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CNN Live Event/Special
The Royal Wedding: Crowds Excited About Royal Wedding; Preparations Finalized at Abbey; Wedding Procession Route Explained; Kate and William Have Hand in Wedding Cake Design; Kate and Princess Pressures
Aired April 29, 2011 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NARRATOR: A timeless tradition -- a cause for celebration.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they're going to be very excited, very excited.
NARRATOR: Britain and the world haven't seen a wedding on this scale for three decades.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. A great day for our country, a great day for the royal family.
NARRATOR: A monarchy rooted in history.
One family torn by tragedy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Britain's Princess Diana has been killed.
NARRATOR: He was a boy then. Now, he's 28, an accomplished lieutenant, a rescue and rescue pilot for the Royal Air Force. And in just hours, a husband.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quite traditional, but with a modern twist really.
NARRATOR: His bride, the woman who could be queen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The royal family has changed a lot. I mean, once upon a time, a future king could not marry a commoner. This is fantastic.
NARRATOR: Their love story, a union many hope will create life into the British monarchy and beyond.
KATE MIDDLETON, PRINCE WILLIAM'S FIANCEE: I can make a difference even in a smallest way.
PRINCE WILLIAM OF WALES: It's about making your own future and your own destiny.
NARRATOR: Today, the world turns its eyes on London for the wedding of William and Kate. (END VIDEOTAPE)
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It is just past 7:00 in the morning here in London where the excitement is building. Hello. I'm Isha Sesay, coming to you live from Westminster Abbey.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Max Foster, live in Buckingham Palace. We'd like to welcome your viewers in the United States and around the world.
SESAY: Well, we are just four hours from the official start of the wedding ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton right here at Westminster Abbey behind me. The first of the 1,900 guests just arrive in just over an hour.
FOSTER: The excitement has been building for days and weeks. We want to give you a look -- how it all is this morning. It's wedding day. How it's unfolding across the city.
Look at the crowds. They got up a couple of hours ago. Many of them had camped. All that pavement space has gone outside the abbey there. Westminster Abbey where Catherine will arrive, two minutes before 11:00 if the schedule goes to plan. We will see her dress.
That is the Mall. You can see the flags ling the route where the carriages will travel into Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. That's going to be the key moment and people very excited.
I have to say we've been down there chatting away to the people. Out riders clearing the routes of the Mall. Look at those flags, isn't this a spectacular scene? This is something Britain does well or what?
I want to walk our viewers now through the scene behind me. OK. We're going to do that in just a moment.
We're going to go down to Alex. He's actually in the crowd there.
Alex, what can you see?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thousands gathering here outside Buckingham Palace. As you would expect, Max, it's not a rock concert atmosphere. But people are slowly getting happier and happier.
We can look over here. Lots of flag waving, people literally from all around the world here. They've been warming up by cheering road sweepers and forklift truck drivers escorting the barriers around here that's help with the crowd control. We've had a few U.K. television stations underneath where you are sitting, Max, on air. They've got their crowds cheering and waving.
And it's people from all over the world. Let's have a chat with a few people.
How are you doing? Some have packed up all their tents. We've got some students here from Los Angeles, is that right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. That's right.
THOMAS: What's your name?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Nathan.
THOMAS: Hi, Nathan. What brought you along here today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to see the wedding, you know? I wanted to get a good view of Buckingham Palace.
THOMAS: You didn't come all the way from L.A. just for this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we're studying here for the semester.
THOMAS: But this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
THOMAS: What do you think the image of William and Kate is in the United States?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man, they love them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love them. We're obsessed with them.
THOMAS: So many American networks have come over here, including us, CNN. We're based in London anyway as well, as all over the world.
Why do you think America has such a love affair with the British royal family?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we don't have anything like that in America. We don't have royal family to look up to. We have a president, but it changes all the time. These are constant people for you guys to have to look up to. We don't have that at all.
THOMAS: What time did you get here this morning?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five a.m.
THOMAS: Well, that's early but not that early.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People have been here since yesterday.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, since --
THOMAS: And what was the atmosphere like when you got here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wild. I mean, it's like one big party here. Everybody is really excited.
THOMAS: But you didn't have to bring tents or anything? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. People have been getting kicked out of their tents. Probably good that we didn't.
THOMAS: That's right. Just along from here, we had some people say, you sure it's time to get up? Yes, they moved on. Thank you very much, guys. Enjoy your day.
So, that's a group from L.A.
Let's go to speak to Annalyn (ph) now, who's here from South Africa. Obviously, lots of commonwealth countries here. The royal family, not just the head of the U.K., around the world.
You've come all the way from South Africa.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, not specifically for the wedding, but since I'm here, I can just as well do it.
