What we might see at Westminster Abbey

Today, April 29, 2011, is finally the day Prince William and his commoner fiancee will say I do at the Abbey. While waiting for the 11:00 o'clock ceremony (5:00 in the afternoon in Philippine time), I  watched file videos first from the weddings of the royal brothers: Prince Charles (1981), Prince Andrew (1986) and Prince Edward (1999) to pick up some ideas on the upcoming event.

This is what I'd observed:
The Duke and Duchess of York wedding in 1986 at Westminster Abbey

The Bridal March
Unlike Filipino weddings, royal weddings have no bridal entourage march except for the bride. The royals arrived separately. The groom is accompanied by his brothers and approached the church aisle (guided by the Anglican Priest) and walked together then go directly to a small room near the altar, they would not emerge until the bride will march the aisle.

The bride's maids closely followed the bride, making sure the long train is in a proper place. Meanwhile, the royal groom and his brothers will come out from the small room and stand near the altar. In Prince Charles's wedding, he was supported by both Andrew and Edward, while Andrew's wedding, Edward accompanied him in the aisle.

I was distracted with how Andrew's bride, Sarah Ferguson', carried her beautiful dress because the train was so long and wide that it looked like a huge wakeboard being towed in the aisle, she had so many flowers wrapped around her head that the tiara was almost invisible.

The Service
The Duke and Duchess of York (Prince Andrew and Sarah) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding. With them are the bride's maids and Prince Edward

I also found out that there's no chairs reserved for the couple. They will just stand side by side in front of the officiating minister. There are no principal sponsors too like in the Catholic weddings and during the vow, their parents did not come closer. The people present in the ceremony stand all through out. until the readings of the gospel come.

After the exchanging of the rings, the officiating minister took the couple's hands and wrapped it both in cloth for few minutes, after uttering the blessing, the ministers left and the couple approached the front altar and knelt, followed by Gospel readings. Sarah Ferguson has cutest bride's maids who followed her holding their little bouquets and the page boys' hands. Prince William, who was only four years old in 1986, was one of the pageboys of his uncle's wedding. He wore a sailor suit and displayed some naughtiness during the ceremony, he also made one of the bride's maids cry.

The Ring
The rings are carried by the brothers, who stand as Best Men. In Prince Edward's wedding,  which was held at St. George's Chapel in Windsor CastlePrince Charles hold the ring and gave it to the officiating minister who blessed the ring and gave it to Edward then fit it to Sophie's finger. Prince Andrew carried the other ring who was picked by the bride and put it on the little finger, below the signet ring, of Prince Edward.

Recessional March
In Prince Andrew's wedding. After the signing of the marriage registry. The newly weds will be the first to leave the church followed by the royal family. Just like the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981, the Duke and Duchess of York were carried by the 1902 State Landau from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

Accompanying them in the carriage were the two senior footmen of the Queen in their state livery. They were closely followed by the carriage of the bride's maids and page boys. The moment they arrived at Buckingham ground, young Prince William jumped to his uncle Andrew's arm and kissed him. The bride's maids kissed the couple and went inside the palace. I was stunned to see Princess Diana wore a blue polka dotted dress!

One hour more to go and the 2011 royal wedding will begin. I will watch it through The Royal Channel in Youtube because it is more accurate than the local Philippine television coverage.

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