Archbishop of Canterbury to conduct royal wedding

Wed Jan 5, 2011 7:48am EST
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the Anglican Church, will marry Britain's Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton later this year, the prince's office said on Wednesday.

Other details about the wedding revealed that Middleton will travel to the service at London's Westminster Abbey by car along a route past the Houses of Parliament and including The Mall, the grand road leading to Buckingham Palace.

William, son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, announced his engagement to long-term girlfriend Middleton last November after a courtship lasting nearly a decade.

They have already disclosed that the wedding will take place on April 29 at the 1,000-year-old Westminster Abbey, where the funeral for Diana was held.

The prince's office, Clarence House, said the ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) and be conducted by the Dean of Westminster. Williams will marry the couple, while the Bishop of London Richard Chartres will give the address, it added.

Dickie Arbiter, the queen's former press secretary, said Chartres has close connections to William.

"He was an executor of the late Diana Princess of Wales' will; he confirmed William when William was 12; he listened to Diana when she was troubled," he told Sky News.

"(He is) the right person to be making the keynote address at the service."   Continued...

<p>Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton (L) pose for a photograph in St. James's Palace, central London November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>