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Love in the Air: The Royal Wedding From Above

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It is April 29th, and contrary to what I sometimes say, or how I feel about the time that has passed, it has been four years since Kate Middleton married Prince William Arthur Philip Louis at Westminster Abbey. As we wait for the Royal Baby to make his or her fashionably late appearance, I have to say that the excitement of the Royal Wedding cannot be matched for me. I have been ODing on the soundtrack all month. I love the intimate shots of William and Kate, their happy smiles and their stolen little moments throughout their lavishly gorgeous ceremony. They succeeded in making the televised wedding of the decade into a personal and private affair, too. This year, though, I want to take a step back and see the wedding as the historic occasion that it was, and to get a sense of the majestic scope. So, this afternoon, on this joyous anniversary, I present their wedding entirely from a distance. Love is in the air...

As the princess-to-be threw a final wave at the cheering crowds, Kate, Michael, and Pippa Middleton were framed in the centuries old columns of the West Door.



Final adjustments were made to the dress, designed to look like an opening flower, as both Pippa and designer Sarah Burton arranged the pleats and folds one last time:



As the first strains of Sir Hubert Parry's triumphant "I Was Glad" began to boom through the cathedral, Michael and Kate began the walk up the aisle, which extended in front of them approximately three hundred feet!


Quick deviation, that is Mr. Security and his wife watching Kate process up the aisle!

BBC Royal Wedding

The majority of Westminster Abbey dates to the 13th century, when Henry III began the more magnificent structure we have today.  There are thousands of tombs in the Abbey, including royals across England's history as well as many famous figures.


Westminster is a Gothic cathedral, a style of architecture that emerged in France in the High Middle Ages, and spread throughout Europe. While it has many characteristics, perhaps the primary contribution it made was the use of flying buttresses. Flying buttresses enabled architects to transfer some of the weight carried by the walls to the exterior buttresses. This meant that the primary walls, which before had had to be strong and solid, could then be laced with beautiful windows. Installed with stained glass, churches were suddenly filled with colorful light that lifted the eyes, and the spirit, upward toward the divine. Very famous Gothic churches include Chartres, Notre-Dame-de-Paris, York Minster, and many more. I think one of the most breathtaking and impressive uses of the technique is at Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, where the entire chapel seems made of entirely jewel-toned stained glass. 


Even the Queen had to get a last look at Kate's stunning train as the wedding party made its way back down the aisle.


As the Crown Imperial picked up the pace of the recessional, the couple approached the door and the excitement outside built to a fever.   


The Prince was handed his hat, with his gloves inside...



The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge emerged from the Abbey into the bright exterior and paused on the steps. The crowds roared as the bells began to boom, answered by smaller churches all across London. Westminster Abbey's bells were given a full peal, "A full peal features a minimum of 5,000 different changes (or sequences) and lasts more than three hours."


The carriage procession took the wedding party from Westminster to Buckingham Palace, cutting through the Horse Guards, very familiar to royal watchers thanks to the annual Trooping the Colour, in addition to other events. 


On a number of occasions, William saluted the flag, in addition to paying his respects to the Cenotaph, as Kate respectfully bowed her head beside him.


For some, the highlight of the day was the balcony appearance and now-traditional kiss. The usually reserved William was more than happy to oblige and even egged Kate into a second smooch. I read somewhere he had a specific cameraman who was supposed to capture a great shot so William could get it framed. Did I make that up? Anyone else remember that story? I imagine it over their mantle in Norfolk. 


Ok, it is Royal Wedding Day, let's do one last shot that's a little more intimate:



A very Happy 4th Anniversary to these two crazy kids! May baby Cambridge come soon, and may they celebrate many more years of marriage!



If you don't own the Royal Wedding on DVD or don't care to download it off iTunes, where it is also available, you can watch it in its entirety here, thank you, British Monarchy Channel:





If you aren't on entire overload, I have a bonus for you. I did double-duty today, because poor Kate's Clothes needed to mark this National Holiday of Royal Watchers as well, so if you want to read a post about the Royal Wedding with an emphasis on Papa Middleton, don't miss: A Daddy & His Daughter. It is a Royal Wedding-palooza over on Kate's Clothes!



And finally, a quick #GreatKateWait update. No news. Well, some news. The parking restriction has been extended from April 30th to May 5th, and William joined Kate today at Buckingham Palace, possibly for another swim and a private lunch? Here is my revised theory as of yesterday afternoon. Kate was due late, late, late April, but they assumed it was likely she'd come a little early, so it was a safe bet to say mid-late April. She has probably just hit her due date and still hopes to have the baby without being forced to induce. I would love a May baby, but I hope the little one comes soon. 

