Factbox: Royal wedding will take place at Westminster Abbey

Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:50am EDT
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(Reuters) - Here are some facts about London's Westminster Abbey where the marriage ceremony of Prince William and his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton will take place on April 29, 2011.


-- The Abbey became a popular venue for royal weddings when Princess Patricia of Connaught chose it for her marriage to the Honourable Alexander Ramsay in 1919.

-- It was the first time for 650 years that the Abbey had been used for a royal wedding.

-- Although St. Paul's Cathedral was the venue for the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, Westminster Abbey was the venue for the funeral service of Diana in September 1997 just days after she was killed in a car crash in Paris.

-- In April 2002, the Queen Mother's funeral service took place at Westminster Abbey. She died on March 30 at the age of 101.


-- Around 960 A.D Dunstan, Bishop of London, established a group of Benedictine monks on "Thorney Island," an isolated marshy area of land on the banks of the River Thames.

-- Edward the Confessor built a new church on the site, which was consecrated in 1065. Edward died a few days after the consecration, was buried in the Abbey and later made a saint.   Continued...