LONDON – As Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot, Associated Press journalists are hunting down the most interesting details, from Westminster to points around the globe. Here's the latest on the big event.
It's not exactly a Pac-Man game you can play when you're procrastinating, but Google's latest doodle does have a certain fairy-tale charm to it.
Google, which reguarly changes the logo atop its search page for holidays and special events, swithced to a fanciful drawing of a royal carriage being led through the streets of Westminster.
Click on it, and you go to a search for "Royal Wedding." Which is probably why you went to Google anyway.
It's a nice day for a wet wedding: A handful of the revelers who were gathered in front of Buckingham Palace to witness "The Kiss" hopped into a fountain.
It's warm here in London, but it's not that warm.
Hopefully you didn't spend too much on your straightening iron. This is what celebrity hair dresser Andrew Barton said about the bride's hair, which was styled by James Pryce in a "demi-chignon": "Kate wearing her hair as she has is the death of the straightening iron."
"This is definitely about the re-birth of the roller."
Royal Air Force planes did a dramatic flyby over Buckingham Palace as Kate and William stood on the balcony, looking up and seeming fairly impressed. The crowd, meanwhile, let out (yet another) cheer.
BREAKING: The newly married Kate and William have made an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, to a roar of cheers from the throngs gathered below. Even without being able to hear her, it was clear that Kate responded with a big "Wow."
And then, there it was: their first royal kiss as husband and wife. (On the lips, but brief. For the record.)
Oh, and then there was another.
Flora Sutherland, from the Isle of Skye off Scotland, is one of several foreigners living in Kabul, Afghanistan, who got together at her house to watch the wedding on TV.
"We just really wanted to host a party for lots of our friends who are here so that they would have the chance to come and watch it and celebrate together," she said.
Britain's military media operations team at Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, has tweeted its best wishes:
"Everyone in Afghanistan is hard at work, but the telly is on and we are watching where we can. Congratulations to William and Kate."
All you lip readers out there had an advantage over the rest of us during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, where Prince William made a few comments that the microphones didn't catch but British media outlets did.
"We're supposed to have just a small family affair," the prince supposedly joked to his bride and father-in-law at the altar.
It's a royal sweep on Twitter, where the 10 top trending terms worldwide are all related, in some way, to the marriage of Kate and Prince William. Here are some of them:
— (hashtag)RoyalWedding (a hashtag promoted by Magnum Ice Cream)
— Pippa (sister of the bride)
— Buckingham Palace
— Sarah Burton (designer of Kate's dress)
— Westminster Abbey
The bride and groom smiled and waved to cheering crowds as they rode through London's streets to Buckingham Palace. Kate tried out her wave — a neat flick of the wrist with straight fingers, observed AP's Meera Selva — and Prince William saluted as he passed troops lining the route.
"It's such a shame and so poignant that (Diana) missed out on her boy's big day." That's the latest from royals expert Jennie Bond.
"I think William deliberately included his mother in the day with the music," the AP consultant said, pointing out that the initial hymn was also played at Princess Diana's funeral.
A couple of recent, rapid-fire tweets from AP's Fergus Bell (fergb on Twitter), who's among revelers in London:
— I would say there is a reasonable amount of bubbly being drunk in the crowd here at Trafalgar Square.
— Harry getting louder cheers than William!
As Kate and William ride around town in their carriage as husband and wife, AP's Hasan Dudar in Indianapolis has caught up with Jen Barnette, who's having her friends over for a "Kate-tail" party and sleepover.
The living room was set up as if for a wedding, with rows of chairs — lined up in front of the TV — and a runner-lined aisle. The guests wore Wills and Kate T-shirts.
"I made mock invitations that look just like the royal invites," Barnette said. "They all get a copy-Kate ring."
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Wills and Kate) have emerged from Westminster Abbey to the ringing of wedding bells, a roar of cheers and a throng of news photographers. They then hopped into their open carriage for their ride around the neighborhood.
And off they go.
One of the latest hymns sung at the wedding, "Jerusalem" ("And did those feet, in ancient times ...") is the closest thing to a national hymn for the English. Among those outside Britain, it might be more likely to evoke a certain Monty Python episode — the one where a bed salesman keeps singing the hymn as a couple of newlyweds, still dressed as bride and groom, try to make a purchase.
A versatile hymn indeed.
Exciting news for the crowds in the streets of London, first delivered to AP's London office by Fergus Bell in Trafalgar Square: The sun has broken through the clouds.
Need a break from all this ceremony? If you're in Britain, here's a look at what's showing on some of the channels that aren't airing live wedding coverage:
— BBC Two: "Duel in the Sun," a Western featuring Gregory Peck and Lionel Barrymore.
— Channel Four: "A Place by the Sea," a show on real estate, featuring Cornwall in this episode.