55 comments:

  1. I still get a little teary eyed when I read about the wedding! It was so beautiful, and she was so beautiful and it was just perfect and I love thinking about it in the context of royal history. Great post.

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  2. Faith from MassachusettsApril 29, 2015 at 5:01 PM

    Im still wowed four years later! Well at least the new baby Cambridge's birthday won't be his or her parent's anniversary. Everybody gets their own day.

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  3. That was just beautiful, Jane! perfect counter-balance to the baby mania. You do feed my spirit at times, as well as provide
    a feast for the eyes.
    I have many more compliments and remarks, but I am getting mushy and a little bit cheesey. Ok. A lot.
    You did seem to neatly avoid any but side and front views of Pippa, or cleverly hat-obstructed posterior views. Best not to
    up-stage the Abbey and the Bride.

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  4. I love this post! I'd not seen these pictures from above before. What a fun perspective!

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    1. I agree! :) It was also nice to see the photo of them leaving the Abbey (looking out...a first for me).

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    2. I love that shot, Royalfan! It gives such a fun sense of that moment.

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  5. Lovely! Such a beautiful wedding...I've watched my DVD several times ;)

    I love Saint Chapelle too! Stunning...

    Amy

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    1. I sort of feel light-headed, in a good way, every time I climb that stairwell and step into that space. Just breathtaking. Human ingenuity is truly incredible.

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  6. Thank you, now I know how they managed the veil at the altar! I have always wondered. I have the BBC video, but you can't see that moment in it. The music was absolutely gorgeous, and the trees--brilliant!

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    1. I posted another photo of Michael Middleton fixing the veil, which is very cute, over at www.katesclothes.com If you haven't seen it, don't miss it; it is charming!

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  7. Fun perspective! I remember waking up early that morning (I'm MST), and indulging in breakfast pastries and mimosas...because I took a vacation day off of work to watch it. LOL.

    I loved their looks throughout the ceremony, which confirmed how perfect they were together - in it together, them against the world (literally).

    I too loved how the Queen was a grandma watching. At the end when Kate curtsied and William bowed, the Queen was full-on checking out Kate's dress.

    While we love how Kate's wedding attire & bouquet was so symbolic of the UK, I also love how we got to see the "working Kate" vs. the private Kate that day. Her dress for the reception was more what was currently on-trend - a belt, strapless, not very poufy. She probably enjoyed having something traditional and modern, but I also think it was insight into Kate as Kate.

    Amanda, Canada

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    1. Queen Elizabeth is an elegant woman and was a very very attractive young woman. I love seeing pictures of her when she was younger. ali

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  8. Oh, I was also telling my husband what Westminster's next big tourist draw should be - "Kate's Wedding Walk". People could pay, and entrance would be every 15 or 30min. They would do this for about one week, as a one time experience. Girls/ladies would get to walk in the entrance she used, walk down the aisle, then stand at the altar. Next girl, repeat. I have been to Westminster Abbey a few times, and the entrance for the public is not the entrance Kate used. I'm not holding my breath, but I'd book a trip to do it!

    Amanda, Canada

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    1. It IS a church, though......

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  9. Excellent take on a beautiful day. I really enjoyed the large pictures, some that I had never seen before. That alone astounds me because I thought I had seen them all. Beautifully done, Jane. !!

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    1. Thank you, Becks, stoked you enjoyed it!

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  10. Jane, the photos on the "Daddy & His Daughter" post on your other blog are just lovely! Thank you so much for your time and effort. :))

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    1. I just looked at those photos also. Beautifully done Jane. I have a question. When William and Catherine are coming back down the aisle after the ceremony they pause in front of the Queen and Prince Phillip (one of the photos), what are they doing? Thank you. Ali

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    2. Anon 8:12pm if you watch the video they stop and curtsy/bow. The whole time Kate is curtsying the Queen is giving her the up-and-down; cute and comical!

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    3. Anon 8:34 has covered it. They are bowing to "The Monarch" before heading out. Pippa and Harry also pause and bow to her.

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    4. Thank you all. I have not watched the video. Assumed they were bowing, did not know if every time you passed the Queen you bowed or if she was giving them the Queens "blessing" so to speak after the ceremony. etc. Did they bow going up the aisle? I will need to watch the video. Thank you for indulging my questions.
      Ali

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  11. Some beautiful photos. The Church is incredible, Catherine and William did manage to make it both grand and intimate. Did Catherine kneel down, bend down or what when her Father folded back her veil? Also I am not remembering when that moment happens.
    Thank you. ali

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    1. Ali, I believe they cut away from that scene when it was happening live...probably in case it wasn't perfectly graceful. In case they had to fuss a bit over it, or dad was nervous and Pippa had to step in and smoothe it out, etc. That was always my theory :-) But according to the photo it looks well executed!

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    2. Anon 8:21
      Thank you. The moment captured in the photo is beautiful. Ali

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    3. Ok, so if I may indulge in some speculation... I have watched the BBC Royal Wedding multiple times, and call me crazy, but, they just don't the Middletons. It's...kind of absurd! Carole is the mother-of-the-bride and they cut away and don't show her getting out at the Abbey! But, they do show the York girls--what?! Frankly put, I think there was bias. There were a lot of moments where I thought, where are the Middletons. Uncool, but, c'est la vie.

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    4. BBC...or the BRF having some "favors" called in? Thinking back to the wedding, the one negative feeling I have was watching Carole and James be seated before all the unknown distant British royals. I think it was disrespectful and out of place. Related to the royals or not, I think the Mother of the Bride should enter before distant family. I thought it was gracious of Kate and the Middleton's to allow that (if they even had a choice).

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    5. Hee hee. One wonders. Although they may like the Middleton's just fine but may be not have understood that they were filming both for the Royal historical standpoint and the current "market" for the videos.
      Ali

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  12. What a great perspective to celebrate their 4th Wedding Anniversary. Just loved seeing these new photos. I have often wondered about the veil and who turned it back and now have the answer. These pictures are great and most appreciated Jane. Thank you

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  13. This deserves a comment from me all way in rainy Queensland Australia what a beautiful post and perspective you lovely blogger. Made me smile & feel warm inside. Stunning photos how clever to make an aerial post perspective! Never seen the dvd.
    Blessings Theresa

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  14. I hadn't seen many of these perspectives before - thank you very much for posting them! I'm still in awe of the trees every time. Such an amazing touch. And how beautiful is Kate's veil?! So thin and delicate, drapes perfectly - she reminds me of the marble statue Keira Knightley ponders at Pemberley in "Pride & Prejudice". Stunning.

    I love how Carole is looking at Will & Kate as they kiss on the balcony, while everyone else watches the crowd. She must have been so, so proud of her daughter and so happy that William kept his promise to her and gave Kate her happily-ever-after! You can see the love she has for both of them on her face.

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  15. I LOVE this post! I haven't seen a lot of these photos before, and to see the wedding from this perspective has been a treat.

    Jane, I've been a silent fan of your blog for over a year now, but I thought that I should thank you for all the work that you put into your articles. It's always such a pleasure to read your writing, and your posts have been something I've been anticipating regularly. (I don't think I'll be a silent reader anymore, haha.) Thank you!

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  16. Hi Jane, lovely post. I actually watched my Royal Wedding dvd today - it's now an annual tradition thanks to you! Much like watching It's a Wonderful Life at Christmas.

    I couldn't help but notice Beatrice's awful hat again and Eugenie's flower dress- ugh. Did they go tasteless on purpose? And then it hit me - they remind me of the two evil stepsisters in Cinderella! Sorry to be so mean- spirited on today of all days, but I had to get that off my chest!

    God bless Kate and William - I loved the prayer they wrote for the wedding as well. Very touching. True love

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    1. Okay. My turn to say I'm sorry ahead of this comment... :) They didn't do it on purpose (IMO); they inherited their fashion sense from their mother.

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    2. I don't think Sarah would have been caught dead in that pretzel hat. It was riduculous and attention-grabbing.
      If we look at Diana's early fashions....Sarah grew up, too, although slowly and with many stops along the way.

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  17. Great post and great remembrance of their special day. The official photographs really are art!

    I love how US Weekly magazine has stated definitively that Kate's due date was April 23 and she is "officially" six days overdue. That's some tricky insider they've got who could get information nobody is privy to! ;-)

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  18. Both of your posts today were lovely, Jane. Thank you.

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  19. The wedding dress is spectacular. The way it hangs and drapes is very, very incredible. The back which you can really only see if you look closely at the stills is pretty special, the bump before the train is gorgeous. What I always focus on is the comment that the lace is partially hand done and the rest I assume on machines. I originally assumed the lace was all hand done. I find it sad that we no longer have hand made lace more readily available. ali

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    1. That really does look like Mr Security... and looking very smart too.

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  21. Mr. Middleton was so proud of his beautiful daughter. I loved the way he walked all the way up the aisle, keeping to the edge of the carpet, so that Catherine was always presented beautifully in the middle of the aisle.
    I agree Mrs Middleton ought to have been before all those distant relatives--most of them children of HMs cousins. She should have been immediately before the Prince of Wales and the Queen.

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree. I think it was such a stuck up, pompous thing for the BRF to do to the Mother of the Bride. It was like "know your place, and that is as a commoner". I LOVED the wedding, but that has (and probably always will) always irked me since I saw it happen live.

