Prince William and Kate Middleton set date

Prince William and Kate Middleton named the day today - Friday, April 29, next year at Westminster Abbey.



And millions of workers will be able to celebrate the big occasion after Downing Street announced it would be a public holiday.



St James's Palace said the wedding - including the costs of the church service, music, flowers, decorations reception and honeymoon - would be paid for by the Royal family and the Middleton family. The public will pay for associated costs like security.



Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, private secretary to Prince William, said the couple chose Westminster Abbey for its "staggering beauty", 1,000-year Royal history and intimacy despite its size.



He told reporters in a briefing at St James's Palace: "The venue has long associations with the Royal family - it is in many ways the Royal family's church - and of course with Prince William personally.



"For Miss Middleton, the associations she has with the Abbey are quite simply the same as any British person would have for such a glorious and holy place."



By coincidence April 29 is the feast of St Catherine of Siena.



Mr Lowther-Pinkerton said those planning the nuptials were very conscious of Britain's precarious finances.



"All parties involved in the wedding, not least Prince William and Miss Middleton, want to ensure that a balance is struck between an enjoyable day and the current economic situation," he said.



"To that end the Royal family and the Middleton family will pay for the wedding."



He said this move drew directly from the precedent set by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's wedding in 1947 and Charles and Diana's nuptials in 1981.



Mr Lowther-Pinkerton said William and Miss Middleton were "completely over the moon" about their engagement.



"I've never seen two happier people, which is absolutely fabulous to work in that sort of environment," he said.



"They're on Cloud Nine, like any other newly-engaged couple.



"They're now getting stuck into organising their wedding. They are very much in charge of the arrangements for the big day.



"They're giving us and the Household office very firm direction indeed."



Downing Street said the public holiday was agreed by the Cabinet this morning.



It will mean two long weekends in a row for many as the previous week is the Easter break and the Monday after the wedding is the first May bank holiday.



Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The wedding of Kate and William will be a happy and momentous occasion.



"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 costs of the wedding itself will be met by the Royal Household, with Government meeting any wider security or transport related costs."



William and Miss Middleton are "calling the shots" on the wedding plans but have a "rather large supporting cast" to put them into action, the Prince's private secretary said.



Mr Lowther-Pinkerton added: "We know that the world will be watching on April 29, and the couple are very very keen indeed that the spectacle should be a classic example of what Britain does best."



William has requested that as far as possible members of the armed forces involved in the wedding should be drawn from those already on ceremonial duties to ensure personnel are not taken off operations or training.



Mr Lowther-Pinkerton said: "Prince William and Catherine have made it very clear that they wish everybody to be able to enjoy the day with them.



"Consequently the day will be a proper celebration for the nation and the realms.



"Having said that, the couple are very mindful of the current situation, and for example Prince William has already expressed a clear wish that any involvement by the armed forces should rely in great part on those servicemen and women already committed to public and ceremonial duties."



The couple announced their engagement last week, nine years after meeting as students at St Andrew's University, sparking fevered speculation about where and when they would tie the knot.



Westminster Abbey was the favourite venue to host the wedding after Miss Middleton was photographed leaving the historic place of worship in central London last week.



Sadly, the abbey was also the venue of William's mother's funeral.



As a 15-year-old boy the Prince walked behind the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales as it was led to the imposing church in September 1997.



The French Gothic walls of the ancient church have welcomed kings and queens for more than 700 years and it is the final resting place of 17 monarchs.



Prince William's grandmother, the Queen, and great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, were both married at Westminster Abbey.



The first ceremony at the the Abbey saw William I crowned King on Christmas Day 1066, and the current Queen took her seat on the coronation chair in a televised ceremony in 1953.



Many Royal weddings have been held at the Abbey during the 20th century.



The Queen's parents, Prince Albert - later George VI - and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother, exchanged their vows there in April 1923.



And the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, later the Duke of Edinburgh, on November 20, 1947.



It was a morale boost in the tough post-war years and millions of people listened to the ceremony on the wireless.



But some other Royal weddings held at the Abbey have been less happy.



Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister, married Antony Armstrong-Jones, later Earl of Snowdon, at the church in May 1960. Their marriage was dissolved 18 years later.



The Princess Royal wed Captain Mark Phillips in November 1973. Their marriage was dissolved in April 1992.



The Duke of York walked down the Abbey's aisle with Sarah, the Duchess of York, when they were married in July 1986. The pair divorced 10 years later.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Direct Sales Consultants - OTE £65,000 - £100,000

£65000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national direct sales com...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Consultant - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Can you sell? Want to earn over...

Recruitment Genius: Partitioners / Carpenter / Multi Skilled Tradesmen / Decorator

£28000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Various opportunities are avail...

Recruitment Genius: Trade Marketing Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum