While many of us dream of being in a royal wedding, most of us would happily settle for being an invited guest at one. Duncan Larcombe actually knows what it’s like to be a guest at a royal fete. As the former royal editor of British paper The Sun and current unofficial biographer of Prince Harry, Larcombe was one of a handful of journalists invited to attend the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011. He was one of over 1,000 guests sitting in the pews at Westminster Abbey, watching as Kate walked down the aisle to marry the heir to the throne of England.
As rumors of another royal engagement—and another royal wedding—swirl around the press, thanks to Prince Harry’s ongoing romance with actress Meghan Markle, Larcombe sat down with Elle UK to talk about what it’s like to be a guest at such an event. Turns out that being a royal wedding guest is just as fabulous and we all imagined.
Larcombe told Elle UK that attending William and Kate’s wedding was “one of the most incredible experiences of [his] life.” He described the event as “watching history unfold in front of [his] eyes.” Magical, right?
However, according to Larcombe, being a royal means giving up a great deal of control over the wedding ceremony, the seating arrangements, and the guest list. Instead, the ceremony involved a great deal of protocol, customs that went back centuries, and a guest list that included foreign diplomats, royal scions, and parliamentary bigwigs and only a few people who actually knew the bride and groom personally. After all, as Larcombe pointed out, it was “a day that really wasn't their’s, it was everybody’s.”
Despite the challenges of taking part in a very official and very public ceremony, Larcombe says that William and Kate tried to make the wedding feel personal, adding “little touches” that were important to them. As for the guests, Larcombe said everyone—journalist or world famous celebrity or Sultan of Brunei—all arrived early and sat around waiting for the ceremony to begin. The only person who didn’t have to wait was Queen Elizabeth who is always the second-to-last person to arrive after the bride, according to Larcombe.
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When everyone was seated (on folding chairs!), Larcombe said the entire room fell completely silent when Kate entered the room. “You can't compare it to any other wedding,” said Larcombe. Want to experience a royal wedding for yourself? The only thing to do is become close friends with Prince William ASAP.