Beckham arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. Photo: Getty Images

Fascinators and morning suits topped the fashion stakes yesterday among the royal wedding guests.

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Crowds 10 deep gathered outside Westminster Abbey as the 2,000 guests started to arrive in shuttle buses.

There were loud cheers as David and Victoria Beckham waved to the hordes of well-wishers gathered in Parliament Square.

"Posh and Becks got the loudest cheer," said 18-year-old Kelly-Ann Clark, who left home in Surrey on Thursday night to bag her place.

Most men decided to go with British Prime Minister David Cameron's revised decision to wear a morning suit.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who sported neatly combed hair, went with a morning suit and waved to the crowds as he was interviewed on television outside the abbey.

Television presenter Ben Fogle also got a large cheer from those gathered outside the abbey.

Headwear was a must for the ladies and while some went for large hats, many went for an updated look with a fascinator.

Pink and peach were both popular choices of colour for the guests, who started arriving on buses shortly before 9am.

The last to take their seats were the royal dignitaries who arrived in coaches under police escort.

For some of those gathered in Parliament Square, the day was more about enjoying the atmosphere.

Will Fox-Staeton (27) from Clapham, London, dressed up in black tie for the day and started drinking champagne at 7am with pal Ben Fowler (26).

He said: "Both our parents watched Charles and Diana get married and we are in love with the Britishness of it all."

Invitations to the royal wedding were the hottest tickets in town with a guest list reading like a who's who of royalty and celebrity. Luminaries from the worlds of film and sport rubbed shoulders with politicians and international royalty as they crowded into the imposing surroundings of Westminster Abbey.

But among the stellar guest list, a number of the couple's long-term friends and former partners bagged some of the best seats in the house to watch the proceedings unfold.

Elton John, who sang at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales was seated in the pews. Film director Guy Ritchie and comedy actor Rowan Atkinson, a friend of William's father, also attended.

Photographer

Celebrity photographer Mario Testino who snapped the couple's official engagement photo was in attendance as was amateur jockey Sam Waley-Cohen who recently competed in the Grand National.

The sporting world was well represented with Football Association leading light Trevor Brooking and former England Rugby World Cup winning coach Clive Woodward at the abbey.

The front row of the South Lantern of the abbey was instantly recognisable to the tens of millions of viewers tuning in from around the world. The family of the groom included the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and best man Prince Harry.

Seated behind them, among others, was the Duke of York, his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. But there was no invite for their mother, the Duchess of York.

Other royals included the Princess Royal and Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence, Peter and Autumn Phillips, and Zara Phillips and her fiance Mike Tindall.

Despite the huge amount of publicity Kate's family has received in recent months, their faces were still not immediately recognisable to many tuning in to watch the coverage.

Seated in the front row of the North Lantern of the abbey was Kate's mother and father Carole and Michael Middleton and brother James. Kate's sister Pippa was bridesmaid.

Girlfriends

William invited four former girlfriends. They were close friend Jecca Craig -- the daughter of a wealthy African conservationist; Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe; Arabella Musgrave and his first girlfriend Rose Farquhar who all watched him make his vows.

Kate invited former beau Rupert Finch, whom she dated at university before seeing William.

William's best friend Guy Pelly and polo-playing chums Luke and Mark Tomlinson were also there.

Harry's on/off girlfriend Chelsy Davy was there, as was William's former nanny Tiggy Pettifer, formerly Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

Political figures from across the world were in attendance, including Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand counterpart Prime Minister John Key.

Royalty from across the globe also descended on the abbey including the Queen of Spain, the crown prince of Bahrain, the king of Tonga and the sultan of Brunei among others.

Irish Independent Supplement

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