THOMAS: Oh, you see, you could have just ignored it and said, well, I'm here for the U.K. What's the big deal? Why come along today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, that's what the British do, they ignore it. All the foreigners are out here. They're enjoying the wedding. The British will stay at home.
THOMAS: Yes, OK. Well, Annalyn is enjoying it. She's been offering us her sausages a little bit earlier today.
There are people from around the world, crowds gathering. It's just going to get busier and busier, I'm sure.
FOSTER: Alex, good stuff. We'll be with you throughout the day. You'll not be able to walk through those crowds in a minute. It's just rounding up here.
It's unbelievable, Isha. Great atmosphere.
SESAY: It is the same great atmosphere right here at Westminster Abbey. The atmosphere has been building overnight as more and more people turn up. Let's take a closer look at the crowds. And now, you barely can see any of the sidewalk because people have taken it up completely.
And what you do see lots of British flags and, you know, that really does speak to the fact that this is a moment of great pride for Britain because it's well known that no one throws a royal wedding like the Brits do. So, you see those flags out. You see the -- you see all the flags and you see those on the hats that they are wearing. Everyone in good voice, everyone in good spirits ahead of this ceremony kicking off.
Let's bring in our Kiran Chetry. She's there in Hyde Park, where people are also gathered, also excited ahead of these royal nuptials.
Kiran, just give us a sense of what people are doing, what people are saying where you are.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Isha.
Well, you know, it's surprising because they told us originally it wasn't going to open until 7:00. When we got here, it was already milling with people. And since then, we've seen the crowds grow.
A little bit chilly this morning, but it's not stopping people from coming out to this. What's going to be basically a giant party where they are celebrating it together here at Hyde Park. What they've done is they've set up these huge giant screens which are over my shoulder this way.
Two hundred thousand people expected today. And they are making it certainly a festive atmosphere. They are having little stands set up where people can get their gin and tonic, they can get their champagne. For the kiddies that are going to be out here, they're also doing hat-making workshops. They are encouraging people to dress up.
So, certainly, a very excitable atmosphere out here, even though we're in the wee hours and they still have many hours in the chilly, windy morning to go before they actually get to see the start of the royal wedding. So, a lot of excitement here.
We'll bring you up-to-date. We'll pull a few people over and get to chat with them about how excited they are for the big wedding, Isha.
SESAY: Kiran, we thank you for that.
As you see, it is an overcast chilly morning in London. But that isn't subduing the crowds and all the excitement, Max.
FOSTER: OK, Isha. Excitement certainly is building up. But we want to know what's going to happen and when it's going to happen. Here's a sense of when we'll see the bride, the groom and the queen.
FOSTER (voice-over): Let's head down to Clarence House. That's the official London residence of Prince Charles and his wife. It's also home to Princes William and Harry. The groom and his brother will leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey at 10:10 a.m., arriving at the abbey just 45 minutes before the ceremony begins.
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will follow at 10:38 a.m. They'll make the right turn into horse guards road and then through horse guards parade.
The queen and duke of Edinburgh depart Buckingham Palace. They follow the same route east through horse road and down (INAUDIBLE) towards parliament.
And finally, just nine minutes before the ceremony starts, Kate Middleton and her father Michael will leave the Goring Hotel in a state Rolls Royce. They'll follow the same route from the palace, eventually passing parliament square and arriving at the great west door.
FOSTER: OK. We've got all sorts of -- there's the route. It's pretty exciting. It's just a couple of hours away. We've got all sorts of things planned for you. We're going to give you details about what's being planned right now and what to expect.
Crucially, the dress as well, Isha, it's all laid on today.
SESAY: It is. Finally, we get to see this dress we have been waiting for. It's been a state secret, so much speculation. But we're going to see it shortly. It is a great moment.
You are watching CNN's continuing coverage of the royal wedding here in London. Stay with us throughout the coming hours.
You know, we are going to bring you sapphires. We're going to bring you diamonds all fit for a princess. We have pieces worth up to half a million dollars. They are live in our studio. Could Kate have chosen one of these for her big day?
FOSTER: The gates of Buckingham Palace, we're waiting for them to open. Welcome back to CNN's special coverage of the royal wedding of William and of Catherine. I'm Max Foster live at Buckingham Palace.
SESAY: I'm Isha Sesay at Westminster Abbey, just about one hour now until the abbey's great north door opens and the first of some 1,900 wedding guests begin to arrive.
FOSTER: But where are all the key players right now? That's what we want to know.
Let's show you on a map. Kate Middleton and her close family, they're just behind Buckingham Palace from me, at the Goring Hotel. They are all getting things together.
The queen, of course, is getting ready at the palace nearby. She'll be the last person to enter Westminster Abbey before the bride. That's the protocol in this country.
Prince William, his brother, Prince Harry, his father Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are all at their home, Clarence House, just up the road here.
