Royal wedding: Couple opt for delayed honeymoon

Photo issued by Clarence House of the bride and groom with attendants
Image caption,
Clarence House has released the official wedding photographs

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have decided not to go on honeymoon immediately and are spending the weekend in the UK before the duke returns to work next week.

William and Catherine left Buckingham Palace by helicopter on Saturday for an undisclosed location.

They celebrated at the palace with 300 friends and family on Friday evening, after a larger lunchtime reception.

Meanwhile, Clarence House has released three official wedding photographs.

Privacy plea

The locations of the couple's UK weekend and their honeymoon - which will be overseas - will not be disclosed in advance.

The couple have asked that their privacy be respected during the coming days, and while on their honeymoon.

On Saturday morning, the couple emerged hand-in-hand from Buckingham Palace's garden entrance.

The pair, who had spent the night at the Queen's official London home, stopped briefly to chat to two Royal Household footmen before boarding the helicopter.

Prince William will go back to his job as an RAF search and rescue pilot next week. They live on Anglesey, but St James's Palace said they would not be spending the long weekend there.

'A little jaded'

The reception at the palace on Friday night, hosted by the Prince of Wales, is believed to have featured Prince Harry's best man speech and Michael Middleton's father-of-the-bride address.

The bride wore a white evening gown by Sarah Burton, who had also created her wedding dress, to the event.

Her sister Pippa changed for the party into a long emerald green sleeveless dress with a jewelled embellishment on the front and a plunging neckline.

Middleton family friend Tony Ainsworth said: "I hear everyone's talking about Pippa. She looked stunning. She's the most eligible girl in the country right now."

The duchess's family, along with some of their guests, stayed at the exclusive Goring hotel near the palace.

Mr Ainsworth, from Dorset, said outside the hotel that the wedding had been "an historic occasion".

"After the concerns of getting to the church on time, it all went smoothly.

"We had a party at the hotel last night that went on well into the evening, so we're feeling a little jaded this morning."

He said the bride's parents had made an appearance after attending the reception at Buckingham Palace.

'Wonderful time'

The official photographs of the wedding were released on Saturday, as the couple departed.

The pictures were taken in Buckingham Palace's throne room immediately after the bride and groom arrived from their marriage service at Westminster Abbey on Friday.

Three photos have been released, with one showing the couple alone, and a second that includes their bridesmaids and pageboys.

The final image adds the bride and groom's parents - the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Michael and Carole Middleton - along with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry, maid of honour Pippa, and the bride's brother James.

Society photographer Hugo Burnand, who took the official wedding photographs, said there was a "buzz" in the room when he took the images.

"Amazingly it was a family wedding. From where I was and from their point of view it was two families coming together and that was the feeling, the sense of family and love going between everyone."

"They had their own buzz. Everyone had their own buzz. It was that excitement that I hope you feel at most weddings."

The Middleton family left the Goring, which they had booked out entirely for the wedding preparations, on Saturday.

Mr Middleton told the gathered crowd: "We had a wonderful time."

An estimated one million well-wishers gathered in London for the wedding while more than 24m viewers in the UK watched the event on television according to industry body Barb. The BBC said at its peak some 20m had tuned into its coverage of the wedding.

The service at the abbey was attended by 1,900 guests and ran smoothly, aside from a brief struggle to place the wedding ring on the bride's finger.

Later on Saturday, in keeping with a royal tradition begun by the Queen Mother, the bridal bouquet was left on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

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