A horse, without a rider, gallops along the Processional Route during the royal wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, on April 29, 2011, in central London. | GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images
Updated: April 29, 2011 9:41PM
Dateline: England . . .
Done and dusted.
It is finally over: Prince William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor of Wales and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton were united in wedlock this morning and gave the gaping crowds their wish: a double kiss from their balcony perch at Buckingham Palace.
It didn’t rain. The sun came out. Everyone got to church on time. The ceremony was flawless; only a ripple of laughter rising in Westminster Abbey when Prince William was having difficulty placing the wedding ring on Kate’s finger.
“You are lovely. Beautiful,” Prince William whispered to Kate when she arrived at the altar dripping in Chantilly lace.
“Are you happy?” Kate asked her new husband after entering the wedding carriage after the ceremony.
The answer was undecipherable, but it’s a safe bet it was in the affirmative.
The only glitch on the royal carriage route back to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey was a riderless horse running briefly amok after ditching its calvary officer, who reportedly got dressed down by his commander.
Thousands lining the wedding procession route, who had been noisily partying in anticipation of the royal nuptials, became eerily quiet when loudspeakers along the route crackled to life when the wedding began.
“It became almost reverential,” said Chicagoan Dia Weil, who joined friends tented along the Mall in front of Clarence House, where Princes William and Harry lived.
“It was as if everyone was in the Abbey themselves,” she said. “They listened and prayed and sang. It was quite moving.”
Postcards from London . . .
Royal flotsam and jetsam from the royal doings, dudes and duds.
†The makeup: snooty royalists commenting on Brit TV suggested Kate wore a bit too much makeup and her brunette hair stood out in a swarm of blond royals.
†The wedding gown: The mysterious wedding gown, which was not unveiled until Kate hit the church steps, was hidden by a white awning erected outside the Goring hotel, where the Middleton family was staying — so no one could see the dress as she entered her limo to head to Westminster Abbey. The gown wound up being what everyone surmised: a creation by Sarah Burton at the Alexander McQueen firm.
†The Queen’s dress: a bright buttercup yellow — which almost sent hands scurrying for watering cans and sunglasses.
†Kate’s mum’s dress: It was intended as a shout-out to the memory of Princess Diana, the late mother of Prince William, because it was designed by one of Di’s favorite couturiers, Catherine Walker.
†The medal muddle: So howcum Prince Harry, Prince William’s best man, had more medals on his military uniform at the wedding than Prince William? He served in Afghanistan.
The wedding invite . . .
In addition to celebs Guy Ritchie, Elton John and his civil partner, David Furnish, comedian Rowan “Mr. Bean” Atkinson and David and Victoria Beckham, were Roger Defoe and Jane Lawton — members of Centrepoint, one of Prince William’s favorite charities. “It was very democratic seating,” Lawton told Sneed. I was so close to Kate, I could have reached out and touched her. It was not only a sense of occasion, but it had a real feeling of family.”
Royal Bits & Pieces . . .
† Prince Philip, 89, grandfather of Prince William, had difficulty getting into his Scottish carriage after the wedding. But he carried on ...
† The royal wedding ceremony, which was once only attended by bluebloods, was now described as being “attended by 1,000 friends.” One royal pundit sniffed: “Who has 1,000 friends?”
† The majority of wedding hats, designed by milliner Philip Treacy, seemed to be perched on foreheads awaiting trajection into outer space.
Finally . . .
The Sultan of Brunei, The King of Tonga, Prince Albert of Monaco and the King of Swaziland — who has been married 13 times —attended the wedding!