The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be marking their 10th Wedding anniversary this Thursday. The Royal Couple met in 2001 at St. Andrew’s University and started dating in 2003. After seven years of relationship, Prince William proposed to his girlfriend Catherine Middleton with his mother’s diamond and sapphire ring in Kenya on the night of 20-21 October 2010.
Clarence House announced the engagement on 16 November 2010. Prince William introduced his fiancée Miss Catherine Middleton to the world on November 16 in 2010 at St. James Palace. And the Royal Wedding fever began. From the venue to menu, guest list to music, wedding dress to the bridal party each element of the royal wedding was getting equal attention.
- After Prince William and Catherine Middleton became engaged in October, Carole and Michael Middleton were invited for a private shooting party at the Birkhall, Prince Charles’ private residence at Balmoral Castle, before public announcement.
- After the engagement, Thames Valley Police officers were appointed to provide protection to Catherine when she was at her parent’s home in Berkshire.
- Talking about pending nuptial, Prince William said, “It’s quite a daunting prospect but very exciting and I’m thoroughly looking forward to it but there’s still a lot of planning to be done in the last four weeks. I was telling everyone I did the rehearsal the other day and my knees started tapping quite nervously. It’s quite good news always to outfox the media but it was a military operation and my brother and I are very proud of how it went“.
- In March 2011, Prince William and Catherine returned to St Andrews, the place where their story began, to launch the university’s 600th-anniversary celebrations.
- Prince William spent the 2011 Easter Sunday Lunch with his fiancée and her family at their residence in Berkshire. William invited the whole crew of his Search and Rescue Unit from Anglesey where he was appointed at that time.
- The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, had her hair done at the Jo Hansford hair salon in London’s Mayfair.
- The Middleton Family made The Goring hotel their residence for the period of the wedding. A small wedding dinner was thrown by the family for the close relatives ahead of the wedding. The family sans the newly married Duchess left the hotel on April 30th. The small, intimate hotel stands out from the crowd as London’s last family-owned luxury hotel, as well as its unique Royal Warrant from Her Majesty The Queen.
- The Queen’s reception of 650 offered a selection of canapés prepared by a team of 21 chefs led by royal chef Mark Flanagan. The menu was a combination of both Births and classic items: bubble and squeak (sautéed potatoes and cabbage) with confit shoulder of lamb, quail eggs with celery salt, Yorkshire pudding with roast beef, Scottish smoked salmon on beetroot blini, and smoked haddock fishcake with pea guacamole.
- Swiss Chef Anton Mosimann was hired to overlook the evening wedding feast. Catherine paid keen attention to every single detail of the wedding preparation. Food was no exception. After tasting the recipes, Catherine suggested a tweak here and there that was applauded by the Chef publicly after the wedding. Following their wedding breakfast of canapés, the pair’s evening reception offered dishes featuring U.K.-sourced ingredients. The starter course included marinated South Uist salmon and Lyme Bay crab. The main course, Saddle of North Highland Mey Select organic lamb, was served with Highgrove spring vegetables, English asparagus, Jersey Royal potatoes, and sauce Windsor. And for dessert, the couple enjoyed a trio of Berkshire honey ice cream.
- Both Prince William and Prince Harry chose custom made versions of their military attires with William choosing the Irish Guards’ uniform. The uniform was designed by Kashket and Partners. As the military uniform does not have pockets, Harry’s uniform had a special gold embroidered cuff which was attached to Harry’s jacket. Sewn inside was a secret compartment in which Harry carried the Welsh Gold Wedding Ring. The cuff was made from a heavyweight Melton wool fabric embroidered with a two per cent pure gold wire.
- Catherine Middleton travelled in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Silver Jubilee Car with her father from the Goring Hotel, down The Mall to Parliament Square. The Rolls-Royce Phantom VI was presented to the Queen for her Silver Jubilee. The seven-seater car features toughened glass and a custom-made silver model of St George slaying a dragon.
- Bride’s wedding bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.
- Catherine and her bridal party made a three-and-a-half-minute procession through the nave while the choir sang “I was glad”, an anthem by Sir Hubert Parry composed in 1902 for the coronation of King Edward VII.
- Following the ceremony, the 10 bells of the Abbey were run in a full peal called “Spliced Surprise Royal” which means they rang with no break for over three hours. There was also a minimum of 5,040 different changes in sound that rang for more than three hours.
- The Royal couple had two wedding cakes. The official wedding cake made by Leicestershire-based cake designer Fiona Cairns. The cake was a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake decorated with cream and white icing in the Joseph Lambeth technique. The cake was commissioned on February 18, 2011.
- The cake was to consist of fruit with sugar paste icing and decorated with 900 cascading flowers measuring 1 metre in height. Two days before the wedding day, the cake was transported to Buckingham Palace for completion. The cake was so huge a door in the Palace had to be removed before it could be mobilised to its spot in the Picture Gallery. Alongside the magnificent tiered cake, 4000 extra slices of cake were packaged in special tins and were presented to the wedding guests.
- Fun Fact – Fiona Cairns had to enlist police protection to make sure the cake remains secure ahead of the wedding. Only 6 of her best staff members worked on the wedding cake who signed confidentiality papers.
- At Prince William’s request, one more cake was made as a groom’s cake. William requested McVitie’s Cake Company to create a chocolate biscuit cake for the reception at Buckingham Palace. This icebox cake is a favourite tea cake of the Prince, his late mother Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II. The groom’s cake had 17 kilos of chocolate and some 1,700 of the company’s “Rich Tea” brand cookies.
- After the wedding reception at Buckingham Palace, at 3.35 pm surprising the fans who were still outside the Palace, Prince William drove his new wife back up the Mall for the short distance to Clarence House, his then official London residence. The blue two-seater Aston Martin DB6 Volante (MkII convertible) had been given to Prince Charles by the Queen as a 21st birthday present. It was decorated in the customary newlywed style by the best man and friends with balloons, ribbons, and a rear number plate that read “JU5T WED”.
- The official wedding pictures were taken by Hugo Burnand in the Throne room of Buckingham Palace. Announcing the official photographer, Palace said,
HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton have selected Hugo Burnand to be their official photographer at their wedding on the 29th April. Mr Burnand will take the official photographs at Buckingham Palace following the wedding at Westminster Abbey. Mr Burnand has photographed Prince William privately before and was the official photographer at the wedding of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall 2005. He also took the official 60th birthday photograph of The Prince of Wales.