You might have heard … there’s this little wedding happening on April 29 … some dude named Bill is marrying some girl named Katie. Oh, OK, we’re talking about the wedding of the century, of course, the royal wedding, in which the future king of England, Prince William, will marry his college sweetheart, Kate Middleton.
The much-ballyhooed nuptials have been a media obsession for months, but in the interest of giving you all the wedding scoop you need in one handy place, here’s our primer — the who, the when, the where, the how, the why and the swag — on all things royal wedding-related.
1. The royal wedding, marrying His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G., 28, and Miss Catherine Middleton, 29, takes place on Friday, April 29, at 6AM ET, at Westminster Abbey in London.
2. Other royal weddings that took place at Westminster Abbey: William’s uncle, Prince Andrew, to Sarah Ferguson, in 1986, and William’s aunt, Princess Anne, to Mark Phillips in 1973. Both those marriages ended in divorce. On the other hand, William’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, were also married there in 1947.
3. Westminster Abbey is also the burial site of Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling and Laurence Olivier.
4. Instead of arriving via carriage, the bride and her father, Michael Middleton, will arrive in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. It will be the first time the public gets a look at her much-talked-about wedding gown.
5. About that gown: The designer and look of Middleton’s gown remains one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the day. Rumors have persisted that she may have designed it herself; that she commissioned one to look like Grace Kelly’s royal wedding dress; and that designers from Sarah Burton to Bruce Oldfield have made the historic gown.
6. Prince William, meanwhile, will wear a military uniform for the service, and, famously, has already said he will not wear a wedding ring.
7. Six hairdressers will help fashion the royal ‘do for Kate on the morning of her wedding. And, spoiler alert, her main hairdresser says she’s skipping the updo, and that her locks will be “100 percent … down and flowy.”
8. Wills and Kate will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Douglas Williams, and the service will be played via audio speakers along the procession route lined with as many as a million royal well wishers.
9. It will take Kate Middleton approximately four minutes to walk down the aisle in Westminster Abbey.
10. If you feel compelled to send William and Kate a gift to commemorate their big day, skip the toaster and candlesticks. The couple asks that you instead funnel a donation to the Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund, a special charity they’ve established that will forward the donations to charities involving children, support for armed services personnel and wildlife conservation, among others.