Wednesday 17 January 2018

William and Kate vow to take charge as wedding date is set

Gordon Rayner in London

Prince William and Kate Middleton are "calling the shots" over every aspect of their wedding and are refusing to allow courtiers, or politicians, to dictate to them.

The couple ignored warnings that a spring ceremony could be a washout, choosing Friday, April 29 as their big day, and will not allow protocol to get in the way of who is invited or who presides over the service.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, traditionally conducts significant ceremonies at Westminster Abbey, the couple's chosen venue, but he has no idea whether he will be overlooked in favour of a minister with a closer personal relationship with the prince.

A senior royal source said the prince and Miss Middleton could veto some VIPs to make way for friends or deserving members of the public.

"The couple are having a great time drawing up their guest list," said the source.

"Like anyone else who has planned a wedding, there may be certain people who you would be happy to see but who wouldn't necessarily be at the top of your list."

The couple are keen to ensure that their wedding does not turn into a parade of "the great and the good", with a "people's ceremony" being "very much on their mind".

However, they also regard the wedding as a "semi-state occasion" -- meaning the likes of US President Barack Obama are likely to be among the guests.

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the prince's private secretary and the man in overall charge of organising the wedding, said: "They are very much in charge of the arrangements for their big day, giving us in the Household Office firm direction.

"This is Prince William's and Catherine's day.

"They are calling the shots and through me their wishes are being put into action by a rather large supporting cast."

He added: "The couple are completely over the moon. I have never seen two happier people. It's fabulous to work in that sort of environment."

The prince and Miss Middleton did not have a specific date in mind when they told aides they wanted a spring wedding, but April 29 quickly became their first choice.

"Lent and Easter made it difficult to have it any earlier, so they settled on a day which happens to be St Catherine's Day, though that was entirely serendipitous," said a royal insider.

A spokesman for St James's Palace said Westminster Abbey was always the couple's chosen venue. The abbey is understood to be a place where the prince feels close to his mother, whose funeral took place there.

The couple are in favour of street parties and a possible concert in Hyde Park to mark the occasion, said one royal aide.

"Their view on it would be 'Let's have a party'," the source said. (© The Daily Telegraph)

Irish Independent

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