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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Royal Wedding

Aired April 29, 2011 - 14:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The sun is setting on royal wedding day. The party is far from over yet, we are live at Buckingham Palace, where 300 guests are arriving for Part II, the evening festivities.

Good evening. I'm Richard Quest. Tonight we invite you to join us to celebrate the wedding and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

No longer William and Kate, or even Catherine, tonight the Duke and Duchess are man and wife. And this is how the prince chose to show to the world that he had finally got the girl. He drove a way from Buckingham Palace, at the wheel of an Aston-Martin, with his new bride at his side. The royal couple looked like they enjoyed every minute of the short drive down The Mall to Clarence House. That is now Catherine's new London home. I nearly called her Catherine Middleton. It is now Catherine Duchess of Cambridge. In the air and RAF search and rescue helicopter as flown by the prince in the day job.

The party continues into the night. And it is time for us to just pause and take a look at the extraordinary day.

So many words over one object. No, you can't really see it there, the dress was a secret, until the moment, when we got our first chance to see it when Catherine stepped out of the car at Westminster Abbey; the designer, Sarah Burton, of Alexander McQueen.

The other big moment, which I forecast you didn't want to miss, was of course, the kiss. Thrilled to the waiting crowds, they did it again. They demanded another, a million people came to The Mall to see royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The good human tide was guided to the gates by a thin line of police officers, as this has now become the tradition on these events.

And here is the wedding present from William's colleagues in the Royal Air Force. A fly past, Blank Casters (ph), Spitfires, and more; the old were at the front, and behind them came the modern tornadoes, flying in formation. A salute from the aircraft that fought in the battle of Britain in World War II and some of the aircraft, of course, that are now fighting in battles of Afghanistan and elsewhere.

There is definitely something in the air today that lifted spirits all over the British capital. If you don't believe it, here is a sign you don't see very often in church.

Yes, that really is a verger, turning cartwheels down the aisle of the Abbey, who was caught up in the thrill of the moment. It was, of course, after-just watch it again. Enjoy it. I can only imagine what his family is saying to him today.

Good evening, Max Foster, who has done duty, yeoman-like duty, over the course of the week and today.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And unbelievable day. I have been involved with aspect of the organization of the palace. At least (UNINTELLIGIBLE) it has all come together and it went (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The only thing, as far as we know, that went wrong, two horses bolted. It didn't appear on the camera. William struggled a bit to get the ring on. That was the only sort of slight problem in the service.

But it was amazing! I mean, the palace is amazing for pulling this one off.

QUEST: One of the things I think, to somebody like yourself, who has followed this for months, man, and boy-did it live up to your expectations?

FOSTER: It did. And what certainly the order of events that transpired as expected.

QUEST: Excuse me.

FOSTER: The thing that I was taken by, was the composure of the bride (UNINTELLIGIBLE), unbelievable pressure on a bride. She was completely calm, completely composed and what a tribe really, to the U.K., really, and the monarchy.

QUEST: In many ways she was more composed than he was. He seemed nervous at the sanctuary, at the vows. She seemed, either-

FOSTER: (AUDIO GAP)

QUEST: Yes, absolutely.

FOSTER: It was unbelievable.

QUEST: Look at it, there. It is also the warmth, the warmth of what took place today.

FOSTER: He's thrilled. She is composed. Harry is-about to laugh. He always looks like he is about to laugh, doesn't he?

And the most emotional person has to be Catherine's father. I mean, he was-he was nearly breaking up on the way down the aisle. But you would be, wouldn't you.

And absolutely unbelievable day. The other moment that took me, as it always does, but it was a reassurance in a way, the reaction from the crowds filling up The Mall; and that order, the way that the crowds were walking behind the police, there was no pressure, there was no toing or froing, and they loved it, and there was emotion.

(AUDIO GAP) made a comment today, she said it was amazing. She was emotional. You should have seen her face (AUDIO GAP)

QUEST: Finally, what did it do for royalty? Now, look, and in asking you this, there has been more than enough garbage spoken by people in television studios, myself included, about what this whole day meant. The amount of hot air, you could float a balloon. What do you think it meant?

FOSTER: It assured the future of the British monarchy.

QUEST: Oh, come on!

FOSTER: It did. This is what they needed. It was perfect. She was amazing. He was amazing. The public were amazing. The Queen, she said it was amazing, because it was amazing for her and for Britain. She knows this is the future for the British monarchy. They are reenergizing it. The last 10 to 15 years have been a nightmare for her (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

QUEST: Max Foster, with the analysis, from a man who really has lived this from day one.

He'll be back in under an hour's time for a special two-hour edition of "CONNECT THE WORLD", with Becky Anderson. They will be reliving William and Kate's big day with all the highlights from the wedding. It begins at 8:00 o'clock in London, 9:00 o'clock in Berlin. And it is on CNN, of course.

Now, I was at Westminster Abbey for the arrival of the wedding party. Monita Rajpal is at Westminster Abbey now. And Monita joins me now.

But during the day you were (UNINTELLIGIBLE) House on The Mall. Everything is a lot quieter now.

What did you make of the day?

MONITA RAJPAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it was one of those days where it has been described as a fairy tale. Now we have been here all week at Westminster Abbey, reporting live for the coverage, building up to this day. And we saw people coming in, the campers coming on Monday. And then, of course, the media from all over the world, coming in as well, to take in the excitement of what this day would bring.

And then it arrived. Today was the day that it all happened. And you know, to actually feel that excitement really build up. The culmination today was just incredible. Being at Banqueting House, and see the car, Rolls Royce 1, carrying Kate Middleton at the time, and now the Duchess of Cambridge, with her father, was just something for me, was just amazing to see. Because she looked beautiful, she was glowing and then, of course, seeing her here in that dress. The dress that we all wanted to see, was just stunning.

Some people would describe it as, not theatrical enough, perhaps a little too simple. But I think, for me, what it was, was elegance. It was timeless and it was so Grace Kelly-esque. And it was just a beautiful dress. And it showed off her own natural beauty in such a way. And of course, we saw the guests coming in as well. And it had all the moments that would make for great television, Richard.

QUEST: Monita, you are starting to wax lyrical, there, about that dress. Don't you think-I mean, it was a beautiful dress.

RAJPAL: I do love it.

QUEST: But maybe a little bit more of a veil? A bit more of something heavier? Or am I just being a little old fashioned here?

RAJPAL: Well, you know what it is not-I don't think you are being old fashioned. But I think what she has done is got a very good compromise in terms of fashion, what is in fashion right now. And what is her personal taste. Now, you know, she may have wanted to wear something, if it was for her own wedding-we were discussing this with our producers today. Perhaps it was something that was not a royal wedding, maybe her dress would look more like what Pippa, her maid of honor, was wearing. But because this was indeed a royal occasion, she had to have a little bit more of that oomph. But it was such a good, I think, combination of the two. But I think it had enough of that-it's not the '80s. We are not going to see the dress that Diana wore at her wedding, which had all that theater. This was a time-this is a dress for, you know, the 21st century.

QUEST: Monita Rajpal, who is firmly in the 21st century at Westminster Abbey. We thank you for that.

Now, in the last few-in the last half hour, they have cleared the Victoria Memorial, and the roads and the streets around it. They have even started to clear The Mall. And that suggests to me-although I am not suggesting, it is quite obvious, they are clearing the area because somebody is going to come in. Now, whether or not it is William and Catherine from Clarence House for the evening party, returning back, or some of the guests who may have left and come back, we don't know, we're not sure. But they have clearly made a massive clearance of the roads around Buckingham Palace. And that is obviously tells us that activity is about to take place. Royalty will be on the move. We'll let you know who is moving and where.

It was a day that embraced all things British. A wedding truly made in Britain, even at a time when British manufacturing is continuing a half century of decline. The dress was decorated with flowers, which are symbols of these islands, the roses, the thistles, the daffodil, and the shamrock. It is a product of a British designer. And much of the lace was handmade by the Royal School of Needlework based at Hampton Court Palace.

The bride's bouquet contained stems from a myrtle, at tree planted by Queen Victoria, at her home on the Isle of Wight. It also contained a sprig of a plant grown from myrtle used in the present Queen's wedding bouquet. The language of flowers, myrtle, the emblem of marriage and love. You don't often get marriage and love on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.

The wedding breakfast, that tour de force of British fare, Scottish smoked haddock-oh, I do like a bit of haddock, English rhubarb and lamb, from the Windsor Estate. Now Rolls Royce may no longer be a truly British brand, it is certainly one which is associated with England. And this one belongs to the Queen. It was actually a gift to the Queen.

The music used at the service was carefully selected to reflect the best of the British Isles. The composers included Charles Hubert, Hastings Perry, who's music was used for the procession of the bride. Ralph Van Williams, Edward Alger, of course, and Benjamin Britain.

In person, on television, even on your phone, next we'll look at the ways that you have been watching the first Royal Wedding of this digital age.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROWD CHEERING)

QUEST: You don't often see sights like these and they are well worth enjoying. Luxuriate in them, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Welcome back. We're live from Buckingham Palace. I'm Richard Quest.

The ceremony may be over the party is continuing in London. And Zain Verjee is with a crowd of revelers on The Mall.

And my first question to you, Zain, tonight if you can hear me. Do you know why have they cleared the people off the Victoria Memorial and cleared the streets?

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Richard, we want to get this party started, basically, is the answer. It looks like that the bride and groom are going to get her at any minute. Officially, this party at Buckingham Palace, for an exclusive 300 people, begins at 7:00 o'clock. It is a little bit after 7:00 o'clock here in London. And the crowds have already gone around the roads and the palace itself, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bride and groom. It is supposed to be a great night with music and dancing, and Harry is said to be very intricately involved in the celebrations tonight, from picking the menu, to picking the music; just making sure that he gives Kate and William a night to remember.

Also, we just noticed that the Union Jack is up and the Royal Standard has been taken down. So it looks like the Queen has taken off her dancing shoes for the evening. She is no longer a Buckingham Palace. It is just for the young folk. We don't have too much detail about the guest list, but it is close family, close friends. And we here, too, the singer, Joss Stone, will be there as one of the guests. She may sing, may pick up the mike, we don't know.

And there is speculation that on the menu tonight, crab and lamb. We'll get you more information on all the details we can, Richard. But right now, the crowds are waiting for the bride and groom to show up.

QUEST: Any surprise guests, who are likely to make a performance. I have heard-I think you have heard just about every name under the sun who might actually do a performance there tonight.

VERJEE: Well, there is a lot of speculation, but you know, Beyonce and Jay Z have been two names bandied about all day, that they maybe them as the surprise guests. We just don't know yet. They are holding it very close to their chest. So we will wait and see, Richard. But they are probably going to be here, the bride and groom, until about midnight we hear.

QUEST: Zain, we are going stay with you for the moment, or two, if we may because it is highly likely that the bride and groom will be heading back. So it seems a shame to just wonder off and talk, when we hear them and see them, please, do turn and report for us on what's happening.

But, Zain, what for you was the moment of the day. The moment of the day, what many people have said, was the kiss on the balcony, right here. Not just one kiss, but two kisses. An unprecedented two kisses. The crowd, as you can see, went absolutely nuts. They loved it. Many people were hoping for a hat trick, three kisses. But that didn't happen.

I think at one moment a lot of people, too, we're talking about when Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, came out onto the balcony. She just looked at the crowds in amazement and said, "Oh, wow!" I think that was the big moment of the day. Among so many others, Richard. You were there. There were so many lovely moments for the Middleton family.

QUEST: And what has surprised me, of course, has been the unbelievable good atmosphere on the streets of London. A country, a city, in a country that is in some pretty perilous economic times at the moment, but frankly was able to put all that to one side and enjoy a good knees (ph) up for the afternoon.

VERJEE: Yes, you know, with an economic recession in this country and around the world a lot of people I think, just really thought, great, we can just take a break for a day. Take a break from reality and really just enjoy a fairytale. Because that is really what it was. If you just talk to people on the streets and where we were, in the crowds, it was just so magical for so many people. They were so energized, too, by seeing this young couple that would be the future king and queen of England, a new generation. It is fresh. They say, they feel that-they felt connected, both with Kate and with Prince William. So, I think, all in all it was a pretty good day too, for the monarchy, Richard. And I think this couple has really given it a boost today.

QUEST: All right. Zain, we will leave you for the moment. You have other duties to attend to. We need to move on. But obviously, we'll come back to you if and when we do see the royal couple, the duke and duchess heading back from Clarence House. It is a journey of a couple of hundred yards, if that. But we could be sitting here for some time as we wait for them to come back to the palace for their evening engagement. A party of 300 odd people, hosted by Prince Charles the Prince of Wales.

For the estimated 2 billion of you and me, well for those of you who couldn't make it here in person we watched it on television and we watched it so many-it is the first major Royal Wedding of digital age. Viewers across the world could also see the event streamed live on their computers and phones, via YouTube. CNN.com was one of many news organizations that streamed the wedding live. Video views on .com were up nearly 400 percent over the previous four Fridays.

The palace got in on the act. They got a big name to run their main Web site. The official RoyalWedding2011.org is powered by Google. It has information about the route, the royal protocol and live updates from Twitter. As for the action on Twitter, the social media monitoring site TweetMinster says there were actually 500 Tweets per second, being shared on Twitter.

Don't forget this was the first ever royal engagement to be announced on Twitter. Here is the Tweet from last November of 2010, which announced that William and Catherine were to the-to get married.

As you were all watching the ceremony earlier, you were letting me know your feelings via social media. One of the best messages I received today was from Rudy in Nigeria, who said, "I have tears in my eyes watching Princes William and Harry, Diana would have been so proud."

Dorothee wrote, "It is really a lovely wedding. I'm watching from Nairobi, in Kenya, where the marriage proposal took place."

Alicia from Nigeria Tweeted, "Gosh, I never thought I would scream at a dress, but gosh her dress is beautiful."

And our social media producer found two QUEST MEANS BUSINESS fans watching the show in person, from Buckingham Palace. That is me above there, broadcasting. You can see-yes, that's me-from our studios. The lady on the right usually watches us from her home in Cypress.

You can see all the behind the scenes photos from our team doing the wedding coverage at Facebook.com/CNNQuest.

The celebrations really do stretch all over the world. Here is a viewing party in Hong Kong where ex-pats say they are proud to be British.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something we do better than anyone else in the world. Pomp and pageantry and ceremony, and only 2 billion people are watching this. And well, look at it, it's great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I'm getting married this year. And I have always thought I didn't want to have a big ceremony. And this has actually made me more excited about getting married. And I'm a quite cynical person. So, it is going to have an effect on me. I might (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: These people are watching the ceremony on a big screen in New York's Times Square and had plenty to say about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the wedding dress is fantastic. I mean it is very-Middleton. She is lovely. She does look very nice in it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is very beautiful. The dress-her dress is beautiful. And we are loving this ritual.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I couldn't miss this opportunity. I love events to begin with, but to have an event of this magnitude that inspires the world and that gives us a little bit of hope and love, at a time when we could use it altogether. I just couldn't miss it. I am so excited sharing the opportunity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: What has happened to that lady's hat?

Take a look at this. It is a viewing party, near the North Pole. The researchers from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, and a dog, are toasting the royal couple from the Catlin Ice Base, that is on an ice flow in the frozen Arctic.

We are still awaiting to see what is going to come down The Mall and go into the palace. I'd lay money is probably going to be Kate and William, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We'll have more on the celebrations. Next, though, it is time for a round up of the day's business. In Hong Kong, it is meant to be the dawning of a new era. Unlike the wedding, though, it didn't quite go according to plan. Some business news after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Now some of what has already become the iconic images of this day. And you heard there the wedding vows of William and Catherine, now the Duke and Duchess.

Welcome back live from Buckingham Palace. We do need to break away from the celebrations here in London to bring you the main business stories of the day. There has been business news to report.

John Defterios is at CNN London. John we may need to interrupt you so I'll ask your forgiveness. If, indeed, we see the couple coming back here, I'll just barge in if I may.

(LAUGHTER)

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN ANCHOR, MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST: Something new and different. I feel I'm the man delivering some of the dour news today, Richard.

Spain's unemployment rate has climbed to more than 21 percent, the highest rate in 13 years. The number of people out of work went up by more 200,000 in the latest quarter, bringing the total number to almost 5 million. Jobs disappeared in every major sector of the economy. There are now close to 1.4 million homes in Spain where no adult has work.

The numbers are in stark contrast to figures out of Germany on Thursday. Unemployment there fell to its lowest point since 1992. The jobless rate held steady at just over 7 percent.

Spain's main stock market index, the IBEX, ended slightly higher this Friday. Some analysts were expecting the unemployment numbers to be even worse than they turned out. It was a similar picture in Frankfurt and Zurich. With the Paris CAC currant more or less flat on the day. Of course, the London stock exchange was closed for the royal festivities.

Shares of Research In Motion are plummeting after the company warned late on Thursday that profits would be much lower than previously expected. The Blackberry maker says it expects smart phone sales to be slow in 2011, with more customers going for cheaper models. Though, Chief Executive Jim Balsillie admitted the company was going through a transition phase. RIM shares are currently off by more than 13 percent, near their low for the day.

There are plenty of other high profile earnings moving markets States- side. Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange, where traders had time to watch the morning nuptials before getting down to business. But a fairly quiet trading day, but a lot of activity on the corporate front, Alison.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Not so sure if they were watching the wedding, they were definitely watching earnings coming in, John. You know, this definitely is the best round of reports we have seen all week. And a stellar $10-billion quarter from ExxonMobil was really the high point. And before the open we did hear from a few Dow components, all beating estimates. One, I want to mention, Caterpillar, that makes heavy equipment like bulldozers and tractors. That is leading the Dow 30 right now, after posting a record high profit for the first quarter. The company made more than $1 billion thanks to strong demand for its machinery. Caterpillar, also, upped its outlook for the rest of the year, which is why we are seeing Caterpillar shares, right now rise, about 3 percent, John.

DEFTERIOS: We are doing the package, yes?

KOSIK: John?

DEFTERIOS: OK. Alison, thanks very much.

It was a disappointing debut for that first initial public offering outside Mainland China for shares denominated in Chinese Renminbi. Warren Sean, a real estate investment trust, saw its share price fall sharply as the stock began trading in Hong Kong. As Andrew Stevens reports, that is a setback both for the prospects for the Renminbi and to one of Asia's richest men.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Li Ka-Shing is not known as Superman for nothing in his hometown of Hong Kong. He built a formidable business empire out of seeing commercial opportunities long before his rivals. Basically, buying assets low, and selling them high.

He is, now, 82 years old. He is worth about $26 billion and that makes him the 11th richest man on the planet, according to "Forbes" magazine. So, when he announced that he'd bet he first person in Hong Kong, to launch an IPO denominated in Chinese currency, rather than Hong Kong dollars, investors sat up and took notice. The share sale was based on bricks & mortar assets. The logic looked pretty sound.

Investors would get a slice of this. Prime commercial property in the heart of one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the Oriental Plaza, in Beijing. Eight premium office towers, a shopping mall, five-star hotel and service departments. And because this was a real estate trust, there would be a regular return. On top of that, you have a currency play. The U.S. dollar, as you can see here, is down nearly percent against the Chinese Renminbi, since the middle of last year. And that is when Beijing loosened its very tight peg to the U.S. dollar. And the Chinese currency is expected to continue to appreciate.

Now, on top of that, China is also pushing to internationalize its currency. So the prospect of an Renminbi IPO here, in Hong Kong, got a warm welcome in Beijing. But things did not go according to plan. Interest was look warm right from the start. Li had to price the offer at the very low end of the price range. And even when he did that, it was only 2.2 times oversubscribed. And in Hong Kong, well, that is virtually a failure.

By comparison, Li's last property offering, in Hong Kong dollars, was 300 times oversubscribed.

Now, on the first day of trading, the new stock actually fell.

So what went wrong?

Well, even Li could not convince investors this was a good deal. The return was just too small.

This is what Jack Wong, a professor of finance at Chinese University of Hong Kong, had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PROF. JACK WONG, CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: The yield is only like 4.25 percent, but the three year yield deposit rates in China 4.75 percent.

