Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Prince William and Kate Middleton set date and venue for wedding

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Will and Kate pick Westminster in April
  • The royal family says it will pay for the wedding
  • Cameron: Government will meet any wider transportation, security-related costs
  • Westminster Abbey has close ties to the monarchy

London, England (CNN) -- Britain's Prince William will marry Kate Middleton on Friday April 29, at Westminster Abbey in London, the royal family said Tuesday, ending a week of speculation about the date and venue.

"The royal family will pay for the wedding, following the precedence set by the marriages of the prince and princess of Wales in 1981 and Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947," Prince Charles' spokeswoman said in a statement.

The government will meet any wider transportation or security-related costs, Prime Minister David Cameron said.

The thousand-year-old Westminster Abbey has been the favorite of royal fans, the media, and bookies ever since the couple announced their engagement a week ago.

Westminster Abbey was founded in 960, with the present Gothic church dating to 1245. Since 1066, it has been the "coronation church" -- the place where kings and queens are crowned when they ascend to the throne.

Guesses about Kate's dress
Globe reacts to wedding date
Royal watcher details wedding latest
Gallery: History of Westminster Abbey

Its close ties to the monarchy means it has also been the site of many royal weddings and funerals. Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip there in 1947, when she was still a princess; her father, King George VI, got married there in 1923.

Read more on why the choice of Westminster is considered wise

The funeral service for Princess Diana, William's mother, took place there in 1997.

Middleton was photographed leaving the Abbey last week with her parents, and British newspapers reported they had a private after-hours tour.

The wedding day will be a national holiday, Cameron said, though Scottish lawmakers still must approve the measure because Scotland has its own devolved government.

"The wedding of Kate and William will be a happy and momentous occasion," Cameron said in a statement. "We want to mark the day as one of national celebration. A public holiday will ensure the most people possible will have a chance to celebrate on the day."

The choice of Westminster Abbey may indicate that William and Middleton are trying to avoid comparisons to the 1981 wedding of Diana and Prince Charles, held at St. Paul's Cathedral.


The palace had already said the wedding would take place in the spring or summer of 2011, but it refused to give a firm date.

It's unclear whether the couple chose April 29 because it coincides with St. Catherine's Day on the Anglican calendar of saints. The palace has been referring to Middleton as "Catherine" instead of her usual "Kate."

Part of complete coverage on
'Not the royal wedding' street party
A lot has changed since the 15th century, when Oliver Cromwell overthrew the monarchy. Today, British republicans fight with ... street parties.
The best moments of the royal wedding
From the walk down the aisle to the vows and kiss on the balcony, we show you the best moments from the royal wedding.
The big day in big pictures
From camping out in Hyde Park to highlights of the wedding ceremony, take a look at the day in photos
Hats off to royal wedding guests
The biggest fashion show on earth, the royal wedding, got underway in a riot of bright colors, flamboyant fascinators and larger-than-life hats
Wedding dress mystery solved
At last, it's revealed! Kate walks down the aisle in a timeless dress designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.
Unveiled blog
Crazy memorabilia, the skinny on the dress and more! Your spot for all things royal wedding right now.
Across the pond, a reason to party
Americans woke up at dawn to attend royal wedding parties complete with tea, scones and in some cases, clipped British accents
Join CNN's wedding party!
Share your photos and video and be a part of the royal wedding with CNN and iReport!