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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Wedding Photos: See Kate Middleton’s Wedding Dress

prince william kate middleton wedding albumLONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: TRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smile following their marriage at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Eight years have already passed since Kate Middleton and Prince William said “I do” on April 29, 2011, before a congregation of 1,900 guests at Westminster Abbey and more than 23 million viewers worldwide. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who exchanged vows after eight years together, first met as college classmates at St. Andrews back in 2003. Their relationship, which they had to keep under wraps during their undergrad years, soon became tabloid fodder when they went public with it after graduation.

The wedding was one for the ages, with the actual day declared a public holiday with a number of ceremonial events taking place in the week ahead. An estimated 5,000 street parties were held throughout the United Kingdom, and more than one million people lined up along the route between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

Amid all the hubbub, however, Kate and Will managed to make their ceremony both their own and a tribute to the royal traditions that had come before them. Kate, for instance, opted to do her own makeup, despite the fact that a good number of makeup artists likely would have lined up for the opportunity. William decided to go ringless, a choice that baffled some critics, but which said a lot about the couple’s preference to do things their way. In an official statement from the Palace, it was stated: “It was something the couple discussed, but Prince Williams isn’t one for jewelry.”

Here, get all the insider information about the royal wedding of the century, just in time for the couple’s  eighth wedding anniversary.

THE VENUE

Prince William and Kate Middleton wed at Westminster Abbey, the same venue where his father, Prince Charles, had married his mother, Princess Diana, nearly 30 years prior. William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, also got married at Westminster Abbey back in 1947; before that, her father, His Majesty King George VI, exchanged vows with Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in April 1923. Given that William is third in line for the throne (after his father, Prince Charles), his choice of wedding venue may not have been without significance.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Reverend Richard Chartres, Lord Bishop of London reads from the pulpit, watched by Prince William and his new bride Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Catherine Middleto walks up the aisle with her father Michael Middleton inside Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service which was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding and street parties are being held throughout the UK. (Photo by Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

THE DRESS

Kate’s wedding gown was a breathtaking number designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen that cost an estimated $434,000 to make. It featured a fitted bodice and a sweetheart neckline, handmade lace overlay and sleeves. The nine-foot-long train got plenty of air time, and was carried by Middleton’s younger sister, Pippa, who similarly got her 15 minutes of fame from the wedding. Kate’s veil was embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework, with flowers running along all the edges.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Catherine Middleton waves to the crowds as her sister and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton holds her dress before walking in to the Abbey to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Prince William takes the hand of his bride Catherine Middleton, now to be known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, followed by Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton as they walk down the aisle inside Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

THE BRIDAL BEAUTY

Despite their royal status, both William and Kate have displayed their down-to-earth characteristics–and their wedding was no exception. The Duchess opted to do her own makeup rather than bring in a professional for the big day. However, she was adequately prepared. In the weeks leading up to the nuptials, Kate took makeup lessons from Bobbi Brown’s team, receiving “makeup artistry assistance” from the brand’s makeup artist Hannah Martin.

“Catherine looked absolutely stunning,” Brown said at the time in a statement. “I wouldn’t have changed a thing about her makeup. She looked beautiful, fresh and most importantly, happy.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: The car carrying Catherine Middleton and her father Michael Middleton is seen ahead of the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Marc Aspland – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge drive from Buckingham Palace in a decorated sports car on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

THE CEREMONY

The televised ceremony featured a trifecta of holy men who helped to marry the couple: the Dean of Westminster conducted the lengthy service, the Archbishop of Canterbury married the couple, and the Bishop of London gave the address. (Kate’s brother, James Middleton, did a reading.) Kate’s father, Michael Middleton, rode with his daughter in a car toward the ceremony and also walked her down the aisle toward William. The newlyweds then rode away to Buckingham Palace in the Imperial State Landau, a century-old carriage originally built for Edward VII. Incidentally, it was the exact same carriage that Princess Diana and Prince Charles rode away in after their wedding back in 1981.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Prince William exchanges rings with his bride Catherine Middleton in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams inside Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