So, well, I mean would you like to --- to be sure of 4.75 percent or buy into the peak of the property market, with 4.25 percent yield?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEVENS: Hong Kongers have a legendary appetite for making money. But this sales shows that even a man with the Midas touch can find the going pretty tough.

Andrew Stevens, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

DEFTERIOS: And that's a wrap of global business news today, outside of what was happening at Buckingham Palace.

Let's go back to Richard --- Richard, a quick question, if we have the time.

Can you ride the wave today into the 2012 Games taking place in London, the global branding?

What do you think, is that good?

QUEST: Oh, easy. Easy. Easy. No --- no --- no problem with that one. They --- this was --- this was very much a sort of practice run on a smaller scale. The Olympics will be much grander. It will last longer and there will be more people here. But it does give them a good opportunity to have a go at this, at least, and see how things go.

DEFTERIOS: Yes.

QUEST: John Defterios, who is at CNN London.

I --- I'm going to now do a little bit of foot tap dancing, as we say, because we do believe that William and Kate may have left Clarence House and heading --- be heading toward or at least it is imminent. And the one thing that there's nothing worse is not being with you when something important is happening.

I can see out of the corner of my eye --- and if we actually can actually see any pictures from The Mall at the moment. I can see out of the corner of my eye that one of the jib cameras has gone into the roof and there does seem to be slightly more activity at the moment.

But you pays your money, you takes your choice with this. That is Clarence House at the moment, the home of the Prince of Wales. It's where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will make their new home, at least in the short-term. Of course, for most of the time, the couple are living in Anglesey, RAF Valley in Anglesey, where the --- where Prince William is Flight Lieutenant William Wales, as in the search and rescue.

It will be interesting to see, it's not that far how far --- how they are going to actually come down. Ah, here is a car leaving.

But is it the car?

Well, that, of course, is the question.

(COUGHING)

QUEST: Excuse me.

The party taking place tonight is for some 300 of the Wales' closest friends and family. Cousins will be there, as well, but it is primarily an event for the friends, to let their knees --- to let their hair down and have their knees up.

It could be two minutes, it could be five minutes. You pays your money, you takes your choice with this one.

We should take a break and come back in just a moment.

If things move, we'll be back before that moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: The interesting thing about this part of the proceedings, very much unlike what happened earlier in the day, is that we've got absolutely no idea of the order of which things are supposed to take place for one very simple reason --- the palace has done its best to keep this part of the evening, the second party, hosted by Prince Charles, to be a complete secret --- or at least, not a secret as such, but so that --- to enjoy the privacy of the couple.

Welcome back.

Hello.

I'm Richard Quest.

This is CNN.

And on this network, the news always comes first.

We do believe that some members of the royal family may be heading back here. We believe that it might be the Prince of Wales, Camilla and Harry. But frankly, at the moment, we can't actually see any pictures of them.

So let me update you with other news that there have been. And unfortunately, there has been more bloodshed in Daraa in Syria today, where more than a dozen people were killed. It's the latest casualties in the government's crackdown on dissent. Activists are calling this The Day of Rage. A number of rallies are being held in support of the people in Daraa. This video posted online appears to show protests in Damascus. CNN cannot verify its atty.

President Obama has visited the storm-battered state of Alabama. Mr. Obama said the devastation was heartbreaking and the biggest priority now was helping with the recovery. Nearly 300 people were killed by storms in six southern states this week.

The president was expected next in the U.S. state of Florida to see Space Shuttle Endeavour lift off for the last time. The launch has been delayed until Monday. There are concerns about the shuttle's heating system. NASA's shuttle program is virtually at an end. Endeavour will be retired after this mission.

Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are enjoying their first ever evening together as husband and wife. A million people packed the streets of London to see the couple get married a few hours ago. The title, as I've just said, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

They're going to be enjoying an evening of dancing at Buckingham Palace.

As I said to you, you pays your money, you takes your choice. No sooner had we started speaking than, of course, the cars carrying Camilla, Charles and, potentially, Harry, left Clarence House and headed to the palace, followed by security. These are the pictures of what took place just a short few moments ago.

