Between Prince William and Princess Kate announcing their engagement in November 2010 and walking down the aisle in April 2011, it felt like an eternity for royal fans across the world who were patiently waiting to see the wedding dress, bridesmaids and flowers. But one person who had the inside scoop was the Princess of Wales' mother Carole Middleton, 68, who later revealed that she was "involved lots" in the planning of the royal wedding after Kate turned to her for advice.
"We talked about music… everything. I was involved lots with both Pip’s and Catherine’s weddings," the Party Pieces founder began during an interview with The Telegraph. Carole added that she had learnt some key lessons in the preparation process, including "don't muscle in on the guest list." She continued: "But I think the most important thing, as a parent, is to listen to what your daughter wants. You can have all the ideas in the world, but it has to be about them. And don’t muscle in on the guest list."
Among the 1,900 guests who attended the couple's wedding included royal family members such as Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, celebrities such as Victoria and David Beckham, and politicians such as David Cameron and his wife Samantha. They joined some of the royal couple's more personal friends, such as those Kate and William knew from St Andrews University, where they met, plus the Prince's childhood friends and members of the public from Kate's upbringing.
The Middletons' family butcher Sue Fidler recalled her shock after finding out the news from her husband Martin. "Martin was in the shop, with the postman [Ryan Naylor], and Martin called me and he said, 'There's a letter addressed to you.' And I picked it up, and wow, I was in tears, I couldn't believe Martin and I were worthy of an invitation. But the postman who brought the letter, Ryan, he had an invitation as well," she said.
Wedding planning was a family affair, as Kate also turned to her sister and bridesmaid Pippa for help with the invites. According to publican John Haley, she personally rang some people from the village, including himself. Speaking of the unexpected surprise, he said in the documentary: "I phoned the number back and she said, 'Hi John, this is Pippa.' She said, 'Kate would like to know if you'd like to go to her wedding.' I honestly never expected it."
Kate and William exchanged vows at Westminster Abbey before having a beautiful reception hosted by the late Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Carole showed no signs of stress on the big day, sporting a wide smile alongside her elegant blue Catherine Walker coat – an impressive find considering she admitted she "hates" shopping! "Like every mother, I wanted to look my best, make my children proud and enjoy the day. I honestly don’t think I was any more stressed than any other mother-of-the-bride," she said.