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The Royal Wedding: Setting the Stage; Guests Begin Arriving at Westminster Abbey

Aired April 29, 2011 - 03:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The stage is now set for the royal event of the century. Everything is in place at Westminster Abbey. We've just got the guests to arrive and, of course, the couple themselves. We are here to witness the wedding of William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton.

Right now, the crowds are gathering at Buckingham Palace, also a central location in all the pageantry. That's where reception the festivities will be held after the ceremony. And for those not able to attend, the adoring fans and royal watchers, they're expected in the hundreds of thousands in London's parks, all to watch the grand event on giant screens.


QUEST: Hello and good morning. It is just 8:00 on Friday, the 29th of April, and we are here for part of CNN's continuing coverage of the royal wedding. I'm Richard Quest.

It is the wedding not of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton but of the duke and duchess of Cambridge, because that is the title granted by her majesty the queen that's just been announced. They are to accept a title as part of their wedding celebrations. The married couple, the duke and duchess, will be married here in just three hours from now.

We're getting closer to the moment everyone has been waiting for. In 15 minutes' time, the north door opens at Westminster Abbey and guests begin taking their seats.

Now, don't worry. Your invitation was not lost in the mail because as you can see, when the big guests arrive, the royalty and members of the wedding party arrive, you have a front row seat right here at Westminster Abbey. We will be showing you exactly what has been happening and the people arriving. The royal marriage service begins and that begins the marriage of not only royal couple but a celebration, the carriage procession from abbey to Buckingham palace where the wedding receptions will be held.

Everyone has been trying to keep up with the royal's whereabouts. Last night, Prince William was out greeting the crowds of fans on the Mall. This is what it was like. It was a real bon fighter jamboree as he came out to talk to people. He said he wasn't particularly nervous. We also caught a glimpse of Kate as she arrived with her family at the Goring Hotel. That was last night. Kate is still at the Goring now, getting ready with her parents and her maid of honor, sister Philippa Middleton. We know where the bride is.

The queen is at the palace waiting to witness the marriage of her famous grandson. And Prince William himself is at Clarence House getting ready with his brother, Prince Harry, the best man. So, we know where the actors are. We know where the stage is. We even know because I have it right here the script of the play.

Let's find out what's happening in our various places as our coverage begins.

To Goring, where Kate spent her last night of singledom.

Nina dos Santos is there and she joins me now -- Nina.


Well, Kate Middleton has been holed up in this suite, an $8,000 a night suite, aptly named the royal apartment at the Goring Hotel. She arrived about 5:00 p.m. local time yesterday, gave a warm greeting to the crowds, gave an opportunity for photographers to take a picture of him. Beautiful photo, I might add, waving to the crowds and we haven't seen anything since.

But we have seen is about three buses arriving to come and take guests to the ceremony. Of course, the guests will have to leave here in about 20 minutes or so because they've got to be getting into the abbey before, of course, all the foreign dignitaries, the prime minister, and also the members of the royal family themselves.

The atmosphere here is, of course, electric. We've got people right across the street waving flags from New Zealand to the Union Jack, of course, you see, that right across the city of London. And, of course, we're all waiting for a glimpse of the bride. It seems as though we may not have much a chance to because as you should be able to see behind, there's a bit of an awning and the chances are we'll only see her dress when she gets to Westminster Abbey, Richard.

QUEST: Nina dos Santos who is at the Goring Hotel.

From there to Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, we're covering all the hot spots and we got the correspondents on the route that William and Kate will be taking their horse-drawn carriage, the State Landau.

We believe it is not raining. Buckingham Palace, the excitement grows and the crowd is there. This is where the couple will arrive after the ceremony and they will then party into the night with loved ones and family.

Becky Anderson -- good morning, Becky -- outside Buckingham Palace with the royal watchers. BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The excitement is palpable here. A sea of people as far as the eye can see.

Just swing around, Scott, and show the viewers what we are seeing here. It's, what, three hours to go before the big event. Some of us, they haven't quite woken up. The little one down here still asleep but I assume by the time the activity really gets going in about 2 1/2 hours' time, that little one would have woken up and will be really enjoying the day.

We have arranged security. Here we got one of the British policeman, above us here is the studios that we'll be using as we move through the day.

Let me talk to some of the people that we've found here.

Girls, where are you from?




CROWD: We love you.

ANDERSON: From Wales?


ANDERSON: When did you get here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About two days ago, but about 6:00 this morning.

ANDERSON: You haven't been camping, have you?


ANDERSON: What are you excited about most?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, just everything, the atmosphere, everything. It's just lovely. It is. It's really nice.

ANDERSON: Great. Well, I hope you enjoy the day.

We're certainly going to enjoy the day here at Buckingham palace. Richard, I know you're going to enjoy it up at the abbey. I expect to see you down here at some point during the day. Back to you, my love.

QUEST: Becky, where is your hat? Where's your big hat?

ANDERSON: Oh, my fascinator. Oh, I don't know. Where did I leave it? I'll put it on for the next one.

QUEST: Put it on, absolutely, make sure to be properly dressed if we're going to meet the duke and duchess of Cambridge.

Just to remind you. It's just been announced about 10 minutes ago that will be the title that has been granted by her majesty, the queen, to Prince William and Kate Middleton. They will back -- she will become Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, that's a mouth full, perhaps.

Monita Rajpal is on the processional route. Hopefully, Monita is properly dressed maybe with a big hat for the occasion.

MONITA RAJPAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I left the hat at home, Richard. Unfortunately, no fascinators but there are lots of fascinators and lovely hats here along Whitehall. As soon as the clock struck 8:00 here, you could feel the anticipation level jump right up. There have been speakers line up all across, all along Whitehall and you can hear the organ from the abbey as well that choirs practicing and singing. It's just amazing feeling here.

Now, we call this perhaps the midpoint from where the Mall and from where the cars and procession will come, you know, back and from the abbey as well. This is -- they'll come in through the guards arch, through here, and then go down around Whitehall. And then once they're done, when wedding over, they'll come back this way, we'll see five horse-drawn carriages on the way back from Westminster Abbey on to Buckingham Palace -- Richard.

QUEST: Monita, many thanks, indeed.

OK. So, just a second or two ago, we've been hearing some organ music which tells me at 10 past the hour that the organ music will begin as the guests start arriving. A selection of several orchestral pieces and organ pieces will be played. We'll tell you about that in a moment.

Let's catch up with Kiran Chetry who is out in the park of London, at the viewing station at Hyde Park.

Good morning to you, Kiran, out with the big screens and enjoying the brisk morning air.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: I'll pull you in.

Richard. Hey there.

I wanted to tell you at Hyde Park, this place is hopping. This is going to be one of the biggest celebrations that are taking place right now, an outside party essentially where they're expecting 200,000 people to pack into the beautiful green space here in Hyde Park. We've got two humongous JumboTrons where they're broadcasting. And everybody here is excited.

I've got four lovely ladies with me.

You guys are definitely in the spirit. Come on over and say hello. It's a little chilly. Why did you guys want to come out and join this big party? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is great weather for England anyway.

CHETRY: I heard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wouldn't miss this for the world. We were really excited, really looking forward to it.

CHETRY: How come you decided to come to Hyde Park as opposed to other places that you could watch it today, along Whitehall or perhaps at the Mall?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wanted to be able to sit down and enjoy it and have a nice glass of champagne to celebrate. So, it's easier to do that in a beautiful setting like this rather than being on the street trying to fight with the crowds a bit more. So, yes, we wanted to relax and enjoy it.

CHETRY: How about you guys? You heard that Prince William came out yesterday to welcome the well wishers and say hello, an impromptu walk-about. How excited are you for the wedding of these two young people?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, very excited. It's just a historical occasion. I'm really excited to celebrate it. We've also got a double celebration today -- my friend's birthday.

CHETRY: I saw the balloons, as well. So, your birthday is forever going to be known as the biggest wedding of the century.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely, yes. Well, now, my husband -- my partner and I are getting married this year as well. We were both really excited that we'll forever known we got married on the same year as the future king and queen.

CHETRY: All right. Well, best wishes to you. Happy birthday and congratulations. Have a blast today, girls. Thanks so much.

So, a big, big party taking place here at Hyde Park. It's expected to swell, as I said, to 200,000.

We'll be here for every fun moment of it, Richard. Back to you.

QUEST: Indeed, we will and you will be there, as well. And we are grateful for that.

Now, how are you watching and enjoying this moment, because I need to know -- look, it is 10 past 8:00 in London. Ten past 3:00 on the eastern coast of the United States -- 10 past midnight over on the West, 3:00 in the afternoon over in Asia.

But you can tell me where you are watching right now. And where and what you are celebrating. Please do tweet me because I have the old tweet-o-rama, tweet-o-row (ph). And we'll have a conversation as morning moves on. It's @RichardQuest, use the #royal wedding and email at, will also do the trick. But let's hear what you're doing at the moment as we get ready to celebrate the marriage of the duke and duchess of Cambridge, the title that has been bestowed this morning of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton.

The doors are about to open. The abbey is open for business. We'll be back with the guests. This is CNN.


QUEST: Good morning, and a warm welcome to London, wherever you are watching us this morning. This is CNN's coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine, the new duke and duchess of Cambridge, as announced this morning.

I'm Richard Quest. And you are most welcome to our coverage this morning.

Just at about now, the north doors of this grand abbey have been opened and the royal wedding guests will start to arrive. From the vantage point over here, I can tell you there's no massive throng and thus of people to get in.

Let me tell you a bit about this magnificent abbey while we wait for, excuse me, the first guests. The abbey was first con consecrated in 1065. The first monarch to have been crowned here was William the Conqueror in 1066.

The interesting part about it is we can pretty much look at the abbey as being in three phases. What you're looking at there is the great west door of the abbey and it is through that part that was constructed by Henry III in the middle of the 13th century. That is where the queen, the heads of state, the prime ministers and commonwealth countries, members of the royal family, along with Prince William and Harry, will arrive in just 40 minutes or so before the ceremony itself.

In total, if you look at the abbey -- well, if you look at the abbey, there are some 18 monarchs that are buried in the abbey.

Interesting bit more of tidbits and trivia for you, there have been 19 royal weddings in the last 100 years at Westminster Abbey.

We are continuing to look and see and wait for those first guests. The music is now starting to play. We'll be playing "Fantasia in G" by Bach, "Veni Creator Spiritus," "Prelude on St. Columba" and "Sonata 4 Organ," that is the music we'll be playing as the guests arrive.

The route itself after the guests have arrived, the service has taken place. From there, the guests -- the royal couple will get into their State Landau, the 1902 State Landau. Since it is not wet today, we know they'll be using the open carriage which, of course, will be a huge benefit for those waiting to see them, the thousands -- the tens of thousands on the streets.

We are here. You are welcome. We have more along the route after the break.


QUEST: Welcome back to Westminster Abbey.

Before we get to Becky Anderson, Buckingham Palace, I promise you we will get to your tweets. And that is exactly what we will do.

Anna Grant (ph) says, "Watching from a comfortable sofa in downtown Chicago and loves the pageantry." Naz (ph) is watching from South Africa and so proud, took a day off from work for this. Tech tiger is wearing his tux for the occasion in San Francisco.

We are around the world, you are part of a global audience of 2 billion people watching us.

Sandarasina (ph) is watching in Colombia and joins us. And from Turkey, Mugabrick (ph) says watching this fabulous wedding.

As you can see, the red carpet is being polished.

Becky Anderson is at the Buckingham Palace.

Becky, I have never seen a red carpet swept, polished and clean like they are doing with that one over there.

ANDERSON: It is quite remarkable, isn't it? Absolutely.

Buckingham Palace behind me and the crowds here are quite remarkable. As I said before, a sea of people as far as the eye can see here outside of Buckingham Palace.

I have with me a very special guest. I'm surprised these guys behind me actually are making as much noise as they are because this is the head of the metropolitan police force, commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson.

I just want to get a sense, Richard -- of how things are going for you today because this is an enormous operation, isn't it?

PAUL STEPHENSON, COMMISSIONER, METROPOLITAN POLICE: Hi, Becky. And if I can make myself heard over the crowd -- yes, it's a big event, it's a huge event. But, you know, I and all the cops I'm speaking to feel privileged to be part of something special. We do this well, don't we?

ANDERSON: Yes, you do. Well, 5,000 of you out in the streets.

So, today, what are the biggest challenges you face?

STEPHENSON: Well, you know, what we've got to make sure is do our job, our job is to make sure we have the conditions of security so people can have the wonderful time they've come here for. And we're going to do it. Anybody who wants to come here to disturb (ph) it, our job is to make sure we prevent them.

ANDERSON: Are there any credible threat?

STEPHENSON: Well, you know, we don't discuss individual threats, but we prepared for all eventualities. Huge amount of planning with -- not by me, but by people working for me and assistant commissioner (INAUDIBLE) and Commander Bob Rogers, top professional team doing a good job.

