Talbot Church: Wills and Kate to practise balcony kiss

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The Independent Online

Palace insiders are expressing quiet satisfaction as the "fairy-tale engagement" of Prince William and his princess-to-be Kate Middleton draws to a close.There have been no gaffes of the Diana see-through dress variety. With the release of childhood pictures, the prince's fiancée has established herself in the heart of the British people as Caring Kate, a happy, modern girl who can empathise with ordinary people, having been bullied herself at her prep school.The greatest challenge, though, lies ahead. "The wedding itself is when iconic images are created," an equerry has revealed. "The Palace is very aware that the way the royal couple are perceived on their big day will set the agenda for the monarchy over the next few years."

So how will this royal wedding be different from previous ones?

* An ordinary guest list. As Lord Rees-Mogg put it this week: "A great virtue of the monarchy is that it does not belong to any particular set." So, on 29 April, Kate's friends from Mustique will mix with the pals made at Eton while Davina Duckworth-Chad of the Beaufort polo crowd will rub shoulders with rubber-faced comic Rowan Atkinson. The wedding will reflect classless Britain.

* No tiara. According to wedding consultants, tiaras suggest privilege. It has been reluctantly agreed that "Princess Ordinary" should go without on this occasion.

* A well-arranged family photograph. Because the formal photographic record of the royal wedding may last longer than the reputations of some key family members, the two "problem uncles", Prince Andrew and Gary "Sniff" Goldsmith, will be asked to stand at the end of each row so that, if necessary, they can be edited out at a future date.

* The kiss. A highlight of the wedding will be the moment when bride and groom kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. To avoid creating the wrong image – Princess Diana's lunging, bare-necked kiss was thought tobe too abandoned and sacrificial – the royal couple are to practise the most important kiss of their lives with a top photographer.

* No party but a "right royal knees-up". All references to the evening's celebration have included the phrase "knees-up", bringing back memories of the Queen Mother and her beloved cockneys.