William to marry on April 29 at Westminster

Kate Middleton and Prince William. AFP

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”.

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.”

Retail researchers have estimated that the wedding could give a $1 billion boost to the British economy through the sale of mementoes and increased tourism.

Public holiday

Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that April 29 would be a public holiday, meaning Britons will enjoy a four-day break over the May Day weekend.

Comments (+)