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Kate and William play it cool in the final stretch


Kate Middleton's mother Carole (left) and sister Pippa leave Clarence house in London, yesterday

Kate Middleton's mother Carole (left) and sister Pippa leave Clarence house in London, yesterday

Kate Middleton's mother Carole (left) and sister Pippa leave Clarence house in London, yesterday

Within touching distance of their wedding, any other bride and groom would be making frantic last-minute arrangements for the biggest day of their lives.

But Prince William and Kate Middleton looked anything but a couple who are about to take their vows in front of two billion people as they adopted a distinctly low-key approach to their preparations.

Just 48 hours before she becomes a princess, Ms Middleton was spotted unloading a cardboard box from Tesco from her car at Clarence House.

Prince William, meanwhile, played five-a-side football in Battersea Park, south London, wearing mismatched socks, shorts and T-shirt.

As growing numbers of people pitched tents outside Westminster Abbey to secure the best positions for tomorrow's ceremony, and 100 broadcasters from around the world set up camp, Ms Middleton drove to Clarence House in her Audi A3, where she unpacked her belongings.

First out was a large Tesco box, followed by two outfits in black plastic covers. St James's Palace was remaining tight-lipped about what was underneath, though both outfits appeared far too slim to be a bridal gown.

Dressed in jeans, a pale pink top and a white jacket, Ms Middleton also carried a small bunch of flowers.

Despite the risk of injuring himself, Prince William turned out for a two-hour kick-about for the second week running.

Last night the couple attended a full and final wedding rehearsal at Westminster Abbey along with Prince Harry and Ms Middleton's parents.

Their black police Range Rover, with a motorcade of people carriers and police outriders, swept into Dean's Yard at 7.30pm for a run-through which lasted for about an hour.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is marrying the couple, the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, who will give the address, and the Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, who is conducting the service, were all part of the rehearsal.

Reports had been circulating throughout the day that the couple were due to attend an evening rehearsal, and crowds of people 10 deep in places had gathered outside.


The couple's downbeat app- roach to their impending nuptials was in stark contrast to the preparations by the British armed forces, who turned out at dawn yesterday for a full dress rehearsal.

More than 1,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen arrived at 2am for a briefing at Wellington Barracks near Buckingham Palace, and left before 5am to begin their journey along the ceremonial route from the palace to Westminster Abbey.

In the afternoon, Ms Middleton's father, Michael, arrived at the Goring Hotel, where Ms Middleton and her family will stay tonight. Mr Middleton had several suit carriers, assumed to contain wedding outfits.

Security at the hotel in Belgravia has been beefed-up, and the pavements narrowed with metal arches so police can check the identity of guests. Delivery vans brought dozens of bouquets of flowers, as well as boxes of Chateaubriand beef fillets.

St James's Palace confirmed that Prince William will spend his final night as a bachelor having dinner at Clarence House with Prince Charles, Camilla and Prince Harry.

The queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will spend tonight at a dinner for wedding guests from foreign royal families at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hyde Park. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent