Prince William, second in order of succession to the throne of England, married his longtime girlfriend Catherine Middleton, whom he met eight years ago at university, in London on Friday.
A marriage celebrated by millions of people, present at the event or from around the world.
The future king and queen of England exchanged vows in Westminster Abbey during a religious ceremony broadcast live by channels around the world. An estimated two billion viewers watched the event.
The newlyweds then smiling exchanged not one, but two kisses on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. A few minutes later, old and new planes of the Royal Air Force flew over the palace.
The best kept secret of the day was Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, which won the admiration of the viewers when she arrived at the Abbey wearing an elegant creation of white satin signed Sarah Burton, designer at Alexander McQueen.
The queen had lent the Rolls-Royce that led Kate Middleton from Goring Hotel, where she spent her last night as a commoner, to Westminster Abbey. Prince William drove to the cathedral in a Bentley, with his younger brother Harry whom he had chosen as his best man. He wore the red uniform of the Irish Guards.
A few hours earlier, Elizabeth II had granted to the newlyweds the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Catherine Middleton was taken to the altar by her father, while her sister and maid of honor Philippa, nicknamed Pippa, kept her train of over 2 m long.
Approximately 1,900 guests were gathered in the abbey, including royalty, showbiz personalities and politicians. Among those present were Prince Albert of Monaco and his fiancée Charlene Wittstock, who will marry in early July, singer Elton John, the footballer David Beckham, swimmer Ian Thorpe, director Guy Ritchie, comedian Rowan Atkinson (“Mr. Bean”), and the British Prime Minister David Cameron.
After exchanging vows before the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, William put a gold ring on Kate’s finger. The groom, a helicopter pilot in the RAF rescue, won’t wear a ring.
Declared husband and wife, the couple came out of Westminster Abbey smiling, while the bells tolled. They then got on an open carriage dating from 1902, drawn by four white horses, heading to the Buckingham Palace to the cheers of the crowd, waving to the enthusiastic thousands of people.