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Video: Just married: Will and Kate celebrate

  1. Closed captioning of: Just married: Will and Kate celebrate

    >>> a long way from where we are right now, a very different story about families coming together today. prince william and kate middleton entered into marriage with an estimated 2 billion people watching , a royal wedding truly for the digital age. kate snow is outside buckingham palace for us. good evening.

    >> reporter: it was a moment of history. they are officially now the duke and duchess of cambridge, but tonight, they're just william and kate having a late-night party right here at buckingham palace with all of their closest family and friends . it was majesty on a human scale . the embodiment of national pride and centuries of tradition. an estimated 1 million spectators in london alone. perhaps 2 billion more watching around the world. the day began at historic westminster abbey decked out like an anglish garden with nearly 2,000 guests. the prime minister, elton john , the beckhams. their closest friends and family, royal and otherwise. but this was william and kate 's day. he arrived with best man prince harry . moments later, right on time, kate took center stage . a first glimpse of the dress by british designer sarah burton for alexander mcqueen . she wore a halo of diamonds, a tiara borrowed from queen elizabeth herself. you look beautiful, the groom told his nervous bride as together they became husband and wife.

    >> i william author philip louis take thee katherine elizabeth.

    >> i take william william arthur philip louis to be my husband.

    >> i pronounce that they be man and wife together in the name of the father and the son and the holy ghost .

    >> and with that, the future king and queen of england began their life together. for the ride to buckingham palace , an open carriage. there was no rain to mar this parade, and the british showed once again, they know how to do pomp and pageantry. as william and kate reached the palace, thousands crowded the procession route. this was the moment they were waiting for. a moment with echoes of history and family ties . the kiss was expected. but then, with the crowd calling for more --

    >> kiss! kiss!

    >> reporter: -- another. the couple's public day was over. but wait, william and kate had one more surprise. and a break with tradition that delighted the crowd. a drive from the palace with the prince behind the wheel of a purple aston martin convertible on loan from his father. we saw centuries of tradition today, but with the hope of a new beginning. take a look at these newest pictures we have gotten in. brian, it shows the couple all decked out, ready to celebrate the night away. so many people i talked with today said they feel like today they witnessed a new chapter beginning in the monarchy. brian. hit

Image: Britain's Prince William salutes and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, bows her head
Jon Super  /  AP
Prince William salutes and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, bows her head, as they approach the Cenotaph, the memorial to Britain's war dead, following their wedding in London's Westminster Abbey.
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 4/29/2011 10:53:35 AM ET 2011-04-29T14:53:35

Prince William and Catherine Middleton sealed their wedding vows with a traditional kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace Friday as millions in London and around the world roared their approval.

The short peck — and a slightly longer smooch a couple of minutes later — followed a glittering service at Westminster Abbey in which the prince and the newly created Duchess of Cambridge were pronounced husband and wife.

The kisses were followed by a traditional fly-by of vintage and modern planes from Britain's Royal Air Force.

About two hours later, the couple surprised crowds gathered outside the palace by emerging in a blue convertible Aston Martin and driving around for a few minutes. The car was decorated with a multicolored ribbon across the hood and dragged what appeared to be tin cans, a traditional British touch.

The couple took their vows at about 11:15 a.m. (6:15 a.m. ET) with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, officiating.

The prince, 28, dressed in the resplendent red tunic of the Irish Guards, appeared to initially struggle to get the wedding ring, made of Welsh gold, onto the elegant, tiara-bedecked Middleton's finger.

William said "I will" in a clear confident voice, when asked if he would "love, comfort, honor and keep" Middleton, 29. She appeared slightly emotional as she repeated her vows.

The prince was spotted winking at his new bride — the first "commoner" to marry a prince in close proximity to the throne in more than 350 years — after they exchanged vows.

Slideshow: Will and Kate's royal wedding (on this page)

Middleton had arrived at the abbey on time at 11 a.m. and, as soon as she did, Buckingham Palace issued the long-awaited details of what she was wearing: a long-sleeved lace gown and veil, designed by Sarah Burton, creative director for Alexander McQueen.

According to the U.K.'s Press Association, Prince William told a joke at the altar before the ceremony, saying: "We were supposed to have just a small family affair."

