Royal Wedding Roundup: Guest List Confirmed, Beer Banned, Roses Planned


The Most Important Wedding Of Our Time is less than a week away, and the official guest list and seating plan have been confirmed. Not a lot of surprises among the 1,900 lucky invitees: Elton John, David Beckham and Posh Spice, Guy Ritchie, other royals from around the world (elected heads of state usually don’t get an invite). A couple unexpected choices in soul singer Joss Stone, who I literally forgot about for the past five years until this very moment, and Mr. Bean, who is reportedly a close personal friend of Prince Charles.

The question on everyone’s mind (right?): How and where will these people be seated?!

Let’s take a quick gander at the seating plans. The Telegraph has an excellent infographic of Westminster Abbey’s layout and who will sit where (they also go really in-depth into exactly who will be sitting with whom, if you’d like to nerd out for a while). Some takeaways:

  • The Middletons will be sitting in the front row of the North Lantern, which is the same thing as the north transept? Anyway, they’re being seated with the Spencer family, a.k.a. Diana’s family. A lot of loaded symbolic things going on here.
  • On the South side of the church across from the Middletons et al., we’ve got the royals. Here’s the order: Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince Harry. Behind them will sit foreign royals in town for the nuptials.
  • Celebrities and other random dignitary-types are banished to the peanut gallery (the nave). Thus, Prince Charles won’t get to sit next to his bosom buddy Mr. Bean.
  • “All royal wedding rings since 1923 have been fashioned from a single nugget of Welsh gold given to the Royal family for the wedding of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, to the future King George VI.” Hmmm! What happens when the nugget runs out?
  • Three religious leaders preside over the ceremony. The Dean of Westminster conducts the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury marries the couple, and the Bishop of London will “give the address,” whatever that turns out to be.

Here’s Sky News’ graphic, which isn’t as excellent as the Telegraph‘s but will conveniently fit the size of this blog:

Moving on.

Here’s an important point: what will they be drinking at the reception? This has come up before, but only now are we beginning to get some hard data. The Daily Mail reports that beer will not be served, because everyone planning the wedding is a bunch of snobs. Party-hardy Prince Harry will have to “make do” with “champagne and canapés.”

The team of caterers has prepared 15,000 canapes for when guests arrive at the Palace at 12.40pm including quail’s eggs with celery salt, mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and mini sausage rolls.

A select 300 people will then sit down to a three-course evening meal using the best of British ingredients.

The canapés sound gross and alarmingly proletarian. “Mini sausage rolls”? You would think the House of Windsor could spring for something better than pigs-in-blankets.

A lesson in how to construct a news story out of information that does not resemble news (BREAKING, DEVELOPING): Kate Middleton will probably have roses in her bouquet. There are a number of rose breeds (…types?) named after royals, like the “Royal William” or the “Queen Elizabeth.” Oddly, there’s even one named after Camilla Parker-Bowles. And of course there are Kate Middleton namesake roses now too, like the imaginatively-named “Kate.”

Finally, if you feel like reading over 3,000 words on the royal wedding today, here is a good place to do that.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 23, 2011


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