Royal wedding: Wheely fun for 'Just wed' Duke and Duchess

29 APRIL 2011

With the formalities of their champagne reception over, Britain's royal newlyweds had a surprise for the crowds, presumably organised by the best man.

They drove out of the gates of Buckingham Palace in Prince Charles' vintage Aston Martin DB6 convertible, festooned with balloons and bearing an L plate.

It also had a licence plate reading 'Just Wed', echoing a similar gesture from the boys for their father when he wed Camilla.

While William took the wheel, Kate waved at the crowds.

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Still in her magnificent bridal attire, she seemed tickled by the light-hearted trip back to Clarence House.

In a more serious reminder of William's vocation, a Search and Rescue helicopter with an RAF ensign, flew overhead manned by members of his 'B' Flight 22 squadron. 

Earlier, the couple had toasted their union with 650 guests, who were offered glasses of Pol Roger NV Brut Reserve Champagne. Some 19 opulent rooms were opened up for the reception, including the exquisite State Dining Room and the Blue Drawing Room.

Claire Jones, Prince Charles' official harpist, provided the entertainment, strumming classical music. 

Members of staff were on hand to offer guests a selection of canapés from the moment they arrived at the Palace at 12.40pm.

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Carefully prepared by a team of caterers, the hors d'oeuvres celebrated the best of British ingredients.

They included Cornish crab salab on lemon blini, roulade of goats cheese with caramelised walnuts, scottish smoked salmon on beetroot blini, Scottish langoustines with lemon mayonnaise and mini Yorkshire puddings with roast fillet of beef.

But the centrepiece was undoubtedly the official wedding cake, which was placed on display in the Picture Gallery.

The traditional eight-tiered fruit cake, designed by Fiona Cairns, was decorated with cream and white icing.

It featured 900 individually iced flowers, including the national flowers of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales - the white rose, shamrock, thistle and daffodil - as well as myrtle, to symbolise love, and Sweet William. 

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William's specially-requested chocolate biscuit sweet - created by McVities using a royal family recipe - was also unveiled at the party, which included the cutting of the cake.

The lavish bash was officially hosted by the groom's proud grandmother who called on the expertise of her cousin Lady Elizabeth Anson.

She has an impressive track record when it comes to royal events. Lady Elizabeth - founder of London-based events company Party Planners – arranged the Queen's 80th celebrations at the Ritz in 2006, and has a glittering clientele list that includes Tom Cruise, Mick Jagger and President Bill Clinton.

She also organised a party for guests following Prince Charles' marriage to Diana in 1981 and oversaw the wedding reception for the Duke and Duchess of York in 1986.

 

Don't forget to buy your souvenir edition of HELLO! with all the fantastic photos of the big day, on sale Sunday May 1.

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