Prince William to marry April 29 at Westminster
By Keith Weir
LONDON (Reuters) - Prince William is to marry his fiancée Kate Middleton on Friday April 29 next year at London's Westminster Abbey, the 1,000-year-old church where the funeral was held for his mother Princess Diana.
William, son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Diana, announced his engagement to long-term girlfriend Middleton last week after a courtship lasting nearly a decade.
"We know that the world will be watching on April 29 and the couple are very, very keen indeed that the spectacle should be a classic example of what Britain does best," Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William's private secretary told reporters.
Britain is facing sharp cuts in public spending and Lowther-Pinkerton said that the royal family and the Middletons would pay for the service, reception and honeymoon.
He described the couple, both 28, as "over the moon" about their forthcoming marriage.
Westminster Abbey has been the site of coronations since William the Conqueror was crowned there in 1066 after the Norman invasion. The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth, was married there in 1947 and a teenaged William attended his mother Diana's 1997 funeral at the Abbey after she died in a Paris car crash.
"The couple were moved to choose the venue because of its staggering beauty, its 1,000-year royal history and in spite of its overall size, its relative intimacy," Lowther-Pinkerton said. "The venue has long associations with the royal family -- it's in many ways the royal family's church -- and of course with Prince William personally."
STRIKING A BALANCE Continued...