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Video: Prince William shakes off nerves with humor (on this page)

The line was spotted by Tina Lannin, lipreader for O'Malley Communications, the Press Association said. She also spotted Prince Harry, William's best man, nervously comment "Right, she is here now," as Middleton arrived.

An estimated million well-wishers — as well as some protesters — flooded into the areas surrounding Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and other London landmarks.

Some were up at dawn waving flags for television cameras under steely gray skies and cool temperatures.

Cheers erupted as huge television screens showing the service began broadcasting at Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park.

'She is beautiful'
Brenda Hunt-Stevenson, a 56-year-old retired teacher from Newfoundland, Canada, said there was only one thing on her mind.

"I want to see that kiss on that balcony. That's going to clinch it for me. I don't care what Kate wears. She is beautiful anyway," she said.

Even astronauts on the International Space Station offered best wishes to the couple in a video posted on YouTube.

Image:Police officers arrest a man as he tries to get into Westminster Abbey in London before the royal wedding.
LISE AASERUD  /  AFP - Getty Images
Police officers arrest a man as he tries to get into London's Westminster Abbey in London on the day of the royal wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Some 8,000 reporters and support staff have descended on the capital to capture the occasion in words and images, and, while some question a British government estimate of a global audience of two billion, hundreds of millions are certain to tune in.

Security was tight and as of 11 a.m. local time, police reported 18 arrests had been made for a variety of offenses including, possessing an offensive weapon, sexual assault, assault, criminal damage, a drug offense and being drunk and disorderly, NBC News reported.

Ecstatic crowds
The ceremony ended at about 12 noon (7 a.m. ET) and the newly wed couple traveled along street lined with even more ecstatic crowds in an open carriage.

Both smiled and waved as they made the journey, surrounded by cavalry soldiers in dress uniforms to Buckingham Palace.

The palace announced early Friday that the couple would be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Middleton will now be "Her Royal Highness" and also Princess William of Wales, but the latter title will not be used.

The second duke of Cambridge, Prince Adolphus Frederick, was the seventh son of King George III. Defying the Royal Marriage Act, he married his mistress, Sarah Louisa Fairbrother, an actress and a commoner, in 1847. Since the marriage wasn't legal, his children were all illegitimate.

Video: Queen Elizabeth reigns over royal nuptials (on this page)

In contrast to the clamor outside, inside the abbey all was airy and calm during the service. The long aisle leading to the altar was lined with maple and hornbeam trees as light streamed in through the high arched windows.

Video: Royal groom, best man arrive for nuptials

Some 1,900 guests filed into the abbey before the wedding, the vast majority of women in hats, some a full two feet across or high. Some looked like dinner plates.

One woman wore a bright red fascinator that resembled a flame licking her cheek. A BBC commentator noted there were some "very odd choices" in fashion walking through the abbey's door.

The guests included some 50 heads of state, British Prime Minister David Cameron, diplomats from around the world, along with celebrities such as Elton John, David Beckham and even the comic actor Rowan Atkinson, known for his portrayal of "Mr. Bean."

Light relief
The marriage is providing some welcome light relief amid general economic gloom in the U.K.

The year-old Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government is in the process of introducing swinging spending cuts designed to cut the deficit.

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New figures for the first three months of 2011 showed that the U.K.'s GDP grew by just 0.5 percent, prompting the leader of the opposition Labor Party, Ed Miliband, to claim Wednesday that the economy had "flat-lined."

But while the wedding might lift the spirits of many in the country, some slightly dour economists have estimated that the extra public holiday created to allow people to join in the celebrations will cost billions of pounds, with one even saying it will knock a quarter of a percentage point off second-quarter GDP growth.

And not all Britons are celebrating. An Ipsos MORI poll for Reuters this month found 47 percent of Britons were either not very or not at all interested.

"It's just a wedding," said 25-year-old Ivan Smith. "Everyone is going mad about it. I couldn't care less."

Video: Why are ex-lovers invited to wedding?

However, for the majority, the marriage between William, second in line to the throne, and Middleton, dubbed "Waity Katie" for their long courtship, has cemented a recovery in the monarchy's popularity.

Three-quarters of those polled by Ipsos MORI on the wedding said they favored Britain remaining a monarchy.

A series of scandals involving senior royals, Britain's economic difficulties and Princess Diana's death in 1997 aged 36 in a car crash after her divorce from Prince Charles led many to question the future of an institution rooted in the imperial past.

Video: How Princess Diana shaped William’s ideals

But William's image as a more rounded, less distant figure than his father, and the fact that Middleton is the first "commoner" to marry a prince in close proximity to the throne in over 350 years, appear to have worked in the monarchy's favor.

William has deliberately tried to keep the memory of his mother alive and gave Middleton his mother's sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

"Their marriage will breathe new life into the monarchy as the queen enters the twilight of her reign, bringing new blood and a fresh perspective to an institution that faces criticism for being elitist and out of touch," royal biographer Claudia Joseph told Reuters.

Reuters, The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report.

Photos: Ceremony

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  1. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk hand in hand from Buckingham Palace the day after their wedding to a waiting helicopter. (John Stillwell / PA / Pool via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The wedding bouquet of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, lies on the grave of the unknown warrior in Westminster Abbey on April 30, 2011 in London, England. (Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pose for an official photo with (left to right): Miss Grace van Cutsem, Miss Eliza Lopes, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HM The Queen, The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Louise Windsor, Master William Lowther-Pinkerton.

