Kate Middleton and Prince William at friend's wedding

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Media captionThe royal couple will celebrate their wedding on 29 April

The nation is eager to see her big white dress, but Kate Middleton chose a little black one for a friend's wedding this weekend.

Prince William, 28, and his future bride attended the wedding of Harry Aubrey-Fletcher and Louise Stourton in Aldborough, North Yorkshire.

Miss Middleton - who turns 29 on Sunday - wore a black velvet coat, black dress and black pill box hat.

The royal couple will tie the knot themselves on 29 April.

William was an usher for Mr Aubrey-Fletcher, who is said to be one of his oldest friends and a fellow former pupil at Eton.

Prince Harry and Princess Beatrice were also among the guests.

The groom and ushers had a pre-wedding lunch at the Ship Inn close to the church.

Many of the guests arrived in a vintage double-decker bus which then took them from the church to the reception at Allerton Park, near Harrogate.

Members of the public and some photographers were in the village to see William and Kate, who arrived separately.

Image caption William and Kate revealed more details of their own wedding plans this week

As he said hello to those gathered, the prince joked: "It's not my wedding yet!"

Clarence House said Miss Middleton would be celebrating her birthday "privately".

Carriage ride

More details of William and Kate's wedding day plans were recently released by St James's Palace.

The service will begin at 1100 BST at Westminster Abbey and they will be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Miss Middleton will travel to the abbey in a car - rather than a glass coach - but afterwards, the newly-weds will return to Buckingham Palace in a formal carriage procession.

A large reception will take place in the afternoon and in the evening there will be a smaller, private dinner followed by dancing.