Believe me, they did actually drive into the palace and no doubt, because the jaguar car roared past us here at the Victoria Memorial.

What we're still waiting for, of course, is for the --- is for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge to leave, as well.

As the private events continue inside the palace --- now, here are the cars. I'll tell you, the timing on all these things. As the private parties continue inside the palace, the partying is continuing across the British capital. Celebrations have been springing up all around the country. And in keeping with the best tradition, Atika Shubert has sampled the great British street party out in East London.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what better way to celebrate the royal wedding than with another great British tradition, the street party. It's got the red and white and blue bunting, the long tables, the flags and perhaps the best part are the dresses. People have been coming here with sparkling tiaras, with ball gowns, wedding dresses. It's just a whole lot of fun.

And people are watching the wedding on the screen. They've been cheering when the vows were said, when the vows were said, when the kiss had been done, singing along with the hymns. And that's just --- it seemed like everybody was actually at the wedding, except, of course, without all the pomp and circumstance and a whole lot more fun.

Atika Shubert, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: You cannot beat a good party.

When you need a day to go with military precision, you call in the cavalry. We spent the royal wedding day with the men in fur hats and red coats to find out what it was like to be part of this royal occasion.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Welcome back to outside Buckingham Palace.

There is one of the cars heading in. But I challenge anybody, from this distance, to tell me who's in it at this particular point. And if I do find out in the next second or two, I will, of course, let you know. We are not sure. We're still waiting, of course, for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

This is truly sort of the evening festivities gets underway.

With their bearskin hats and their bayonets, the soldiers that we saw today might look like something the British keep just to entertain the tourists. You would be seriously wrong. They are not toy soldiers.

The men and women of the Household Division have a distinguished history of service and some of them have only just returned from duties in Afghanistan. This royal wedding was a chance to enjoy their ceremonial role and provide a very real guard of honor for the royal family.

CNN's Jim Boulden spent the day with the Household Cavalry.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just a few hours ago, before the wedding starts and the young soldiers who will be lining the parade route are doing last minute preparations before the ceremonies begin.

BOULDEN (on camera): Did you guys sleep much last night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd love to have (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm back here now, so when I finish my kit, I'll probably go to sleep for an hour, maybe an hour or two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd say really a guard is just like a coin really, right. One side of the coin is ceremonial. On the other side, you're actually serving your country. So we are --- so it's nice to this part, as well.

BOULDEN: What did your parents think when they --- when you told them you were going to be in the royal wedding?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they're quite proud, really. They're saying to all their friends about (INAUDIBLE).

BOULDEN: We're now outside on the parade ground at Wellington Barracks. It's about two hours before the wedding starts and those involved in the ceremony are beginning to gather out here. And that includes those in the military who will be playing music along the route.

(MUSIC)

LT. GEN. GRAHAM JONES, COLDSTREAM GUARDS: Each band will go out individually at their given time and march down The Mall and get themselves into position, ready to do the --- the first phase, which is to entertain the general public for the first hour-and-a-half. Then, of course, you've got the --- the wedding itself. And then we're providing all the music for the --- for the state processions, as well.

BOULDEN: With the bands out entertaining the crowds, it was time for last minute preparations for the three of the military services that were going to line the route of the ceremony.

BILL MOTT, STATE CEREMONIAL WARRANT OFFICER: A lot of our locations are commemorative on a little bit more somber occasions. So it's nice to be a little bit more relaxed. And you haven't heard me shouting. So you can tell, it's a happy day.

BOULDEN: Now, the ceremony over, the military personnel return to the barracks.

(on camera): What did it feel like inside the Abbey?

Not many people will --- will know what that feels like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say it was probably one of the most special atmospheres I've been part of. It was very calm. And it was a --- there was a lot of tense people in there, because everything had to be right. And I think the service was fit for a future king.

BOULDEN: For the more than 1,000 members of the military who took part in today's ceremony, many told us they will never forget this day, especially those who've just recently returned from Afghanistan.

At Wellington Barracks, near Buckingham Palace, I'm Jim Boulden for CNN.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: Now, when we come back after the break, the real royal highlights from the day.

