Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have been dominating the headlines recently in the wake of their interview with Oprah Winfrey – it aired at the beginning of March and the media was still analysing it weeks later.
However, there’s a significant date coming up for Prince William too. On April 29, it will be 10 years since he tied the knot with his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton.
We probably shouldn’t expect the pair to mark the occasion with a bombshell interview of their own, but the documentary The Day Will and Kate Got Married does take a look back at their wedding.
It also reminds us that while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may currently be lagging behind the Sussexes in terms of being a public talking point, their big day was a very big deal – a staggering two billion people around the world tuned in to watch.
The fact that William will one day be king made it historic, but the bride was also a source of fascination. For a start, she was the first commoner to marry a future king in 300 years.
Kate’s uncle, Gary Goldsmith, who is one of the contributors to the documentary, says: “It’s a fairy tale beyond fairy tales. We come from really humble stock. My father was a painter and decorator, mum was an accounts clerk and their eldest granddaughter was at Westminster Abbey about to marry the future king of this country.”
The film takes a look back over their courtship. It’s been claimed Kate first saw William in person at the age of nine, when their schools played each other at hockey, although they didn’t officially meet until they both attended the University of St Andrews in 2001 – they began dating two years later.
They split in 2007, but quickly got back together and announced their engagement in 2010.
Then the wedding planning began in earnest. The documentary hears from some of the people involved in making it happen, including former Metropolitan Police commander Bob Broadhurst who was in charge of security on the day, the dress’s embroiderer, the cake-maker and choristers. There are also contributions from Middleton family friends and neighbours. From the vantage point of 2021, when we are still living with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, 2011 may look particularly rosy, a time when huge crowds were able to gather to catch a glimpse of the couple, while around Britain, other households freely mingled to watch it on TV.
However, The Day Will and Kate Got Married reminds us that 2011 wasn’t exactly a golden age. We were dealing with recession and unpopular government spending cuts – there would be riots a few months later – making it all the more remarkable that the wedding brought the nation together.
The documentary celebrates that but also looks to the future, as it explores how William and Kate are modernising the monarchy and preparing for their roles.
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