Royal wedding: Final countdown as last minute rehearsals take place at the Abbey

28 APRIL 2011

It's the last time they will be seen together as singletons.

The excitement was apparent on their faces as Kate Middleton and Prince William arrived at Westminster Abbey for a last minute wedding rehearsal.



They were joined at the historic church by Kate's parents Michael and Carole, best man Prince Harry and maid of honour Pippa Middleton.

Guiding the proceedings were the three senior clergymen responsible for conducting the service - the Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall; the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and the Bishop of London, Richard John Carew Chartres.

Kate was apparently overwhelmed by the transformation of the Abbey, which has been decorated with £50,000 of foliage to turn it into a lush indoor forest.

The 29-year-old practiced walking up the aisle with her father. He then handed her over to the groom before the couple practiced exchanging vows.

William had spent the evening before playing five-a-side football with friends at a South London park during which one of his pals was overheard making jokes about his "last day of freedom".

He arrived and left from Clarence House on his beloved Ducati motorbike.


His bride was spotted at Clarence House on Thursday afternoon, carrying boxes inside and hugging staff members, chatting excitedly about her forthcoming nuptials.

A number of hat boxes and suit bags belonging to the Middleton family were seen being moved into the Goring Hotel, where Kate's parents and sister checked in on Wednesday afternoon.

Kate was not with them though – she wanted to spend one last night with William before the eve of their wedding, which they will spend apart, in line with tradition.

While the Princess-to-be makes her final preparations with her nearest and dearest at the Goring Hotel on Thursday evening, the groom will spend his last night as a bachelor having a private dinner with his own family at Clarence House.

It'll give William the chance for one last evening together with his father Prince Charles, stepmother the Duchess of Cornwall and brother Harry before embarking on his new life.

By the time the groom sits down to eat, everything will be in place for the big day. Preparations were scheduled to continue on Thursday with a full dress rehearsal for the clergy and broadcasters.


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