The eyes of the world turned to London on Friday morning, as the latest details emerged about the pomp and pageantry planned for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

As the two prepared to exchange vows at the British capital's historic Westminster Abbey, royal officials confirmed that William's attire for the ceremony will be the red uniform of colonel of the Irish Guards. Its features include a gold and crimson sash.

Prince Harry, the best man, will be wearing a uniform of the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry and the boys' father, Prince Charles, will wear a naval uniform.

Late Thursday night, William added to the frenzy outside the abbey when he emerged from his residence to greet the hordes of well-wishers who have gathered along the processional route, shaking countless hands and posing for photos.

Leading up to the highly anticipated nuptials, London has been polished and prepped for the biggest wedding it's seen in 30 years.

The excitement is palpable with thousands of royal watchers crowding the wedding route.


Prince William speaks with a young well-wisher gathered along the wedding processional route in central London on Thursday. ((APTN/Associated Press))

Royal couple 'touched' by well-wishers

Earlier Thursday with the rehearsals done and the flowers in place, the official program for the royal wedding was released. In it, the bride and groom express how they feel about the support and kindness they've experienced during their engagement.

"We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives," they say.

"The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving, and has touched us both deeply."

Middleton will not promise to "obey" her new husband in her vows, but instead will "love, comfort, honour and keep" him, the program revealed.

Canadian donation will help search, rescue efforts

Canada's wedding gift will be a $50,000 donation to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The organization was chosen by William and Kate to be the Canadian beneficiary of a special charitable fund set up to celebrate their wedding.


(Mario Testino/St. James's Palace)

Wedding highlights

Watch the royal wedding live on, and participate in our live chat, accessible online and through smartphones. Coverage begins at 2 a.m. ET, with the wedding ceremony starting at 6.

  • 3:30 a.m. ET: Guests begin arriving at Westminster Abbey.
  • 5:40 a.m. ET: Members of the Royal Family, including Prince William, begin to take their places at the abbey.
  • 6 a.m. ET: Kate Middleton arrives at the abbey; the ceremony begins.
  • 7:15 a.m. ET: William and Kate emerge from the abbey and depart for Buckingham Palace.
  • 8:25 a.m. ET: The newlyweds and their families make their appearance on the palace balcony.
  • 8:30 a.m. ET: The royals watch a flypast before returning inside for the Queen's reception.

In a statement Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the donation will help the coast guard provide a permanent search-and-rescue program and help prevent injuries or loss of life at sea.

William and Kate had publicly asked for charitable donations in lieu of traditional gifts.

Global News said Harper's wife, Laureen, hopes to present the royal couple with another gift of hiking gear when the royal pair visit Canada this summer. Their tour is scheduled June 30 to July 8, and will take them to Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and the Ottawa region.

The wedding is shaping up as a grand version of a typical British church wedding.

Charles helped select music: source

Middleton will walk up the aisle at Westminster Abbey to the sounds of I Was Glad, the anthem setting of Psalm 122 composed by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. The anthem was also sung at the wedding of William's parents, Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

The hymns include Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling and Jerusalem.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer, was the final hymn at Diana's funeral in Westminster Abbey in 1997.

The newlyweds will leave to the march Crown Imperial by William Walton, which also figured in the wedding of Charles and Diana.

A spokesman at St. James' Palace said Middleton was familiar with classical music, but had "a lot of input" from Prince Charles.

"They spent a lot of time listening to the music together on iPods," said the royal functionary, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Dress rehearsals continue

For a second consecutive day, members of the royal wedding party held dress rehearsals. Middleton, her mother, Carole, and Harry joined bridesmaids on Thursday at the abbey.

Kate is staying at the Goring Hotel in London with her parents, sister Pippa and brother James, the night before the wedding.

Garment bags were delivered Thursday to the hotel, carried into the five-star establishment on Beeston Place under a canopy stretching from the road to the front door.

The canopy will ensure no one can see Kate's dress when she heads to the abbey in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI.

Helen Chivers, forecaster for the Met Weather Office in London, said people should expect rain in the city overnight Thursday and a strong possibility of more rain on Friday.

"As the temperatures rise, we'll start to see the shower clouds building up and those could give us some heavy downpours around the middle part of the day, possibly into the afternoon," she said.

Meanwhile, there has been another change to the guest list. 

Britain's foreign office on Thursday said the Syrian ambassador's presence at royal wedding would be "unacceptable" and he won't be attending.

Human rights groups have criticized the decision to invite Sami Khiyami. More than 450 people have been killed in the uprising against President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime.

Royal wedding: Interactive map

Learn more about the wedding party, the features of Westminster Abbey and plans for the reception by clicking on the image below.  

Westminster Abbey
With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press