Newlyweds William and Kate will today begin their life together as a married couple after a glittering wedding ceremony that enthralled the world.

The royal bride and groom tied the knot in a ceremony both intimate and touching that ushered in a new era for the British monarchy.

About a million people turned out to celebrate the wedding and those who flocked to witness their Buckingham Palace balcony appearance were treated to two kisses from the couple.

In an unexpected move that delighted the crowds, William and Kate left their wedding reception in the Prince of Wales’s blue Aston Martin, with the groom at the wheel.

The sports car was decorated with red, white and blue ribbons, with balloons tied to the back and a rear number plate which read “JU5T WED”, all thanks to best man Prince Harry and other family and friends.

The former Miss Middleton had started the day a commoner, but by its end had become HRH the Duchess of Cambridge – as William was made a duke by the Queen. The future king and his bride, who will now one day be Queen, had pledged their love for one another at Westminster Abbey.

The service was flawless, but there was a tiny moment of drama as the prince struggled to place the ring on Kate’s finger.

After the couple said their vows, in which the bride did not promise to obey William, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, declared: “I pronounce that they be man and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

Kate wore an ivory gown with lace applique floral detail designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.

A congregation of 1,900 and up to two billion people saw their vows, as they were beamed live around the world.

The service took place in the presence of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Kate’s parents Carole and Michael Middleton and other guests in the abbey.

Celebrity invitees included David and Victoria Beckham, Sir Elton John, Madonna’s ex-husband Guy Ritchie, Rowan Atkinson and Joss Stone.

The wedding day became a magical public spectacle when the bride and groom left the abbey and climbed into the 1902 State Landau for a procession through central London.

Crowds who had been gathering since early in the morning cheered and waved at the couple as they passed by in the Captain’s Escort with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

And despite fears that rain would spoil the occasion, a shaft of sunlight fell across The Mall amid the joyous scenes as the radiant bride and her handsome prince laughed and smiled.

On the balcony, William and Kate’s initial fleeting embrace, their first in public, sent the already ecstatic well-wishers wild.

A second kiss brought ever-louder cheers.

During their wedding reception, the couple cut the traditional wedding cake and at its end said goodbye to the Queen and Prince Philip, who did not attend the evening dinner and dance celebration at the palace.

The “intimate” affair was for 300 of William and Kate’s closest friends and family.

York Press: The Press - Comment

A day for pride in being British

THOUSANDS lined the streets of London to wave at the royal couple and Kate and William certainly had the weather for their big day. In York, clouds parted and the sun peeked through almost as soon as she said “I will”. And following months of speculation, people gasped at Kate’s dress. Harriet Quick of Vogue described it as having echoes of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress, with the prettiest of necklines. The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said the affection shown to them during their engagement had been incredibly moving, but that was nothing compared to the rapturous applause they received on their way back to Buckingham Palace. It must also have been a wonderful moment for Paul Mealor, the former music student at the University of York, whose latest work, Ubi caritas, was performed at the service. Even our Wills and Kate masks caught the eye of Canadian TV crews on The Mall. The royal wedding will go down in history as a phenomenal spectacle and we echo the Archbishop of York’s words to rejoice at the happy couple’s big day. Nobody does pomp and circumstance like we do, and the wedding’s impact will be felt long after the honeymoon period is over. The feel-good factor seems to have caught on in a big way and in the midst of gloomy news about the economy, with people fearful for their jobs, it was a time to forget cares and woes and simply indulge in fantasy. In York, the Minster bells pealed to mark the wedding of a local couple and the city centre was virtually deserted during the Westminster Abbey service. It seems almost everyone was crowded round their televisions. And everyone seemed in the mood to celebrate if nothing else, another bank holiday to bask in the sunshine. The Lord Mayor hosted a champagne reception in the State Room of the Mansion House, St Michael le Belfrey Church and City Screen cinema showed the service on big screens, and street parties were held across the city. Even those who weren’t interested in the wedding before would surely have felt proud to be British as the strains of Jerusalem echoed through the nave of Westminster Abbey.

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