Middleton in luxury hotel ahead of wedding
Britain’s Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton visit Witton Country Park in Darwen, northern England, April 11, 2011. (REUTERS/Darren Staples)
LONDON - Royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton joined her future husband’s brother on Friday for a rehearsal ahead of her wedding to Prince William in two weeks time, officials confirmed.
Middleton, Prince Harry, who is William’s best man, along with the bridesmaids and page boys took part in the practice for the couple’s big day on April 29th at Westminster Abbey.
William was unable to attend because he was working, said a spokesman for his office, St James’s Palace, adding that it was not the first rehearsal nor the last.
“There will be more rehearsals between now and the wedding day. Some will involve the couple, some won’t,” he said.
Meanwhile, officials also announced that Middleton will spend her last night as a commoner in a five-star hotel next door to Buckingham Palace.
Middleton’s close family including her parents and sister Pippa, her maid of honour, will also stay at the luxury family-owned Goring hotel in central London the night before the April 29th wedding.
She will stay in the largest and most opulent suite at the hotel which recently underwent a makeover to celebrate last year’s centenary.
The Sun newspaper said it included a four-poster bed, an original “venerable” toilet made by 19th Century plumber Thomas Crapper, and antique gown, thought to be a prototype of the one worn by Queen Victoria on her wedding day.
It also features a waterproof TV in the bathroom and there is a painting depicting the TV character “Blackadder” kissing the hand of Queen Elizabeth I.
“We are honoured and delighted to be playing a small part in such a great day,” said Jeremy Goring.
A spokeswoman for the hotel would not disclose how much the suite would cost to book for a night, but on its website the hotel’s most expensive room costs about $2,454.
St James’s Palace also revealed further details about the ceremony itself.
Guests will begin arriving at the Great North Door of Westminster Abbey from 8:15 a.m. local time, with dignitaries due to arrive shortly before 10 a.m.
William himself and his younger brother Harry, his best man, will leave Clarence House, the official residence of his father Prince Charles, at 10:10 a.m. and will arrive at the Abbey five minutes later.
Queen Elizabeth will be the last to leave Buckingham Palace with husband Prince Philip at 10:40 a.m., with Middleton and her father due to leave the Goring at 10:51 a.m. All the royals and Middleton will be travelling in state cars.
The service is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and will be relayed to well-wishers along the ceremonial route by audio speakers.
The newlyweds will head a procession of carriages back to Buckingham Palace at 12:15 p.m. and then will appear with the queen, royals and other family members on the palace’s balcony at 1:25 p.m. when there will be a fly past by current and former Royal Air Force planes.