    Back Row (left to right): Master Tom Pettifer, HRH Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Harry of Wales, Mr. Michael Middleton, Mrs. Michael Middleton, Mr. James Middleton, Miss Philippa Middleton, in the throne room at Buckingham Palace. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, pose for a photograph with (clockwise from bottom right): Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Eliza Lopes, Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Tom Pettifer, and William Lowther-Pinkerton in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, following their wedding at Westminster Abbey. (Hugo Burnand / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The royal couple poses in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London. (Hugo Burnand / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Prince William and Princess Catherine take a spin outside Buckingham Palace in a convertible following their marriage. (Matt Dunham / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Members of the public gather along the Mall and around the Queen Victoria Memorial as they await Prince William and his wife Catherine's appearance. (Oli Scarff / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Prince William, who has been given the title of The Duke of Cambridge, greets Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her husband Tim Mathieson at Buckingham Palace in London after his wedding. (Ian West / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Prince William and his wife Catherine exit the 1902 State Landau carriage as they arrive at Buckingham Palace after their wedding in Westminster Abbey. (Andrew Winning / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Prince Charles makes the journey by carriage procession to Buckingham Palace following his son's wedding at Westminster Abbey. (Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Prince William and Princess Catherine approach Buckingham Palace by carriage procession following their marriage at Westminster Abbey. (Oli Scarff / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Rachel Jane Eardley and Diane Pallett put the finishing touches to the royal wedding cake, that Fiona Cairns and her team created for Prince William and Princess Catherine, in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace. (John Stillwell / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. Thousands gathered outside the palace gates to witness the couples first public kiss as husband and wife. (Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Prince William and his wife Catherine, now known as the duchess of Cambridge, wave from their open-topped carriage as they leave Westminster Abbey after their wedding ceremony. (Alastair Grant / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Prince William, duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, ride along The Mall to Buckingham Palace following their marriage ceremony at Westminster Abbey. (Christopher Furlong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Best man Prince Harry rides with two of the bridesmaids and a page boy in an Ascot Landau carriage along the processional route to Buckingham Palace after his brother's wedding ceremony. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Prince William and Catherine greet the thousands of people gathered along the processional route as they make their way in the 1902 State Landau carriage to Buckingham Palace. (Damien Meyer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Prince William and his new wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge emerge from Westminster Abbey after their wedding ceremony. (Lewis Whyld / Pa / Pool / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Prince William's father Prince Charles stands with Kate's parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, after the wedding ceremony of their children. (Toby Melville / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Phillip travel in a closed-top carriage along the processional route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. An aerial view of Westminster Abbey as bride Kate Middleton arrives on the hand of her father Michael Middleton. She was trailed by her sister and maid of honor, Pippa Middleton, as well as her bridesmaids and page boys. (Wpa Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Prince William puts the ring on the finger of his bride Catherine Middleton in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. The ring was made from a nugget of Welsh gold. (Andrew Milligan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Guests at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton join the couple in singing hymns. (Wpa Pool / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Catherine Middleton, holding the hand of her father Michael, gives her groom Prince William a big smile while joining him at the altar at the start of their wedding ceremony. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Kate Middleton walks to the alter with her father Michael. (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Bride Kate Middleton walks down the aisle with her father Michael at Westminster Abbey, followed by her sister Philippa and other bridemaids. (Andrew Milligan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Page-boy Tom Pettifer laughs as he arrives at Westminster Abbey with William Lowther-Pinkerton, and bridesmaids Lady Louise Windsor and Margarita Armstrong-Jones for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Kate Middleton arrives with her sister Philippa Middleton at the West Door of Westminster Abbey in London for her wedding to Britain's Prince William. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Kate Middleton waves as she rides next to her father Michael in a Rolls Royce on their way to Westminster Abbey for her marriage to Britain's Prince William. (Tony Gentile / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Maid of honor Philippa Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey for the wedding of her sister to Prince William. (Carl De Souza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Britain's Prince William waves as he arrives with his brother Prince Harry at the West Door of Westminster Abbey for his wedding, in London on Friday. (Odd Anderson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Princess Eugenie of York and Princess Beatrice of York arrive at Westminster Abbey to attend the royal wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton. (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with the Dean of Westminster as she arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Carole Middleton, the mother of Kate Middleton, arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey for the wedding of her daughter to Britain's Prince William. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrives at Westminster Abbey. (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Anne, the Princess Royal, arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey. (Ben Stansall / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Prince William marries Kate Middleton in the wedding watched by millions around the world (Pool / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. David and Victoria Beckham arrive at Westminster Abbey to attend the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Beckham served as a soccer ambassador with Prince William in Britain's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup. (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam arrive at Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding. (Alastair Grant / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish are directed to their seats in Westminster Abbey. (Dominic Lipinska / PA Pool via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Military bands play in London's Parliament Square ahead of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. (John Giles / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. A marching band of guardsmen parades along The Mall before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. (Dylan Martinez / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Guests arrive at Westminster Abbey in the hours before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton. (Phil Noble / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. The Right Reverend Dr. John Hall, Dean of Westminster holds the wedding program, titled the Order of Service, before the wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk together in Buckingham Palace in central London
    John Stillwell / PA / Pool via Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (44) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Ceremony
  2. Image: Royal Wedding - The Newlyweds Greet Wellwishers From The Buckingham Palace Balcony
    Oli Scarff / Getty Images
    Slideshow (31) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Royal fans
  3. Image: Ex-pats In Kabul Watch Royal Wedding
    Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
    Slideshow (18) Will and Kate's royal wedding - World reaction
  4. Image: Police officers walk down The Mall before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in central London
    Dylan Martinez / Reuters
    Slideshow (9) Will and Kate's royal wedding - Security
  5. Image: Police officers walk down The Mall before the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in central London
    Dylan Martinez / Reuters
    Slideshow (9) Royal security - Security
  6. Image: Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk together in Buckingham Palace in central London
    John Stillwell / PA / Pool via Getty Images
    Slideshow (44) Royal security - Ceremony
  1. Image: Ex-pats In Kabul Watch Royal Wedding
    Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
    Slideshow (18) Royal security - World reaction
  2. Image: Royal Wedding - The Newlyweds Greet Wellwishers From The Buckingham Palace Balcony
    Oli Scarff / Getty Images
    Slideshow (31) Royal security - Royal fans
  3. Image: Duke Weds
    Getty Images
    Slideshow (9) A history of British royal weddings - Royal weddings
  4. Mario Testino / Art Partner
    Slideshow (27) A history of British royal weddings - Royal courtship
  5. Image:
    Arthur Edwards / AP
    Slideshow (114) A history of British royal weddings - Prince William
  6. Image: The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends The Portrait Gala 2014: Collecting to Inspire
    Max Mumby/indigo / Getty Images
    Slideshow (44) A history of British royal weddings - Kate Middleton

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