Royal wedding: Couple opt for delayed honeymoon

Photo issued by Clarence House of the bride and groom with attendants Clarence House has released the official wedding photographs

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have decided not to go on honeymoon immediately and are spending the weekend in the UK before the duke returns to work next week.

William and Catherine left Buckingham Palace by helicopter on Saturday for an undisclosed location.

They celebrated at the palace with 300 friends and family on Friday evening, after a larger lunchtime reception.

Meanwhile, Clarence House has released three official wedding photographs.

Privacy plea

The locations of the couple's UK weekend and their honeymoon - which will be overseas - will not be disclosed in advance.

The couple have asked that their privacy be respected during the coming days, and while on their honeymoon.

Peter Hunt, Royal correspondent

For a prince who's desperate to lead a near "normal" life, the discussion about the decision to delay the honeymoon is another reminder of just how much scrutiny he and his wife will be subjected to.

Within moments of the announcement of their delayed honeymoon, theories were being advanced as to the reason. These included not wanting to be seen sunning themselves at a time of austerity; William's commitment to his job; and a desire to play cat-and-mouse with the media.

And the truth? Well, William and Catherine aren't yet at the stage of tweeting their thoughts. Those close to them say there isn't one overriding reason. It was something they decided on months ago.

When he does pack his shorts and suntan oil, Prince William will be hoping they can slip away unobserved. His challenge is that there'll be photographers who'll want to capture him in those shorts.

On Saturday morning, the couple emerged hand-in-hand from Buckingham Palace's garden entrance.

The pair, who had spent the night at the Queen's official London home, stopped briefly to chat to two Royal Household footmen before boarding the helicopter.

Prince William will go back to his job as an RAF search and rescue pilot next week. They live on Anglesey, but St James's Palace said they would not be spending the long weekend there.

'A little jaded'

The reception at the palace on Friday night, hosted by the Prince of Wales, is believed to have featured Prince Harry's best man speech and Michael Middleton's father-of-the-bride address.

The bride wore a white evening gown by Sarah Burton, who had also created her wedding dress, to the event.

Her sister Pippa changed for the party into a long emerald green sleeveless dress with a jewelled embellishment on the front and a plunging neckline.

Start Quote

They had their own buzz - everyone had their own buzz. ”

End Quote Hugo Burnand Royal photographer

Middleton family friend Tony Ainsworth said: "I hear everyone's talking about Pippa. She looked stunning. She's the most eligible girl in the country right now."

The duchess's family, along with some of their guests, stayed at the exclusive Goring hotel near the palace.

Mr Ainsworth, from Dorset, said outside the hotel that the wedding had been "an historic occasion".

"After the concerns of getting to the church on time, it all went smoothly.

"We had a party at the hotel last night that went on well into the evening, so we're feeling a little jaded this morning."

He said the bride's parents had made an appearance after attending the reception at Buckingham Palace.

'Wonderful time'

The official photographs of the wedding were released on Saturday, as the couple departed.

The pictures were taken in Buckingham Palace's throne room immediately after the bride and groom arrived from their marriage service at Westminster Abbey on Friday.

Three photos have been released, with one showing the couple alone, and a second that includes their bridesmaids and pageboys.

The couple walked in the grounds of Buckingham Palace before flying to an undisclosed location

The final image adds the bride and groom's parents - the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Michael and Carole Middleton - along with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry, maid of honour Pippa, and the bride's brother James.

Society photographer Hugo Burnand, who took the official wedding photographs, said there was a "buzz" in the room when he took the images.

"Amazingly it was a family wedding. From where I was and from their point of view it was two families coming together and that was the feeling, the sense of family and love going between everyone."

"They had their own buzz. Everyone had their own buzz. It was that excitement that I hope you feel at most weddings."

The Middleton family left the Goring, which they had booked out entirely for the wedding preparations, on Saturday.

The Middleton family have left the Goring hotel in central London

Mr Middleton told the gathered crowd: "We had a wonderful time."

An estimated one million well-wishers gathered in London for the wedding while more than 24m viewers in the UK watched the event on television according to industry body Barb. The BBC said at its peak some 20m had tuned into its coverage of the wedding.

The service at the abbey was attended by 1,900 guests and ran smoothly, aside from a brief struggle to place the wedding ring on the bride's finger.

Later on Saturday, in keeping with a royal tradition begun by the Queen Mother, the bridal bouquet was left on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    I hope that the newly-married couple and others noted the implications of what Bishop Richard Chatres said at the beginning of his sermon: ' "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire".So said St Catherine of Siena...'.That 14th century Catherine spoke out to Popes and Politicians and brought peace to a troubled Europe.May this 21st century one will have a similar impact!

  • rate this

    Comment number 150.

    There are many comments within Have your Say in support of the wedding; some against.

    However, perhaps the day is best summed up not in words but by the Verger who performed cartwheels down the red carpet in Westminster Abbey!

    My hat goes off to that man!

  • rate this

    Comment number 128.

    Many congratulations to them both. I can't believe with all the stress and strain of a wedding they are only opting for a weekend relaxing! Every married couple deserve a rest after their wedding, regardless of the economic climate! I'm sure most weddings this year will end with a honeymoon!

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    I say 'thank you' to our royal family for sharing their celebration with us all and giving us a brilliant day to be proud of our country in front of the whole world. I so hope William and Kate will get the spell of privacy they deserve before they have to get back to work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    The couple cannot have a wedding watched by millions then expect people not to be interested on their honeymoon. I'm afraid it's part of their "job."


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