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8 new details we learnt about Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding

Did you watch ITV's The Day Will and Kate Got Married?

kate middleton wedding collage
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
7 April 2021
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Can you believe it's been almost ten years since Prince William and Kate Middleton said "I do" at Westminster Abbey?

Ahead of their milestone anniversary, ITV aired new documentary The Day Will and Kate Got Married on Wednesday evening, which saw interviews from some of the closest people involved on the day such as the cakemaker, the choristers and the wedding dress embroiderer.

EXCLUSIVE: Why Prince William and Kate look more in love than ever before

Here's 8 details we learnt about the incredible royal nuptials you may not have known before…

WATCH: Prince William and Kate's wedding cake designer reveals how she 'dismantled' Buckingham Palace door

The Middletons' postman and local butcher were invited to the wedding

Among the 1,900 guests were celebrities, Prime Ministers, international VIPs and of course, royals from around the world. But ordinary members of the public from Kate's upbringing were also invited to the big day. The Middletons' postman Ryan Naylor, their family butchers Sue and Martin Fidler, and local pub owner of The Old Boot Inn, John Haley, were among those who mingled with the stars in the Abbey.

Sue recalled: "Martin was in the shop, with the postman, 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."

GALLERY: Prince William and Kate's stylish wedding guests

kate middleton prince william walking at wedding© Photo: Getty Images

William and Kate married on 29 April 2011

Pippa Middleton helped with the wedding invites

As maid of honour, Kate's younger sister Pippa Middleton helped the bride with the invites. She personally rang some of the guests from the Middletons' family village, including publican John Haley. John recalled on 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."

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Kate bought her engagement dress herself

While the Duchess and other royals usually rely on stylists to help them choose what to wear for work duties and important occasions, Kate's iconic blue Issa London dress which she wore for her engagement photoshoot was something she already had in her wardrobe.

Daniella Helayel, the former founder and creative director of Issa London, was introduced to Kate long before William popped the question. "She always knew what suited her, she always had her own style," Daniella said in the documentary.

The day before the engagement was announced, Kate dropped into Daniella's studio in London to ask if she had any new, blue dresses to wear for a "very special lunch". It turned out Kate didn't like any of the stock, but said she had a blue Issa London dress (to match Princess Diana's engagement ring) at home that she could wear, which turned out to be a sell-out item that spurred on the Kate Effect. The dress sold out in minutes and Daniella's phone didn't stop ringing for days.

kate middleton issa dress© Photo: Getty Images

Kate wore an Issa London dress that sold out in minutes

Carole and Michael Middleton found out about the proposal before the royal family – who were only told on the day of the public announcement

William had proposed three weeks before the engagement was announced in November 2010, but it sounds like the public weren't the only ones who had been left in the dark. The royal family were only told the news on the morning of the public announcement. When press asked them for their thoughts, a beaming Camilla said "wicked" while Charles added, "Obviously thrilled".

Carole and Michael, meanwhile, had been keeping the engagement a secret and gave a short statement outside their home in Bucklebury, saying they were "thrilled" about the prospect of a wedding the following year.

MORE: Kate Middleton to share new photo of Prince Louis this month?

kate middleton waving wedding© Photo: Getty Images

Lace from Kate's wedding dress was replicated onto the cake

The royal wedding photographer moved into Buckingham Palace three days before the wedding

Royal wedding photographer Hugo Burnand moved himself and his team into the palace three days before the big day. In the absence of the bride and groom, he roped in the Queen's staff to act as royal stand-ins.

"We actually did a dress rehearsal," said Hugo. "We'd written cards with everyone's name on them so they knew where they had to sit. We did that on a stopwatch so we could time it. That's how we knew we needed 33 minutes, and they came back and said we could have 29."

The wedding cake was transported in 40 boxes to Buckingham Palace

Luxury cakemaker Fiona Cairns had been asked to make the cake in February, prompting her to have "sleepless nights" until the big day in April, she joked.

On the brief Fiona was given, the couple wanted a traditional fruit cake. Kate had asked for cream and white colours and absolutely no gold or glitter. Fiona was also sent a piece of lace to replicate on the cake, which turned out to be lace from Kate's dress.

In the week of the wedding, a fleet of vans carrying the wedding cake in 40 boxes was taken 100 miles from Fiona's factory to Buckingham Palace.

MORE: Inside Kate and Pippa Middleton's £1.8m London flat

kate middleton royal wedding cake© Photo: Getty Images

The fruit cake was taken to Buckingham Palace in the days leading up to the wedding

The Queen's funny joke to the royal cakemaker

Fiona met the Queen in the Picture Gallery, where the cake was being assembled, for a quick chat. Fiona recalled: "I can remember her saying, 'I hear you've been dismantling my house.' We had to take a door down from the room below, for the trolley to go through with the cake. But it was all put back in the end, so it was fine!"

The bomb scare on the big day

Scotland Yard carried out a series of raids across London and arrested 20 people, who they deemed "known anarchists", in the lead-up to the wedding.

"We had a secure zone around The Goring hotel," former Metropolitan Police commander Bob Broadhurst said. "I don't know how it happened and I don't really want to know how it happened to this day, but somebody in a car got through the secure zone, drove up close to The Goring, just around the corner, got out of the car and legged it. And joined the crowd.

kate middleton night before wedding© Photo: Getty Images

Kate and her party were staying at The Goring hotel

"Now we have a real problem. This is a potential bomb in the car. It's so close to the entrance and exit to The Goring, that we might not be able to get Kate and her party out on time. It was 15, 20 minutes before her due departure time. You could cut the silence with a knife as we tried to solve the issue."

After the initial scare, Bob explained: "Our explosions officers had turned up, it wasn't a bomb, so we were not only able to downgrade the threat, but also stick to plan A. Let's go for it and get her out. "I think that poor individual, whoever it was, maybe a tourist, came back to find their car with no doors or windows and a parking ticket."

The Day Will and Kate Got Married is on Wednesday night at 9pm on ITV.

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