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Echoes of Diana in royal wedding music

Thursday 28 April 2011 00:00 BST

Echoes from Princess Diana's wedding and funeral will be present in her son Prince William's marriage ceremony, the official schedule released Thursday showed.

Music played at Diana's 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, and at her funeral in 1997 will be included at Westminster Abbey when their son ties the knot with his fiancee Kate Middleton on Friday.

The ceremony also contains music from Charles's second marriage to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005.

Charles helped Middleton to choose the music by listening to tunes on iPods, a spokesman for William's St James's Palace household said.

"Catherine is very familiar with classical music. She had a lot of input from the Prince of Wales. They spent a a lot of time listening to the music together on iPods," he said.

"The theme of the whole wedding is Britishness, accentuating traditional forms and crafts.

"A lot of these pieces have been chosen for their theatre.

"They are stunning pieces of music that fill the abbey and give a sense of grandeur to the occasion."

Middleton will walk up the aisle to The Introit, from the Latin meaning entrance, which was used as The Anthem at 1981.

Other links to Charles and Diana's wedding include Edward Elgar's "Sonata for Organ Opus 28", William Walton's "Crown Imperial" and Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Rhosymedre".

The first hymn may have bittersweet memories for the prince - the congregation will sing "Guide me, O thou great redeemer", which was the last hymn sung at Diana's funeral 14 years ago.

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It was also sung at the memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of her death.

The song is effectively a Welsh national hymn and is often sung at rugby internationals.

Prince William of Wales, to give him his full title, is the vice-royal patron of the Welsh Rugby Union.

Alongside the links to Diana's wedding and funeral, the service will also bear elements from the wedding of Charles and Camilla.

Three of the seven pieces of orchestral music played before the service were also performed at the service of prayer and dedication following their civil wedding in 2005.

"The couple specifically chose these pieces for that reason," the St James's Palace spokesman said.

They are "Farewell to Stromness" by Peter Maxwell Davies, "Touch Her Soft Lips and Part" from William Walton's "Henry V Suite", and finally "Romance for String Orchestra Opus 11" by Gerald Finzi.

The hymn "Love divine, all loves excelling" also featured at the 2005 service.

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