ANDERSON: Talk me then through the planning, if you will -- just give me a sense of, you know, what's gone into it, what will be an enormous event to secure.

STEPHENSON: It's a huge amount of planning, working with all the various authorities to make sure we get it right because it is a special day. But all the various specialists, and then you've seen a lot, you've seen the mounted, the dogs, people doing sort of the (INAUDIBLE) -- people on security patrols, the method (ph) playing with all the teams here today.

ANDERSON: Yes. And some of them we don't see, of course. Some of them are obvious on the streets. The others we won't see.

STEPHENSON: I guess then they will be, Becky.

ANDERSON: What are you looking forward to most of the day.

STEPHENSON: I just think it's a rare privilege to be part of it. I've been in this job some 36 years but to be part of a special event like this where the police service that is -- I'm so proud of makes you feel really good about yourself.

ANDERSON: Good luck today. Let's hope everything goes according to plan and to clockwork, of course, which it will, given that it is Britain. Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, we thank you very much indeed.

As we close out, the music is starting. What an atmosphere down here. It is really quite remarkable.

Buckingham Palace looking its best. Take a little look round here. As you can see, this is the view in front of us. They're getting that balcony ready. They've raised the music. They're drowning me out.

How is that? Can you hear me?

QUEST: I can.


ANDERSON: What can I say? Richard?

QUEST: What it tells me, Becky, that we are hearing that organ music is that the doors are now open to the abbey.

This abbey that has seen 39 monarchs crowned over a thousand years. That has seen nine royal weddings in the last 100 years. The queen mother, the queen, the Princess Anne, the duke of York, all royal weddings that took place in this very establishment, and the first guests are starting to arrive.

What it also tells me is that this music is the London Chamber Orchestra. It is the choir of Westminster Abbey, along with the choir of the chapel royal.

Over the course of the morning, you will hear from two fanfare groups, from the fanfare troupe of the household cavalry, actually the state trumpeters of the household cavalry and fanfare of the central band of the RAF, and that's a particularly special one.

Where are you watching this morning? Tweet me and tell me where you are watching. Mimi is in Manila. Kennedy is in California. Starlights is in San Juanito (ph). And Yuhoni (ph) is in the Philippines.

Wherever you watching us the around the world, as you're part of the global community watching CNN's coverage of the royal wedding.


QUEST: Good morning to you. 8:30 on a Friday morning. Not just any old Friday, Friday, the 29th of April.

The duke and duchess of Cambridge, the title awarded -- granted this morning by Her Majesty the Queen to Prince William and his bride- to-be Catherine Middleton as was.

The guests are outside the Abbey. 1900 are waiting to come in proving that they are a modern monarchy and a modern thousand-year-old Abbey. The Abbey has just tweeted that they are open for business. And as you can see from the pictures, the gentlemen orderlies, the Abbey staff and the ushers in support from the Lord Chamberlain's Office there along with others to check people's credentials as they come in.

The mall is ready. Security is going to be a key important issue today.

Dan Rivers has that part of the story.

Dan, we don't like to think about these things on a day with happiness involved, but you know what it takes to keep the royal couple safe.

DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, the police are not taking any chances at all. As we heard, they've got 5,000 officers across the capital.

We're at one checkpoint that's actually manned by a private security company. What they're doing here in the entrance to Trafalgar Square is taking any glass, bottles or alcohol off people or banners in fact before they go in.

Let's have a quick word with this gentleman, Adam. Have you ever been a part of something this big before?

ADAM, PRIVATE SECURITY PERSONNEL: No, I'd say like fast and biggest probably -- like, you know, as quite big. But no --

RIVERS: Nothing -- but nothing like this. And so what are you doing here? You're searching bags? What else?

ADAM: Yes. Just glass, pretty much bottles. Anything really. Sharp objects, things like that, just checking it and taking them before they go in like --

RIVERS: Making sure no one can do anything beyond the point. Everything is secure and safe?

ADAM: Yes. I said -- yes. The color (ph) boys on the back stop them from going through if we miss anything. That should be it. It should be a safe day.

RIVERS: OK. Well, hopefully everyone will have a fantastic day.

QUEST: Dan, I'm going to interrupt you there. Dan, I'm going to interrupt you. Forgive me because the crowds are now starting to arrive and they are entering the Abbey.

As you can see, they are all pretty much following the -- following the advice on the invitation. They're wearing morning suit, lounge suit or uniforms. This is the great north door that you're looking at and I'm going to squint forward if we -- if we go and see these pictures, because -- so I can see who is actually walking in at the moment.

What we're getting is the congregation pretty much fall into three distinct areas. There are friends of the couple, there are those who have to be invited for the purposes of a royal event and, of course, there are the royal families themselves.

Think of the invitations in that form and you won't go far.

Max Foster is at the Goring Hotel where Kate Middleton will leave shortly or in a couple of hours' time.

Max, what is the -- I was to say the environment and the scene but it must be quite exciting.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Well, the starting gun has started, I think we can say. Three mini buses lined up outside the hotel. Lots of people going into the hotel. Coming out in hats and clearly wedding garb.

They're in those buses at the moment. The security gate has been prepared to open up. We've got the outriders there so all the Middleton related guests are getting together in those buses ready to go.

One can only imagine what's going through Catherine's mind but over the morning you'll get to the point where there's less and less people within the hotel. Finally Pippa will leave and the bridesmaids and the page boys and then in the hotel literally it will be Catherine and her father.

Imagine the sense or feeling in that room when they're there for those few minutes, and then they'll drive on their own.

Most of the guests are coming through, Richard, in the open, but that big awning that you see there in the white. That's for Catherine specifically. You'll see Rolls-Royce One come up outside there right up against it so she can't be seen at all when she gets into the car but we're going to get a really good view. Because when she comes up the road we're going to see her.

And as you know, Richard, Rolls-Royce One is the one you know very well. It's got that big glass back, hasn't it? So we're going to see straight in.

QUEST: Max Foster indeed at the Goring Hotel.

While Max is there in splendid isolation at the Goring, we've been watching guests arriving. We've seen Lord Hurd, Lord Douglas Hurd, the former foreign secretary arriving at the Abbey.

These are friends of William and Kate who are now arriving. It's often called the Glossy Posse because of Gloucestershire where they are from. And the officers in red are of course members of the British military from -- some from the House of Cavalry, from various regiments of the foot guards, the Coldstream, the Grenadiers, and others. All of whom are entrenched with seeing guests, the Gentlemen Ushers seeing the guests to their seats.

To give you a breakdown, 50 members of the royal family, 40 members of foreign royal families, and about 60 governors generals from countries where you are, of course, from.

The guests are arriving and they are coming now thick and fast. They've been told to get here between 8:15 and 9:45. We will show you more of those arrivals and pick out those that you'll want to see after the break.


QUEST: The guests arriving at Westminster Abbey, we've seen members of the British government and some that we're certainly seeing representatives of the Prince William's charities arriving.

The guests fall into friends, family, those who have to be there like diplomats and, of course, the -- those who are family of the bride and groom, and they will sit -- this is a -- this is a rough seating plan, believe me. They have a slightly more sophisticated chart of where they sit.

But basically it is William and the royals on one side, Middletons and the Spencers on the other side and that's in the middle from the sanctuary by St. Edward the Confessor's Shrine. Think of that as being the center point by the Cosmati pavement and then walk back towards the great west door and you have the general congregation.

You are not alone watching this morning. Alphadetti (ph) is in Doha. Lucy Ann (ph) is in New York. Yola Baby (ph) is in Dubai. Regav (ph) is in Las Vegas. You are all watching coverage on CNN and Becky Anderson is with us over at Buckingham Palace.

Good morning, Becky.


Yes, a sea of people here now. It's very difficult to move around. Buckingham Palace just behind me.

Well done, mate. You're on television today.

Buckingham Palace behind me. Just swing around, Scotty, you can actually see where the media center is here, as well.

What a setup. What anticipation. I've got Charlie Jacoby with me. He's a royal watcher and writer. We've been building up to this for weeks now and the moment has arrived. It's quite phenomenal, isn't it?

CHARLIE JACOBY, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: We have. It's like -- every theater to look for their mice and their pumpkins turn to glass. It's a perfect story now. And I love it.

ANDERSON: There will be a lot of activities behind us over there. Just walk us through what you expect is happening now in Buckingham Palace.

JACOBY: Behind that great big fortress stone facade, well, we're old crowded in here. They've got a little more room to move. They don't run in there, they glide at great speed. They were crowded in here. They'll be just putting the finishing touches. We've seen the (INAUDIBLE) in the balcony there. They've been putting the carpet (INAUDIBLE) the top and getting everything absolutely ready, and of course setting up for the photograph which is in that room just behind the balcony.