— Channel Five: "Santa Fe," another Western.
Royals expert Jennie Bond weighed in on the wedding dress — which she says is both "a dream" and "daring."
"It is a beautiful laced soft look which is extremely elegant," the AP consultant said. "She looked stunning."
She also commented on the "plunging" neckline — "a little bit sexy," she said.
BREAKING: Kate and Prince William are now husband and wife after reciting vows without so much as an "um" or an "uh." A sign of a smooth marriage to come?
Kate and Prince William have exchanged vows, and William just slipped the ring on her finger. (Slipped may not be the right word — it looked like a bit of a tight fit.)
Yvonne Ryland, who lives in Spain but is originally from Yorkshire, offered AP's Fergus Bell her take on Kate's dress:
"Oh, it's gorgeous! It's not as long a train as I thought but it is absolutely beautiful. It is so slimming and fits her perfectly."
Kate and William are at the altar together now, where he turned to her and said something that made her laugh. Any lip-readers out there?
For automotive fans keeping score: William rode to Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding in a Bentley, while Kate was in a Rolls-Royce.
BREAKING: Royal officials say Sarah Burton designed Kate Middleton's wedding dress.
BREAKING: Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey for her wedding to Prince William.
BREAKING: Kate Middleton leaves the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey, wearing a lacey dress with a plunging neckline, and carrying a bouquet.
ABBEY ARRIVALS: Queen Elizabeth II has arrived at Westminster Abbey for her grandson's wedding.
A quick clarification: The dress that Carole Middleton will be wearing today was designed by the Catherine Walker fashion house. Walker, as noted, died of cancer last year.
ABBEY ARRIVALS: Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, have arrived at Westminster Abbey.
"Will, it's not too late!"
That's what it says on a sign being held aloft in London by Brenda Hunt-Stevenson, a retired teacher from Newfoundland, Canada. Oh, and she's dressed as a bride.
"I want to see that kiss on that balcony," Hunt-Stevenson said. "That's going to clinch it for me. I don't care what Kate wears. She is beautiful anyway."
Royal officials say Catherine Walker designed the dress to be worn by Carole Middleton, the mother of the bride. AP's Cassandra Vinograd has passed along some details; grab your fashion dictionary and read on:
She'll be wearing a sky blue wool crepe coat dress, with matching satin piping and passementerie at the waist and cuff. Under that will be a sky blue silk shantung "sydney" day dress, with short pleated sleeves and pleated pocket.
Walker, who designed the dress in which Princess Diana was buried and hundreds of her outfits, died in September from cancer.
BREAKING: Prince William arrives at Westminster Abbey for his wedding to Kate Middleton.
London Mayor Boris Johnson is getting creative (and a bit romantic) with his wedding gift for William and Kate: a tandem bicycle.
"I'm very proud to be invited," he said. "I'll be going to Trafalgar Square later to give a toast to the royal couple."
Johnson, an avid cyclist, has put thousands of public bikes on the streets in the last year in order to ease traffic congestion in the city and promote healthy living.
ABBEY ARRIVALS: British Prime Minister David Cameron has arrived at Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding.
The royal wedding is getting plenty of attention from nations that used to be part of the British Empire. Here are some highlights from AP journalists reporting from around the Commonwealth.
— New Zealand: Kiwis are celebrating the fact that Kate Middleton's father's godmother comes from their country.
— Hong Kong: A well-known wedding designer is welcoming the big day in Chinese-language TV commentary.
— Australia: The wedding hoopla has raised the prickly issue of whether the country should dump the British monarch and become a republic.
ABBEY ARRIVALS: Elton John and David Furnish have arrived at Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding. So has former British Prime Minister John Major.
Crowds in London are cheering absolutely everyone who drives along the procession route, reports AP's Rich Matthews, who is on the scene. Not long ago, a sanitation truck rolled by and the crowd went crazy with cheers and screams.
The driver played along, with a bit of a royal wave.
Paisley Dodds, AP's chief of bureau in London, is taking a moment to think about hats. Here's a preview of her story.
Floppy, feathered, flouncy and expensive — hats were in full force Friday with guests lining up outside of Westminster Abbey for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.
Some looked like dinner plates. Others were so large they covered faces. One woman wore a bright red fascinator that resembled a flame licking her cheek.
ABBEY ARRIVALS: Soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria — aka Posh Spice — arrive for royal wedding.
AP's Rich Matthews has spotted a hint of American-style royalty in London: paper crowns, being handed out by Burger King. A Whopper, your majesty?
We know about kings and queens, princes and princesses. But a lot of royal titles have been bandied about today. Which one's more important than which?
Here's a rundown of some of the other key titles, from the highest level of seniority to the lowest: duke, marquess, earl, viscount, baron.
