Kate Middleton will break with tradition and arrive for wedding by car

06 JANUARY 2011

It's yet another sign that  Prince William and Kate Middleton want their nuptials to be a modern occasion.

Kate will break with centuries of tradition by travelling to her wedding by car - instead of in a horse-drawn carriage, as is customary for royal brides.

 

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The surprising detail was just one of several new pieces of information about the couple's forthcoming nuptials revealed by Clarence House this week.

These included Kate's route to Westminster Abbey. She will travel via the Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square.

Over one million well-wishers are expected to line the streets.

Usually, a royal bride would travel in the horse-drawn Glass Coach  – in which Princess Diana arrived for her 1981 wedding to William's father (pictured below).

It was built in 1881 for the Lord Mayor of London and purchased for the use of the royal family in 1911.

 

 

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But – in what commentators are saying is a move to make the day more low-key, Kate will arrive in a car from the Royal Mews. And travelling with her will be her father Michael.

The service will begin at 11am at the Abbey. The Dean of Westminster will conduct it, while the Archbishop of Canterbury will marry William and Kate and the Bishop of London will give the address.

Afterwards, the newlyweds will travel in a carriage procession – along the same route taken by Kate - to a buffet-style reception of champagne and canapes hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

 

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Before proceedings kick off there, the couple are expected to make the traditional appearance on the balcony.

And crowds gathered outside will no doubt be hoping that the couple share a public kiss – as was the case with William's parents after they exchanged vows.

Royal sources have indicated that less than half of the congregation in the 2,200 capacity Westminster Abbey will be invited to the reception, which will end by mid-afternoon.

 

 

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In the evening, at about 7pm, around 250 to 300 guests – just close friends and loved ones - will sit down for a private dinner hosted by Prince Charles.

The intimate end to their special day, perhaps reflects William's apparent wish that his bride and her family don't feel overwhelmed by the trappings of a formal state occasion.

And, fittingly, like at any other wedding party, the celebrations will culminate with dancing when their nearest and dearest see the Prince and his bride taking to the floor for the first time as man and wife.

 

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