Ten years ago this week, a blushing and beautiful Kate Middleton swept serenely down the aisle of a hushed Westminster Abbey to marry her waiting prince.
And after being shaken by recent sad events, Kate and William reaching their milestone anniversary gives the royal family some much-needed cause for cheer.
Former royal editor Duncan Larcombe, one of the 1,900 guests at the 2011 ceremony, says of the special day, “I saw William arrive and I could feel his nerves. He was as pale as a ghost.
“Best man Harry whisked him off to a side room right next to me for about 10 minutes. It was the brothers at their very best – I don’t think William could have got through it without Harry.
“Harry had a huge smile on his face. In an affectionate way, he loved that his brother was petrified.
“We were all frisked and had our bags checked. Everywhere you turned, there was security. The first 100 people in line to the throne were in that one building, so security was vital.
“I had Chelsy Davy [Harry’s then girlfriend] sat near me, David Cameron, Tony Blair and the Sultan of Brunei. Nobody was interested in each other though. It was all about William and Kate.
“After Her Majesty took her seat, it went totally silent. We listened to the erupting cheers outside as Kate arrived. It still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up thinking about it.”
Royal brides traditionally wear their hair up but Kate wanted a “wavy and loose” look. Diplomatically, she compromised with a half-up, half-down style.
For the evening do, when she did go for the loose look, William helped stylist Richard Ward carry a 500-year-old mirror to show Kate the back of her head.
“He took one end and I’ve got the other and we’re shuffling along,” said Richard. “He’s great!”
Kate did her own make-up, having had lessons from Votary co-founder Arabella Preston.
Kate’s first choice of headwear was a rather untraditional flower crown. However, she eventually settled on wearing the Cartier Halo Tiara with her Alexander McQueen gown.
Featuring 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette diamonds, it was on loan from the Queen – who was gifted it on her 18th birthday.
The junior bridesmaids and flower girls did wear flower crowns, which were modelled on the one Kate’s mum Carole Middleton wore as a bride in 1981.
X Factor guaranteed
The X Factor stage manager Diccon Ramsay managed the production on the big day and gave Kate the signal to walk down the aisle.
There were cameras discreetly placed around the Abbey, while the bright lights installed meant William and Harry wore built-in sweat guards to avoid unsightly patches around their armpits.
The newlyweds travelled to Buckingham Palace in the State Landau, which transported Charles and Diana after their 1981 wedding.
According to a lip-reader, the Queen disagreed with the choice, telling the Duke of Edinburgh, “I wanted them to take the smaller carriage.”
However, she also remarked the wedding “was excellent”.
Best man and fall guy…
William spent his last night as a single man with Harry at Clarence House. But first, the pair enjoyed a drink at the nearby Goring Hotel.
When Harry finally left at 3am, he jumped off one of the balconies and hurt his ankle, leaving him limping at the wedding.
William only got half an hour’s sleep – but due to nerves rather than partying.
A cheeky speech
Harry’s girlfriend Chelsy reportedly made him cut a line in his speech about Kate’s “killer legs” to avoid embarrassment.
Wearing a fez, he said William didn’t have “a romantic bone in his body” until he met Kate – and did an impression of him calling her “Babykins”.
The speech was a hit, with Kate weeping.
Sweet William kept Kate in the dark about the honeymoon destination, surprising her with two weeks at a private villa in the Seychelles.
They broke tradition by opting to stay at Buckingham Palace on their wedding night rather than heading off immediately.
After the reception they headed to Clarence House in Charles’s Aston Martin.
It was decorated with balloons, ribbons and a “JU5T WED” plate. The drive didn’t have the best start as William forgot to release the handbrake!
Lots of dough
There were two wedding cakes – a traditional fruitcake that cost £57,000 and William’s personally requested chocolate cake.
Kate’s Alexander McQueen dresses cost £310,000, while floristry costs came in just under £1million.
The majority of the budget went on the huge security operation required for the day – which cost £27million.
Charles on song
Prince Charles selected the music for the service.
“I love trying to organise some interesting, I hope, pieces of music for certain occasions…particularly weddings,” he later explained.
“I know my eldest son was understanding and perfectly happy for me to suggest a few pieces for their wedding.”
You’re the one that one wants
Kate wore a second Alexander McQueen dress for the evening do hosted by Charles at the Palace – where she and William danced to Grease classic You’re The One That I Want.
“Everyone was cheering wildly,” said one guest.
The first dance to Ellie Goulding’s rendition of Elton John’s Your Song lasted 30 seconds after William reportedly asked her to switch to a faster number.