SESAY: Yes, we got a sighting of the prince on the eve of the wedding as he shook hands with well wishers, which really sent them into a frenzy. And that really is a feeling that we have. We've felt and experienced in the crowd here in London, a feeling of frenzy and excitement ahead of this joyous occasion. But absent from that group, absent from all of this is Prince William's mother, the late Princess Diana. And here's what Prince William and Kate Middleton said about his mother in an interview just after their engagement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIDDLETON: I would love to have met her. And she's, obviously, she's an inspirational woman to look up to. And, obviously, on this day and, you know, going forward in things.
PRINCE WILLIAM: It's about carving our own future. No one is going to try to -- you know, no one is trying to fill my mother's shoes. What she did is fantastic. It's about making your own future and your own destiny. And Kate will do a very good job of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Well, the late Princess Diana still has a home in the hearts of many people across Britain and the world. They are thinking of her today. It's inevitable. He is her son.
Let's talk more about her legacy and her son's wedding day. Charlie Jacoby is a royal writer. He's an expert. He joins me live here at Buckingham Palace.
You follow Diana very closely over those years, didn't you?
CHARLIE JACOBY, ROYAL WRITER: Yes.
FOSTER: And William wants to allow Kate to carve her own furrow. There are so many parallels with Diana. It keeps making links to Diana, the ring, holding the service at Westminster Abbey where the memorial service was. You got to think about her as he goes, isn't he? So, she's all over this.
JACOBY: She is. There's a very strong sense there are three people in this engagement, which is to copy her words. There are three people in this relationship.
He is very like her. He has the ability to reach out, not just to people he's in front of but through television screens and touch masses. Something his father doesn't seem to be able to do. And the hope is that Catherine can do the same.
FOSTER: Can she do the same? Because you look at the scene, and it feels like the scene just before Charles and Diana's wedding. It has so many connotations, doesn't it? All the state ceremonial stuff.
JACOBY: Well, that's just the thing because go back to 1981, you had the shy, quiet commoner, Lady Diana Spencer who went on to become the most extraordinary, magnificent icon for an age but with this appalling self-destruct person.
And Catherine can do the same. Nine years older. Nine years more experienced. That would be great if she can avoid the destruction. That would be perfect.
FOSTER: And you got a different character here. You got someone from a very stable background. Very close family. Had a really happy upbringing from everything we can see.
Diana didn't have quite the same thing. So, do you think this is about aristocracy or about family stability?
JACOBY: Well, aristocracy should lead you perfectly into royal life, shouldn't it? I mean, it's big house life. And Lady Diana Spencer came from a big house.
FOSTER: But she struggled.
JACOBY: She did struggle. But -- and I think you're right. I think that was because of the pressure of coming from that situation and also something inside her which was always going to go wrong. I think what it comes down to is this sense of fiber. Can Kate survive the royal family?
FOSTER: Let's talk about William then. It's going to be hugely emotional on every level, isn't it, walking in through that great door. He's going to be thinking of the memorial. He's going to be thinking of Catherine. As he goes up to the altar, Diana's family is going to be there, and he's going to think back to the memorial.
So, how is he going to be coping with today from your experience on reporting on him?
JACOBY: Well, I think internally, of course, impossible to say. He's a brilliantly external character. He's very good at projecting happiness, warmth. Last night, we saw him walking around the crowds. That's the William we know.
And I think he will -- he will show that side of himself today in the abbey. I don't think we'll see him break down in tears. I mean, I don't think he will externalize his emotions to that extent.
FOSTER: Charlie Jacoby, thank you very much indeed.
Well, Isha, I cried on my wedding day. You can't. You know, I didn't expect it to happen. It could happen to William.
SESAY: Yes. But, Max, you are a big baby. We all do know you and love you for that.
FOSTER: Steady on.
SESAY: So, it's not a surprise it made you cry.
OK. You are watching CNN's special coverage of royal wedding live from London. When we return, jewelry fit for a princess, tiaras, necklaces, we have it all. We'll show you the pieces Kate could be wearing live, some as much -- worth as much as a half million dollars.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) FOSTER: It doesn't get any more British than this.
Welcome back to CNN's special coverage of a royal wedding. I'm Max Foster live at Buckingham Palace.
SESAY: And I'm Isha Sesay at Westminster Abbey.
We should see the first guests arriving for the wedding ceremony in less than an hour. A key point to make, that the guests come through different doors. The general congregation is coming through the great north door. The VIPs, that would be government officials, along with royals, foreign and British, coming through the great west door.
The bride will be the last to arrive. That's just before 11:00 here in London. About 3 1/2 hours away. Set your watches.
Now, there's been a lot of speculation about what Kate Middleton's dress will look like or how she'll wear her hair. And, of course, we don't really know. What we do know is she'll be wearing her engagement ring. You may remember --
FOSTER: I've lost the feed.
OK. There we are, the engagement ring. I was there. We've just lost Isha for the moment. We're going to get back to her.
That wedding ring, when that was revealed on the day of the engagement was a true shock. I was there reporting from outside Buckingham Palace when it came out, the engagement ring. And there are some thoughts it's been reduced in size. We'll find out today on that.
This is the moment when we saw the two of them together and everyone is talking about how in love they were and they need that love to be strong because there's an awful lot of pressure on this couple. It's important for them. It's important for the monarchy and it's important for the world who wants a great party today.
Back in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HRH PRINCE WILLIAM OF WALES, UNITED KINGDOM: My mother's engagement ring. So, of course, it's very special to me -- and Kate's very special to me now as well. It was only about the two put together. But it was my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today, and the excitement and the fact that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Now, it is traditional for the queen to give key pieces of jewelry to a young bride on the wedding day.
Rosemary Church has all the information you need on today's bridal jewelry.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Special segment. Thanks so much, Max. We'll get back to you very soon.
And, of course, it is all about jewelry fit for a princess. Here to walk me through what we might see Kate wearing later this morning, Rebecca Dolgin. She's executive editor of TheKnot.com.
Now, these are magnificent pieces. Do check my pockets before we finish.
Now, let's start over here because we want to start with the tiaras.
REBECCA DOLGIN, THEKNOT.COM: Yes.
CHURCH: She will more than likely wear a tiara. She wanted to wear flowers.
DOLGIN: That's right. She wanted to wear flowers but the royal family was sort of against that. So, if tradition reigns and she goes with the tiara, it's likely she'll pick one inspired by or really literally the Cambridge lovers knot, which is exactly this one with the pearls there. And you can just see how beautiful this is.
This is from Stephen Russell. This is you know, it's beautiful. It's $66,000, 10 carats, absolutely gorgeous.
DOLGIN: And so, there's a practical side of tiaras, too. So, Roberto Coin does something really unique with their tiara. This is a beautiful, beautiful piece.
And what you can do is after you wear this, feel like a princess for the day, then you can send it back to Roberto Coin and they will re-craft it into this bracelet. Isn't that excellent?
CHURCH: Yes, very utilitarian.
DOLGIN: Yes, exactly for a tiara.
CHURCH: No wastage.
And, of course, let's move over to this. This is beautiful, too, but this is a vintage piece.
DOLGIN: This is vintage -- also by Stephen Russell, like the first one. And similar to the Roberto Coin, this can turn into a choker afterwards. So, you get that double use out of it again.
CHURCH: Necklaces. Now, we definitely have to get in. Look at this. Can we -- there you go. Move that around so you get the lights.
DOLGIN: Gorgeous, isn't it? These are from De Beers. They are absolutely beautiful. These are half a million dollars each. So, I will check your pockets on the way out.
CHURCH: Definitely, you better.
DOLGIN: And this is from Kwiat. Now, this is -- I really love this. It's sort of whimsical. Has that modern feeling that we think Kate is really all about.
So, this would really be an interesting choice for her. And it's super heavy. You can kind of feel the weight of this platinum on here.
CHURCH: That would be my choice.
And then, the bracelets, you know, these are gorgeous. And you've got the sapphire here to go with the ring.
DOLGIN: So, this is Kwiat as well and this is 10 carats and it's about $66,000.
If you want to take a peek at this one. Also has that kind of vintage feel. That's Stephen Russell. And that is $75,000 piece right there.
CHURCH: Very nice. And they are both gorgeous.
And then, the earrings. I mean, these are just lovely.
DOLGIN: These are beautiful. These are from De Beers. These really are beautiful danglers. They still feel elegant, but, you know, not completely over the top. So, these are really beautiful choice.
She could, you know, she has the sapphire ring. She could go with the sapphire earring here.
CHURCH: It seems likely, doesn't it?
DOLGIN: It does.
CHURCH: I mean, when you got a ring and it's sort of that -- everybody knows about the ring, of course, belonging to the late Princess Diana.
CHURCH: So, beautiful collection.
DOLGIN: Thank you so much.
CHURCH: That is wonderful. Appreciate you going to the trouble to bring that to us. DOLGIN: My pleasure.
CHURCH: All right. Well, just ahead -- everyone loves a wedding cake, of course. So, why not have two. Prince William and his bride will and so will we. We've asked the team at The Knot to get as close to the real thing as they possibly can, based on a few clues the bakers have left out. So, you'll see those cakes in a couple of minutes and it was John and I will even get to taste them.
You are watching CNN's special coverage of the royal wedding.
SESAY: It just turned 7:30 in the morning here in London. Hello. I'm Isha Sesay, coming to you live from Westminster Abbey.
FOSTER: I'm Max Foster. We'd like to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.
Two billion people expected to tune in to watch today's ceremony. Many want to see it for themselves, though. You can see the crowds taking their place along the pavements here in London. A Princess is going to be created today. They want to see British history unfold.
We're just around 3.5 hours from the official start of the wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey. And the first of 1,900 guests set to arrive in just over half an hour.
I want to give you a look at how the morning is unfolding across the city.
SESAY: Let's give you a sense of the view here at Westminster Abbey, which is where I am. It is, of course, where the ceremony itself will take place, the wedding ceremony between Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Let's just show you how the crowds have grown in the hours ahead of the ceremony. Now if you look at the sidewalk, basically there is no sidewalk. You can't see it. It's been taken up with people. Many of them with British flags. Many of them with hats with British flags on. All of them, no matter where in the world they are from, all full of a joyous anticipation.
The other thing that's very clear to see, as you look at the shot, is, of course, the police. The police with a very high visibility in all of this, in their florescent jackets, trying to ensure this day goes off without a hitch -- Max?
FOSTER: Isha -- just to point out, that area behind Isha would be full of crowds but it has been cleared, as she said, because the cars are going to pull in there. A team of correspondents all across London. Here at the palace -- here at the palace, we've got several. The Abbey, of course, Isha and her team. Kate Middleton's hotel, got a team there. I'll be there as Kate Middleton leaves. A street party in east London. This is all about a party for many people. We're also live along the mile at Whitehall, the route the procession will take to the Abbey.
CNN's Becky Anderson is on the route now.
What do you see, Becky?
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Max.
Yes, we're about 3.5 hours away. And just take a look at this. We came in here about an hour or so ago, and there weren't quite as many people. But now you see an absolute sea of people. And the excitement is absolutely palpable.
Come back around here and we'll get a sense of what's going on here. Some of these people, Max, have been out all night.
Let's meet this family.
Allison, James, where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: We're from Cambridge here.
ANDERSON: What are you excited about today?
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Well, I am really excited because I haven't seen Kate Middleton or Prince William.
ANDERSON: Is she your favorite?
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Yes.
ANDERSON: She is.
And, James, what are you looking forward to?
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I'm looking forward to seeing their first public kiss on the balcony.
ANDERSON: Oh, are you allowed to see that?
Are they allowed to see that, mum?
Carrie (ph), you've been out all night. How was it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was fine. It was great. The atmosphere was fabulous. And everyone was well behaved and making lots of noise. It was just great fun, wasn't it?
UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really enjoyed it. It's been worth it. Definitely worth it.
ANDERSON: And all of this, and have a day off school. Yea!
ANDERSON: It's a bank holiday, of course, here today.
Just go over here and we can see the policemen as they move towards Buckingham Palace.
We'll get you back down here as the day goes on.
But as I said, the excitement now, you can feel it. It's a buzz. We're ready.
FOSTER: All the pieces are coming together, aren't Becky?
ANDERSON: It is.
FOSTER: It's fascinating.
And so many kids, Isha. They talk about how they read about princes and princesses in books and they want to see it come alive. And they're going to see it come alive today. It's exciting for them.
SESAY: It is exciting. It's a real life, modern fairy tale that little kids are seeing and little kids are getting excited about.
Becky, we thank you.
Again, we heard from Becky. And we heard from those people in the crowd about the excitement, about that kiss. The royal couple appearing on the balcony about 1:25 in the afternoon. That is a moment everyone is waiting for when they are expected to kiss.
Let's bring in Monita Rajpal. She's just at Whitehall, which is just up the road from me, where I am at the Abbey.
And, Monita, I would expect the atmosphere is building nicely where you are, too.
MONITA RAJPAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Definitely building, Isha. We are actually -- you could call it the midpoint between Buckingham Palace and where you are at Westminster Abbey. This is where you'll see -- I think you can see the preparations. The final preparations are under way.
What will happen is when the carriage or the cars, I should say, from Buckingham Palace come through, they'll go to the Horse Guards Road and the Horse Guards Parade and then go through the Guard's Arch and come around here.
Just moments ago, we saw them laying down the sand on the road so that when the carriages and the horse comes through, the horses don't slip and there's no skidding. So we can see all of that happening right there.
Over here, we've seen people starting to gather, and people from all ages, young and old, all dressed up in their fascinators and the hats. And also people from all over the world, from Germany, New Zealand, Canada, they're all here. They are all really excited about this day in history that they all want to be a part of -- Isha?
SESAY: Monita, thank you.
That's a view from Whitehall, the midpoint between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, where I am.
But, again, the atmosphere building there, just as it is with this raucous, noisy crowd just where I am -- Max?
FOSTER: Yes, absolutely. It's funny hearing there -- Monita talked about the Canadians. I keep seeing Canadians. There's a huge Canadian phalanx. There's a huge Canadian contingent from there.
The tourism agency, Visit Britain, has estimated an extra 600,000 people are in London today just for this event. And assuring a safe celebration for many people is a huge, huge project. They've been working on it for months.
And Dan Rivers has been with the police throughout the process.
Dan, how is it looking?
DAN RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Max, we're down at the bottom of Hay Market. This is where the roads are beginning to be closed in about an hour and a half. They will completely close Hay Market. You can just have a look behind me. They're got the road block here. This is a big coach of police officers actually who are just all getting into their gear here. They'll then be making their way down.
In terms of protest threats, well, some news coming into us that at least three people have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the police.
That includes one of the anarchist leaders, Chris Knight, who was going to have turned up further north from here in Soho with a mock guillotine and was going to behead effigies in a protest against this wedding. He's been arrested along with two of his fellow protesters.
I got a call last night from Cambridgeshire police saying another anarchist leader, Charlie Veitch, has also been arrested. He's the leader of a group called the Love Police Parade.
So I think they are acting, you know, very early, getting these people who have threatened to turn up and cause problems behind bars.
But let's just have a wonder out here because you can see how, you know, the traffic is pretty quiet. This would normally be a massive, busy rush hour street at normal times. Of course, a holiday here at the moment. And in about an hour and a half, this street will -- (AUDIO PROBLEM) -- the well wishers start to make their way toward the mile (ph) to the south of me.
The picture is actually, you know, the headline from all of the security is, it's actually OK at this point but they are watching it -- Isha?
SESAY: Max, thank you.
And I just want to alert our viewers to the fact that just behind me at the Abbey, at the Great West Door, which is where the VIPs will enter, the British royals and Kate Middleton, they are rolling out the red carpet. We want to zoom in and show you the shot. You see the workers there removing the plastic, the plastic covering. And they are laying out the red carpet.
Now there are two entrances to the Abbey for those attending this wedding. What you are looking at, where that red carpet is, is the Great West Door. The general congregation will enter from the Great North Door, which is out of shot. But we want to tell you that things are ramping up. The red carpet is out.
You are watching CNN's special coverage of a royal wedding, live from London.
When we return, wedding cakes fit for royalty. And there are two. Next, we take our best guess on how Kate and William, how their cakes will turn out. We'll even get to taste them. Stay with us.
FOSTER: Welcome back. That's the scene live at Buckingham Palace, the balcony. It's the money shot. It's where Kate and William are expected to come out, 1:25 U.K. time, for the kiss. It's the highlight of the day, and it's being prepared.
We saw earlier how Isha had -- the red carpet rolled out at the Abbey. Everything is really falling into place right now.
Let's find out what happens after Kate and William leave the Abbey and head towards the balcony.
ISHA: Well, indeed, we will find out what they do. We know that this is going to be a carefully, meticulously planned event. They are going to be on the balcony and we know there's also going to be -- there's also going to be a fly past. We know that Prince William's array of buddies will be part of that fly past while they are on the balcony. And that is the moment, as Max was saying, the people are looking forward to, the kiss, the fly past, and just seeing the families, including the Middleton family, there on the balcony of Buckingham Palace -- Max?
FOSTER: Well, Isha, not a very long way away from me, but there's a key procession, of course, from where you are to where I am later on in the day. It is full pomp in the British variety. And we do it pretty well, I think. All the carriages, the state carriages will be out. The weather is looking fantastic. So should be open top. And everyone will get a good view.
Let's have a look at the route.
FOSTER (voice-over): Once the couple are married, they'll proceed from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace.
First, they'll go around Parliament Square. To the right will be the houses of parliament and Big Ben. On the left, the treasury, the foreign office and Downing Street.
They'll pass through Horse Guard's Arch and across Horse Guards Parade. And then they'll turn on to Horse Guards Road, and then a left for the home straight, as they turn into the mile-along St. James' Park, passing Clarence House along the way, and finally arriving at Buckingham Palace, where the queen will give a lunchtime reception and the newlyweds will appear on the balcony.
FOSTER: Well, after that procession, the queen will host a lunchtime reception for around 650 guests back there in Buckingham Palace. It is the ultimate ticket. The ultimate wedding ticket right now.
Now the centerpieces will not be one, but two cakes, would you believe? That's not traditional. Kate's choice is traditional fruit cake though.
Here is cake maker, Kerri Kaanes (ph).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KERRI KAANES, CAKE MAKER: It is multi-tiered. It has -- doesn't have color on it. It's cream and white. It's a traditional cake. But it is also, I would say, quite delicate. Quite modern, with a vintage element. All the tiers will be -- have something different on them.
FOSTER: There were a few clues there. But we were only allowed to film certain elements of the cake. They didn't want to ruin the surprise.
But John Vause, he is our cake insider. He's been studying everything about this wedding cake.
Over to the expert.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We didn't want to ruin the surprise, but we do.
(LAUGHTER) In fact, what we have is Rebecca Beck with us from knot.com.
And, Rebecca, we asked you to actually put together a couple of the cakes in question as close as possible. So how did you go?
REBECCA BECK, KNOT.COM: Yes, we have a couple of models here, thanks to our friends here in Atlanta, Georgia, from Perfect Cake Company.
So basically, we know -- we'll start with the cake, the big wedding cake.
VAUSE: Yes. This is -- is this the actual size or -- because it looks kind of small.
BECK: It is a little smaller than it's going to be. This would feed about 450.
BECK: So expect -- you know, it would be about 50 percent bigger. It could be another even tier added on to it.
VAUSE: OK. So do we know specifically that it will be a one, two or four-tiered cake?-
BECK: We don't know how many tiers yet. It certainly could be five tiers, like this one is, or it could go to six tiers.
VAUSE: This is a very traditional British cake?
BECK: It is. It's a fruit cake. That is a big tradition in the U.K.
VAUSE: The must, the lighted (ph) fruit cake.
BECK: Yes, exactly. But it really is delicious. You'll see that at the end.
BECK: But, yes, this is a big tradition in the U.K. It's something -- even in the United States, in the south, a lot of brides and grooms choose to have a fruit cake.
BECK: It's sort of like the vanilla cake.
VAUSE: And how much influence did Kate Middleton have on --
BECK: She had a lot of influence. She --
VAUSE: Yes? Like what?
BECK: Well, first of all, the fact that she picked this cake baker, Fiona Cairns, was really because she had friends who used her, had it, loved it. So then she went there. She had her tear sheet. She had real direction of how she wanted the cake to look.
VAUSE: And Prince William also had some very specific requests as well because --
BECK: He did for his grooms cake.
VAUSE: -- it's unusual to have two cakes at a royal wedding.
BECK: Yes, it is.
VAUSE: But we do, and this is the second one. So talk about this one.
BECK: Basically, he is a huge fan of these chocolate biscuit cakes. He's sentimental. He shares them with his grandmother. She's also a big fan. And it --
VAUSE: What is it made of?
BECK: It's biscuit basically. It's molded together chocolate biscuit and then just covered with this chocolate ganache.
VAUSE: What's interesting is a touch under the front there. We actually have Prince William's RAF, his search and rescue, his unit on the front.
BECK: Yes, exactly. There are a lot of personal touches.
VAUSE: Where did you come from?
CAT DEELEY, CNN WEDDING CONTRIBUTOR: I came to eat some cake.
VAUSE: Oh, there's food available. Oh, OK.
DEELEY: I'm going to try this. I haven't had one of these.
VAUSE: Well, I'll get the boy cake.
BECK: You definitely have to tell us what you think of both of them.
DEELEY: And then you have to pick a winner.
BECK: I'm going to eat quick.
(CROSSTALK) VAUSE: It's actually, that's very good.
BECK: Yes, it's really delicious. It's brandied fruit.
DEELEY: That is lovely.
VAUSE: But there's a lot of brandy in that.
They're going to be rolling in Buckingham Palace, aren't they?
BECK: So this is the biscuit cake.
BECK: Yes. I was going to warn you it's going to be a little hard.
BECK: Sorry about that.
VAUSE: I think we need to toss back to Max.
So what did you think?
DEELEY: Which cake did you like better?
VAUSE: I haven't tasted this.
FOSTER: -- the last survey.
But we know that the cakes that are William and --
-- William and Catherine have ordered are -- yes, OK. I'm going to leave you. You are enjoying that clearly. There will be nothing left to it.
The cakes that will be in Buckingham Palace, I know are going to be absolutely enormous. They can feed 600 people each. And the priority right now is getting the balcony ready for the big reveal later on. Kate and William will come out there with the rest of the royal family for their kiss at 1:25. Everything's in place.
FOSTER: The palace balcony here being prepared for the royal family to appear at 1:25 for the climax, in many ways, of the royal wedding when they'll all come out. We expect William and Catherine to kiss. It was a tradition started by William's parents, actually. It's not a very long running tradition. They started it. And it was followed up by the Duke and Duchess of York. And now Catherine and William will be doing the same, we expect. As you can see, all the work is under way.
I can also tell you that the cavalry is on its way. They've left the barracks and they are preparing to come over our way to escort the carriages back from Westminster Abbey that you see there in a huge, fantastic procession.
You can see the red carpet rolled out at Westminster Abbey. That is the VIP entrance. That's where the queen will enter just before Kate Middleton, just before 11:00 U.K. time.