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    2. Well, at least she had a private chauffeur driven car and did not have to go with the rest in a mini bus. I think the Queen has welcomed the Middletons. There is a royal protocol to be followed no matter. I thought it was enough that the queen let them go before her.

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    3. Well, I can't argue with you ladies, but there have been situations where the Middleton's were treated quite well in comparison to other in-laws.

      The Queen invited them to lunch at Windsor Castle before the wedding; they were the first to see George after he was born; and they have a son-in-law who has made his feelings for the family quite clear even before he and Kate were engaged (they were present at his graduation). Not all bad, me thinks. :)

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    4. Wasn't that the first time the Queen had invited them to one of her homes? Lunch? After eight years.They couldn't very well invite her to Buckleberry.It wouldn't do to have their first formal meeting at the wedding! And isn't the mother of the new mother usually expected at the bedside? Mkre likely than the paternal grandparents. I wouldn't give William all the
      credit for the relationship. Catherine and the Middletkns may have had something to say about it.


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  22. Huzzah! An absolutely amazing post. A joy to read and how clever of you to give us a new perspective. Well done.

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  23. Carmen, The NetherlandsApril 30, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Love this post and loved their wedding! What a beautiful day that was... My sister and I baked a 'Kate loves William' cake and made sandwiches and scones to eat in front of the t.v :) Just lovely!
    Baby Cambridge #2 is really taking its time...I hope he/she decides to meet his parents and big brother Georgie before the weekend starts...

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  24. I love reading your blog--so interesting and informative! This is my first time commenting. What a lovely recap of the wedding four years ago. Beautiful pictures--many I had never seen before. Thank you for your hard work. Has anyone else noticed the "heart" formed between Kate and William's chins, shoulders and necks when they are kissing on the balcony? Perfect picture.

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  25. There is a man across from the Queen-the photo during the recessional where she is checking something out, gazing up the aisle-the man
    seems to be talking into his wrist.RPO? Reminded me of the picture of Harry and Kate on the balcony 2013? he makes her giggle as he looks like he's
    talking into his wrist.
    I enjoyed the facial expressions of those watching Catherine's progress. They all looked like proud mamas and papas.
    The dress! The dress! Details I had never seen or heard before.
    I didn't realise how Carole was treated. The Mother of the Bride. I am bummed in retrospect. Did it seem to anyone else that
    during the recessional Charles could not have walked farther away from Carole, without running into the guests? He even
    had his head turned away. Non verbal language spoke volumes. Contrast that with Michael's gracious posture with. Camilla.
    Things only noticed in stills, not film. Possibly a product of my imagination.

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    1. Well, I've seen pictures where Camilla is trying to keep up with him (lol), so I don't think Carole has to take anything personally. Not one of the Queen's sons has what I would call a "protective instinct". For example, the way William always guides Kate with his hand on her back, etc. Looking out for her, etc. It's wonderful to see!

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    2. Thank-you, royalfan. I hadn't thought of that. So- not my imagination? ha!
      William and Harry properly bonded with their mother. She made sure of it as a priority, it appears to me. Also, as
      children of divorced parents, they may have felt more protective toward their mother and mothers in general.
      The queen seemed to have other priorities. It is a terrible choice to have to make, but the results can be
      disastrous and go on for generations.

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    3. I have looked at the above pictures with you comment in mind and I guess I do not see what you are mentioning. In the first picture Carole and Charles are as close as they can be with out bumping into each other. Remember he has a sword at his left side and she is carrying her clutch in her right hand. In the last picture where is is looking to the right it is the door and he maybe looking for his aid to pick up his hat and gloves or saying a social Thank You to the clergy. Still shots can be miss leading as they literally take things out of context in which they are happening. I have not noticed any negative interaction between the Queen or Charles and Camilla and the Middletons.

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  26. Favorite moment of the wedding day? One would have to be that little bridesmaid on the balcony, covering her ears from the
    noise of the fly-over. The expression on her face still makes me laugh, just thinking about it. She also watched the kiss, along
    with Carole.

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  27. Having gone over these photos again I am struck be the structure of her gown. I have been trying to figure out how they structured it to fall so perfectly with the train being integrated into the dress in what appears to be layers, and how the end of the train is so perfectly round. I do make some of my own clothes, but nothing this intricate. Looking at the picture from above gives a totally different aspect. AND that lace - WOW, how any one makes this by hand is AMAZING.

    AND our wait continues!!! I keep saying anything good is worth waiting for !!!!

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  28. A brilliant idea!! A new perspective on a wedding we already know so well :-) So delightful.

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