ANDERSON: Yes. And you really wouldn't want to be that photographer. He's got an hour between 12:30 London Time and 1:25 when we'll see what we hope will be the kiss on the balcony.

And he's got to get all those photos sorted in that time. What a job.

JACOBY: He's going to need a football rattle, some kind of banger, or something. He's got to get the crown heads to look around at the right moment, hasn't he? And then they're going to -- yes, we've got to get a kiss. We've got to. ANDERSON: Yes. Last night, the crowds were so pleased to see Prince William out and about on the mall just up from us. Were you surprised to see him out last night?

JACOBY: No, because that's what he does so well. His mother's boy. He's able to reach out to people and hold their hands in a way his mother did and perhaps in a way his father isn't capable of doing.

ANDERSON: Yes. And Camilla, of course, yesterday, (INAUDIBLE), perfectly happy to do it. She was out and about of course in the crowds last night. What are you looking forward to mostly?

JACOBY: Today, personally, I thought the music is going to be amazing. We heard just a moment ago they started playing "Send Off the Priest." Lovely big number and the song came out at the same time. I think that's -- that is going to color the whole day for me.

ANDERSON: Yes. And the weather is holding out.


ANDERSON: And we were expecting rain, just saw the sun come out behind us so we're crossing our fingers of course that everything will go to plan.

When I talk about it going to plan this is by military precision today, isn't it?

JACOBY: It's second by second and the actual schedule they've got in front of them. But I would say that 1981 was even more heavily planned than this. It was a bigger affair. There were 3,000 people in St. Paul's Cathedral compared to nearly 2,000 in Westminster Abbey. I mean there you had 10 seconds to do this, 12 seconds to do that. Here you've got room of up to five seconds.

ANDERSON: That's ridiculous, isn't it? We know that Kate will eventually leave from the Goring Hotel which -- let me tell you is just over there. And the route we know is already planned. She'll be the last to get to the -- to Westminster Abbey and then, of course, the ceremony begins.

Just walk our viewers through that, if you will.

JACOBY: Well, now you'll have everybody there. The royal family will be the last people to arrive in Westminster Abbey. They'll take up their positions and you will have Michael and Catherine Middleton arriving and they will -- first thing of course we're going to see the dress. That is absolutely crucial.

And when we recover from that shot we'll see her go up into the Abbey, walk up that incredibly long aisle. I think they've got 3 1/2 minutes to get all the way to the top. A lot lovely music, my favorite (INAUDIBLE). And Prince William will be waiting there.

Don't forget she said to the hairstylist, whatever happens, he's got to recognize me, she said. (LAUGHTER)

ANDERSON: So whether she has flowers or some say small sprigs of tree in her hair because she does love the trees, he will recognize her, of course. It's going to be an absolutely tremendous day. It's a fairy tale, isn't it?

JACOBY: It's absolutely a fairy tale, it's a pantomime. There's a funny Second World War spit here that's keeping periscopes with blighty written down there. So that's another word we haven't heard from since 1945.


ANDERSON: And you got that sort of battlefield (ph) spirit down here today.

Listen, it is -- as I said the excitement is palpable. We're going to keep saying that. The noise -- it goes up and down, and up and down. Let's get a bit of noise from --


ANDERSON: From those around me. Richard, it's going to be a great day. Back to you.

QUEST: It's not many people who can drown out the dulcet tones of my good friend Becky Anderson. But thankfully the sound of the crowd outside Buckingham Palace. And it contrasts magnificently with the silence within the Abbey.

And we need to enjoy these pictures. The site of, of course, the trees taken from Great Windsor Park to make within the Abbey a festival of garden. The hats, the fascinators, the morning suits, and the buses are now starting to leave the Goring Hotel.

The people on those buses are the Middletons' extended family. It's the Middleton's extended family, and, of course, friends who have stayed there overnight. And the actual of course main wedding party from there, Michael Middleton, James Middleton, will all be leaving in a long while to come.

We will have a very short break and be back at Westminster Abbey. This is CNN. Good morning to you.


QUEST: The tradition -- the tradition is for big hats at English weddings and it is a tradition that is being lived up to its full potential this royal wedding.

You're seeing a lot of uniforms, uniform of people like Winged Commander Kevin Marsh who is in the congregation who is one of the path liners. Squadron Leader Paul Bolton, colleague of Prince William, (INAUDIBLE) Valley and (INAUDIBLE) is in the congregation as his wing commander Steven Bentley, Prince William's squadron leader currently where he is based in North Wales.