THE WEDDING PARTY

As per British tradition, Kate and Will didn’t have a “bridal party,” per se, though Prince Harry served as Prince William’s best man, and Kate’s younger sister Pippa was her maid of honor. Other honorary guests included two page boys and four bridesmaids, all under the age of 10.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Prince William waves as he arrives with Prince Harry to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission.RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE/MANDATORY CREDIT – AFP PHOTO/HUGO BURNAND/CLARENCE HOUSE – /NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS/DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTSA handout photo issued by Clarence House of The Royal Wedding Group in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace in London on April 29, 2011 with Britain’s Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge (C), Front row (L-R): Grace van Cutsem, Eliza Lopes, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Louise Windsor, William Lowther-Pinkerton. Back Row (L-R): Tom Pettifer, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Michael Middleton, Carole Middleton, James Middleton and Philippa Middleton. AFP PHOTO/HUGO BURNAND/CLARENCE HOUSE (Photo credit should read Hugo Burnand/AFP/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by James Devaney/FilmMagic)

THE EVENING RECEPTION

Kate changed into a second dress for the intimate reception held at Buckingham Palace later that evening, this one also designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. It featured a more relaxed silhouette and was made of an ivory satin material, with a sweetheart neckline, a circle skirt, and a diamond belt that accentuated her slim waist. She also wore a white angora bolero to cover her shoulders and let her hair down for a more casual look.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 29: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales leave Clarence House to travel to Buckingham Palace for the evening celebrations following the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – APRIL 29: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves Clarence House to travel to Buckingham Palace for the evening celebrations following her wedding to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

THE FLOWERS

Though there were hundreds of dozens of floral arrangements that dotted both Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, no bunch of flowers was quite as important as the bouquet that Kate held. In a nod to her largely understated, down-to-earth style, the bouquet consisted of lily of the valley, hyacinths, and a sprig of myrtle, as is royal tradition. One fun addition that she made, as a tiny nod to her husband-to-be, was a European flower called sweet William.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: TRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smile following their marriage at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton Bouquet wedding

Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

THE DECOR

The decor of both Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace was extraordinary—fit, one might say, for royalty. Westminster Abbey was decorated with six English Field Maple trees and two Hornbeam trees, all of which were 20-feet high, to give the space a rather natural, pleasant ambiance. A long red carpet ran the length of the aisle from double doors to altar.

THE FOOD

Though every other detail about the wedding was clamoured about during the hubbub surrounding the royal wedding, the menu for the couple’s reception wasn’t released until nearly four years later. A copy of the menu listed for auction at the Reeman Dansie Auctioneers in Colchester revealed that the newlyweds’ 300 closest family and friends enjoyed a salad of South Uist salmon, Lyme Bay crab and Hebridean langoustines, followed by a main course of North Highland organic lamb with spring vegetables.

Sides of English asparagus and Jersey Royal potatoes helped round out the main dish, while a trio of desserts, including Berkshire honey ice cream, sherry trifle, and chocolate parfait, completed the food offerings.

THE CAKE

Kate and William didn’t skimp on their wedding cake, which they entrusted in the hands of U.K.-based baker Fiona Cairns. Cairns created an eight-tier fruit cake that was as practical as it was beautiful: the couple opted to save the top three tiers for future celebrations, according to the famous baker. The cakes have since been served at William and Kate’s children’s christenings. Fitting, then, that they have three little ones, one for each layer, eh?

Kate Middleton Prince William wedding cake

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: The eight tiered Royal Wedding cake that the team at Fiona Cairns Ltd of Leicestershire made for Prince William and Catherine Middleton is seen in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in central London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service which was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding and street parties are being held throughout the UK. (John Stillwell-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

THE ENTERTAINMENT

The royals are known for their pop culture savvy, and didn’t disappoint in their choices for wedding entertainment. In addition to a more traditional organ and orchestra combo, the couple also invited Prince Harry’s ex, Ellie Goulding, to their wedding to perform “Your Song.” The momentous occasion had Goulding “shitting her pants,” she would later tell Vanity Fair.

THE TRANSPORTATION

After making their union official and celebrating with their loved ones, William and Kate set off as newlyweds in a 1969 Aston Martin, which had been gifted to William’s father Prince Charles on his 21st birthday. The license plate cheekily read: “JU5T WED.”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge greet crowd of admirers while arriving to Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by James Devaney/FilmMagic)

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: TRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge waves to well wishers as she and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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