I can tell you that inside the Abbey, there's a spectacular floral display. I was with the royal florist as he gathered the plants in Windsor Great Park. William had to get permission from his grandmother, the queen, to plunder her gardens, but inside, there are huge trees lining the aisle, right up to the altar. Lots of flourishes and perhaps reflecting the fact that Kate is a country girl at heart.
There you see the fabric is being draped over the balcony. This is very reminiscent, isn't it, of Charles and Diana's wedding? There are tweaks to this wedding but, in many ways, it's going to be very, very similar. It's a different age. It's a different girl and, of course, William will be very much bearing his mother in mind on this very special day in this life.
But also a special day for the monarchy. Buckingham Palace is under a lot of pressure. The queen is extremely popular. William is very popular. William is not ready for the throne yet, but they know that William and Catherine are the future of the British monarchy, and the commonwealth is bearing his mother in mind, too.
Catherine has a lot of pressure on her shoulders today but she looks like she's a girl that can handle it. She's had 10 years to practice this.
And Monita Rajpal is the expert on the dress. She's been following all the speculation. And she's on the route today. She's going to see it today.
Monita, I bet you can't wait because this has to be the best kept secret in royal history.
RAJPAL: Well, this is the thing. I think when Diana was getting married, that was seen as the best kept secret in fashion history, as you were saying. Of course, Kate Middleton had wanted to make sure that no one would see the dress until William does at the altar. But, of course, that would be very difficult.
As soon as she gets out of the car at the Abbey, then when she gets out, we will all see that dress. You might even catch a glimpse of it at the Goring Hotel just moments from now, as she gets into her car. Understandably, there will be an awning outside the Goring Hotel so no one will actually capture her getting into the car.
But when she drives away, Max, you might be one of -- among the first to see that dress. But once she gets out of the car at Westminster Abbey. We'll try to catch her as she comes out -- she goes through -- from here on to the Abbey in the car.
But the thing is I think this dress is -- she wanted to keep it such a huge secret. Of course, it's a big deal for whomever the designer is who is responsible for this massive commission because, of course, there has been a lot of speculation that it is Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. I think a lot of people are really putting their money on that -- Max?
FOSTER: We need to know about the dress.
Well, there's one man that has the inside track. We're very honored to have him here. He's Paddy Harverson. He's the official spokesperson for the royal couple.
Paddy, thank you so much for joining us from Clarence House.
PADDY HARVERSON, SPOKESPERSON FOR THE ROYAL COUPLE, CLARENCE HOUSE: Pleasure.
FOSTER: Tell me how William is feeling this morning.
HARVERSON: Well, I've not spoke to him. We kind of left him to his own devices, but I imagine he's excited and nervous. I was with him last night when we went out on the Mall. He's in great form. I mean, all week, he's been incredibly relaxed, as has Catherine. I just think they are looking forward to it. The crowds are kind of allowing them to surf into the day on a wave of good will.
FOSTER: You come and see this and it is quite something, isn't it.
FOSTER: You don't realize unless you are there. How on earth is Catherine going to handle this? She knows what's in store but you don't know until you see it, do you? HARVERSON: No, you don't. But I think she'll handle it with aplomb, because she's just -- she's wonderful. She's done everything so well so far. And I think that they will just be -- I think a lot of couples on their wedding day, they will be so focused on each other that, in a way, that will help to some extent block a lot of the outside influences out. But it just -- who cannot just be thrilled by this? I think they will pick up on that and just have a wonderful time.
FOSTER: How have you helped her cope with the pressure that she will inevitably feel?
HARVERSON: We've been advising her for quite some time now. But actually, Prince William is her best adviser. And he's got great experience. And between them, they've handled everything really, really well. She's got such good natural qualities. She's very down to earth, very sensible and bright. She's done a great job.
FOSTER: Any last-minute hitches with the day?
HARVERSON: No, fingers crossed. Touch words.
HARVERSON: Everything is going very well. Even the weather is holding off for us, which is great. We're all raring to go.
FOSTER: We're all waiting to hear about Catherine's title. We know she'll be Princess Catherine, but any more than that?
HARVERSON: Not for a while yet. We'll know at 8:00. She won't be Princess Catherine, technically, because you can't be Princes Catherine unless you are the actual daughter of a monarch or a granddaughter. But she'll have a special title. And when the queen grants it at 8:00, we'll find out then.
FOSTER: OK, Paddy Harverson, thank you so much for joining us and good luck today.
HARVERSON: My pleasure.
FOSTER: We are coming up to 8:00 a.m. here in London. There's a great level of excitement here in London, I can tell you that. And it's great to hear from the inside track from Paddy Harverson.
We're going to have much more after the break. All the details, coming up.