Along the wedding procession route on the Mall, AP's Fergus Bell talked to Alison Burtt, who used to work for Coutts Bank — and who says she opened a 16-year-old Princess Diana's first bank account.
"We're royalists. We couldn't come and do this when the kids were small, so we are doing it now," she said. "Working for the royal bank, you kind of have to be a royalist."
And for the uninitiated in all things London: The Mall isn't pronounced the way many might think. Say the name Al, but put an M in front of it.
ABBEY ARRIVALS: Chelsy Davy, Prince Harry's on-again, off-again girlfriend, has arrived at Westminster Abbey. Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe also shows up.
Just spotted on the TV coverage: a man in the crowd wearing tails and a formal plaid pants and vest. Are you wearing your plaid ensemble?
AP's Cassandra Vinograd — CassVinograd on Twitter — tweets from just outside Westminster Abbey: One downside of (hash tag)royalwedding mania? Getting around London! Tube packed with flag-waving, tiara-wearing folk.
AP's Caryn Rousseau in Chicago will be reporting Friday on royal wedding festivities in the U.S. Here's some of what she says is planned:
— Full English breakfasts and British-themed parties are planned all around the country.
— Colbie Caillat will be singing at a live viewing party in New York's Times Square.
— At Walt Disney World in Florida, about 250 guests have been invited to wear prince and princess attire.
— Various restaurants and bars are hanging Union Jack bunting and hosting watch parties. Royally themed drinks will include "The Windsor Knot" and "The Bitter Queen."
— Of course, many others will gather in private homes in the states. Expect lots of scones and cucumber sandwiches.
Jennie Bond, one of Britain's foremost experts on the royal family — and a consultant for The Associated Press this wedding day — said there was a hint that Prince William was going to be named the Duke of Cambridge.
"The queen went to visit Cambridge the day before yesterday so a lot of people thought that was how it was going to be."
Bond called the title "a personal gift from the queen, a mark of her esteem for her grandson."
BREAKING: Royal wedding guests have begun entering Westminster Abbey.
It's titles aplenty for Prince William. The queen has named him the Duke of Cambridge, the Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.
Big news on wedding garb! Well, small news. It's not about the dress.
Prince William will be wearing the scarlet tunic of an Irish Guards officer, AP's Gregory Katz reported Friday. Royal experts are saying his choice of ceremonial military dress signals his desire to reinforce his image as a dedicated military man, rather than the club-hopping party boy he was once characterized as.
BREAKING: Buckingham Palace says Prince William and Kate Middleton will receive the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Some headlines from the British newspapers:
— The Times of London: "To marry her prince"
— Daily Mirror: "Happiest day of our lives"
— The Guardian: "Two people will marry today — with 2 billion people watching"
— Daily Express: "Today William and Kate invite the nation to ... celebrate our happy day"
— The Sun: "Mum would be so proud"
— Daily Mail: "Smile that says the waiting's over"
— Financial Times: "Hand in marriage: Farewell to single life"
— The Independent: (Under several wedding-related photos) "Not interested in the Royal Wedding? Turn now to page 6"
AP's Jonathan Shenfield and Andrea Foa are working the crowds on the streets of London. Here's some of what people are saying near Buckingham Palace and along the Mall.
— Ingen Elise Kolste, consultant from Norway: "I love them. I think they are very good. When I saw William shaking hands with all of the people, he seems so like his mother and this is a good thing to be."
— Julie Lischer, visiting from Atlanta: "We have celebrities. Hollywood, that is kind of our royal family and it is not the same and we are just so happy for Will and Kate and having followed them from growing up, it's just very exciting."
— Anna Jones, who works in a shop in Straffordshire, England: "We are so excited to be here — we think we got one of the best spaces."
Forget about the dress (for now). Let's start with accessories:
Kate's wedding ring was made out of Welsh gold by the Wartski company, which has long ties to the royal family.
AP's Gregory Katz reports that Welsh gold, which is valued for its quality and scarcity, has been used in royal weddings since 1923. It has been worn by Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the late Princess Diana.
As you may have heard by now, that's the only ring in the ceremony — William has decided not to wear one. At least he'll never have to worry about losing it.
A 1902 State Landau — one of the royal carriages — will be carrying William and Kate from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, the palace said Friday morning. That means they'll have the top down — actually, it doesn't have a top — so they may catch a raindrop or two if the weather turns south.
Is it too early to talk about beer? Not on royal wedding day. AP's Fergus Bell, who's roaming Trafalgar Square, says he saw people wheeling crates of beer to the bar tent.
Cheers, wedding watchers.
It's cool and cloudy in London at the moment, but the Met Office, Britain's national weather service, says there will be "sunny spells developing." But scattered showers are possible, so if you're in town, bring your brolly. (For the uninitiated, that's an umbrella in these parts.)