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William and Kate marry in front of global audience

Prince William and Kate Middleton were married by the Archbishop of Canterbury, becoming the British monarchy's new fairytale couple. The event was watched live by millions of TV viewers.

Prince William and Kate Middleton kiss

After a decade together, the couple wed on Friday

Second-in-line heir to the English throne Prince William married Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday in a ceremony that attracted a worldwide television audience.

The couple appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to exchange kisses to the cheers of the thousands of people who had gathered in celebration.

William and Kate exchanged vows in front of a congregation of 1,900, before William put a Welsh gold ring on his new bride's finger. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams pronounced them man and wife. The couple then signed the wedding register in private in the Chapel of St. Edward the Confessor.

The newlyweds left the abbey in a 1902 open-topped state landau carriage, heading towards Buckingham Palace for a reception for 650 people, followed by a dinner and disco in the evening for some 300 guests. Crowds cheered the carriage along the route.

Kate and William kneel at the altar during their wedding service

Kate and William knelt at the altar during the service

Queen Elizabeth, other royals, David and Victoria Beckham, the footballer-pop star couple, singer Elton John and Prime Minister David Cameron were among famous guests.

They joined 50 heads of state as well as charity workers and war veterans who know the prince from his military training.

An estimated 1 million people packed the streets of London, while an estimated 2 billion more watched on television and online across the globe.

The long-awaited dress

Kate's ivory and lace wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton, creative director at the fashion house Alexander McQueen.

The identity of the designer had previously been a closely guarded secret.

"Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen's work," palace officials said in a statement. "Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress."

Middleton entering the church

The bride's dress was long the subject of speculation

The dress was made of ivory and white satin gazar, with a 2.7-meter-long train and lace sleeves.

The bride also wore a tiara she borrowed from the Queen. She clutched a bouquet of white flowers that included sprays of Sweet William.

Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that William had been made the Duke of Cambridge on his wedding day by his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II. His new wife Kate becomes Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge.

Author: Joanna Impey (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

Editor: Sean Sinico

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