The music, the music that will be played here, of course, a selection of seven orchestral pieces and organ pieces from "Fantasia in G" by Bach, "Veni Creator Spiritus", "Sonata for Organ." All played by the London Chamber Orchestra and the organists of course here at Westminster Abbey.

Good morning to our team. The A team of royal wedding coverage. What better music to bring it in, Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan and Cat Deeley who join me from Buckingham Palace. We'll be handing over the reins to them in a moment or three.

As I think it must clearly be Piers Morgan putting the final touches to his suit that we've been talking about.

And Piers, Anderson, are your ties properly done up? This is a royal wedding. I want no slovenly wear from either of you.


QUEST: My apologies. They're obviously enjoying themselves amongst themselves. Let me tell you where you are watching this morning.

Wild Jody Bear is watching in Jefferson City. Hadyeka (ph) is watching in Kiev. Minu Muhammad (ph) is watching in the Maldives. Haswan Asani (ph) is in Daraa Salem.

Forget the people in the Abbey, you are part of this community that is enjoying what is a royal wedding that is taking place and will be -- we know the title that has been announced. It is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. That is what is going to be given to William and Catherine.

Anderson Cooper is at Buckingham Palace.

Good morning, Anderson. I hope you're properly dressed this morning.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm hearing everything.

And good morning.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Properly dressed. Allow me --

COOPER: I heard the roar of the crowd in my ear.

MORGAN: It's getting -- being completely as you can outblown in the fashion state by good old fashion British tailoring today so --


MORGAN: Richard?

QUEST: I had thought with the three of you I wasn't going to get a word in edgewise.

Oh, you must be joking. You must be joking, you're not going to get rid of me that quickly.

Good morning to you all. Now, listen, Cat, we are -- we're going to see the dress coming out of the Goring Hotel in an hour and just about an hour, two hours from now. Do you have any insight on who's made it yet?

CAT DEELEY, CNN WEDDING CONTRIBUTOR: You know what, we still don't really know. I mean there's talk of Sarah Burton but there's also been talk today about Jenny Packer maybe designing it. And that's purely because she's gone so absolutely quiet that we think it might maybe be her or even Stella McCartney.

COOPER: It is amazing, though, that they have been able to keep this secret this long.

MORGAN: Best kept secret in the history of royal weddings. And yes, it's great drama, isn't it, when a woman arrived at the Goring covering her head, and everybody thought is that woman from Alexander McQueen's?

DEELEY: Sarah Burton.

MORGAN: Turns out to be one of the bridesmaid's assistants or something. So the drama continues. It is an amazing thing they've pulled off it.

COOPER: And there had been some thought that we'd be able to see her in that dress outside the Goring Hotel but it doesn't seem like that. It's probably going to be right when she gets to Westminster Abbey.

MORGAN: What a moment. What a moment when the dress we've all been talking about for now months on end is unveiled to the world.


QUEST: Well done. All right. Many thanks, indeed.

That's Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan and Cat Deeley. We are waiting for the bridesmaids and pageboys to leave the Goring and head to the Abbey.

The Abbey -- there are four bridesmaids. We will show you the pictures of the four little girls and the two little boys as they prepare to take part in the royal wedding.

The bridesmaids are Louise Windsor, Margarita Armstrong--Jones, Grace van Cutsem, and Eliza Lopez. We have two pageboys. They will be Tom Pettifer and Billy Lowther-Pinkerton.

You'll hear a great deal more about them. And the first crowds from the Goring Hotel are arriving at the Abbey. This is part of the Middleton family who are -- if I get out of the way, you will start to see.

You're going to see a lot of motor coaches. These are not buses. Let me make it clear. They are -- they are motor coaches. And you'll be seeing a great deal more of them. But that one seems to go around in circles. They have left the Goring Hotel. It is part of the Middleton extended family.

Back inside the Abbey and the congregation still has some way to go. That is, they are officers in the RAF at Anglesey that you are seeing there. Colleagues of Prince William and the squadron leaders of his force in the Search and Rescue Brigade. It's RAF Valley in Anglesey.

The Abbey holds 1900 people. Those seats, the biggest, hottest ticket in town. Now, interestingly, they came, they drove round and they headed out. Clearly those particular guests are not going to get to use the great west door. The great west door behind me where over the next hour you will start to see the royals, the diplomats, the government and most important of all, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

This is CNN.