Royal Wedding 2011: A Royal Wedding for the ages
With broad smiles and wild cheers throughout the world, Prince William and Kate Middleton emerge from Westminster Abbey Friday morning as husband and wife.
Millions of people worldwide wept, laughed and applauded as the dashing couple were wed in a lavish high-profile ceremony that ended with the royal couple parading through London in an open carriage.
In the end, the wedding accomplished the near-impossible feat of living up to the amazingly-high expectations. Kate Middle looked stunning while Prince William appeared dashing. There was the unveiling of Kate’s nine-foot ivory-white satin dress, which was considered by many onlookers as a smashing success.
And there was the unexpected second kiss with Prince William blushing like a school-boy.
A sea of well-wishes flooded into London to take part in the historic wedding. Enormous televisions showed the event at Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park. Locally, viewing parties sprung up around the region, including at the Ritz Carlton in D.C., where TBD writer Maura Judkis and about 250 others began watching the wedding at the break of dawn.
The Ritz Carlton viewing party was, unsurprisingly, populated mostly with women. But one male in attendance, Richard Olsen, was there dressed in a kilt and accompanied with a female friend.
"I've never been to a bridal shower, but this must be what it's like," he said.
Valerie King, 28, of Arlington taking the day off from work to wedding watch with friends at The Queen Vic in NE D.C. They drank Pimms and ordered fish and chips. She said of William and Kate: "They're our peers in some ways so it's neat to see their relationship come to the fruition of a big, royal wedding."
Hundreds of street parties were under way in Briton, with some people becoming unruly. Police said they had arrested 43 people for offenses including drunkenness, breach of peace, and theft.
Brenda Hunt-Stevenson, a 56-year-old retired teacher from Newfoundland, Canada, said there was only one thing on her mind. "I want to see that kiss on that balcony. That's going to clinch it for me. I don't care what Kate wears. She is beautiful anyway."
After the ceremony, Middleton curtsied easily before her new grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, comfortably sharing the stage with the woman who has reigned since 1952. For many Britons, it was the first time since the queen's youth that they have seen such a composed, beautiful royal bride.
The guest list was a who’s who of celebrities, athletes and royalty and government officials. David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John and royalty from across the world were among the nearly 2,000 guests inside Westminster Abbey for Friday's royal wedding.
Other guests: Actor Rowan Atkinson, a friend of Prince Charles best known for his "Mr. Bean" act, Guy Ritchie, director of "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," photographer Mario Testino, who snapped the official engagement shots, and singer Joss Stone, who performed at a tribute concert for William's mother in 2007.
A number of famous people were left off the guest list, including President Barack Obama and Britain's last two prime ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
'Makes you proud to be British': Royal watchers from Greater Manchester pack the streets of London to see weddin... http://bit.ly/kkbXIU
Actually loved the royal wedding even though I didn't intend on watching it. Kate looked phenomenal. Pippa too. Total babes.
Brenda Mordic, 61, from Columbus, Georgia, clutched a Union Jack with her friend Annette Adams, 66.
"We came for the excitement of everything," Mordic said. "We watched William grow up. I came for Prince Charles' wedding to Diana and I came for Princess Diana's funeral. We love royalty England and London."
And tonight, William and Kate will celebrate their first night as husband and wife.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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