Don't miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Finally tonight, it's been a day of pomp and circumstance, a day of royal celebrations. The parties continue.

I'm Richard Quest at Buckingham Palace.

We now need to enjoy the best of the day.

And "CONNECT THE WORLD'S" special is ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On royal wedding day, many of us woke early, put on paints and party hats and anything else remotely festive and patriotic and readied our lungs to scream and shout.

This was Will's and Kate's day and tens of thousands wanted to be there --- a huge crowd worth of U2 or The Stones was spread across Hyde Park, waiting to watch everything on big television screens. They lined the barricades along The Mall. They stood eight to 10 deep outside Westminster Abbey. Some had camped out for days.

The police brought pack lunches.

Are they getting younger?

Probably. But this was a day to celebrate youth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a once in a lifetime thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a British thing to do, you know?

You come down here and celebrate everything that's good about being British.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the biggest event of the year, the biggest event of my lifetime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So who was the favorite, Will or Kate?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, guys. It's going to be William. Whoo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good old London town and its splendid gothic abbey was veiled in mist, what the English call a dull day. It didn't matter. The mood was infectious. The bride had invited her friends from the local village store in Barkshire.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that customers are the family. That's what we call friends. And it's such an important occasion to help a lot of your friends. But the thrill, I think, will be watching her father walking down the aisle with Catherine on his arms. I think it would be --- it would be totally mind-blowing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was ever a royal wedding list more diverse?

The guests started filing into the Abbey two-and-a-half hours before the service began. There were the RAF guys Prince William is currently serving with as a helicopter search and rescue pilot. One of them goes by the name of Flight Lieutenant Thomas Sticky Bunn. There was the chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, checking for his invite, the former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Dr. Roy Strong, an historian. And a few minutes later, the Beckhams, David and Victoria.

He brought along a top hat and wore a medal in his OBE, though apparently etiquette suggests it should be worn on the left, not the right. There were the Palmer-Tompkinson girls, Tara and Santa, old royal family friends. There was also a sense of the new, younger royal set, too --- Chelsea Davy, Prince Harry's on/off girlfriend and Holly Branson, daughter of Richard Branson, and her fiance. And, of course, as many fabulous hats as a good day at Royal Ascot.

The groom and the best man traveled to the Abbey in a glass-backed Rolls-Royce. A roar went up as soon as they were spotted leaving Clarence House.

It's 30 years since a future British monarch exchanged marriage vows in a church. Inevitably, there would be resonances of that July morning, when Prince Charles married an earl's daughter called Lady Diana Spencer. We remain a little haunted by that image of her 15-year-old boy, head bowed, walking behind his mother's coffin in 1997.

William wants us to remember his mother just as he seems to every day of his life. And we know, he gave his bride his mother's engagement ring.

PRINCE WILLIAM: It is a fine ring, yes. It's my mother's engagement ring. So I thought it was quite nice, because, obviously, she's not going to be around to share any of the --- the fun and excitement about all of this. So this is my way of keeping her so close to it all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were further reminders of Princess Diana at the Abbey in the congregation. Her brother, Charles Spencer, Earl Spencer, who gave the eulogy at her funeral, and Elton John, who famously sang "Candle in the Wind".

Groom and best man arrived at the Abbey, surrendered their hats and with a quick pat of the hair, the service was just half an hour away. Prince William was dressed in the uniform of an Irish Guards mounted officer. Prince Harry in the uniform of a Blues and Royals officer.

Here was our first glimpse of the bride, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, departing her hotel with her father, Michael, and stepping into another Rolls-Royce and into royal history.

What was the dress like?

Was the hair up or down?

Were there flowers or a tiara?

We would find out shortly.

So here at last, at the Abbey doors, we had the answers. The dress, long sleeved and floor length in white and ivory satin, beautiful and understated. The bride wore a tiara. The designer was, as many had predicted, Sarah Burton, protege of the late Alexander McQueen, and, of course, British.

A moment for composure, to adjust the veil and the train, with help from her sister, Pippa. And then the bride, on her father's arm, advanced on that long walk from the door to the high altar. Their hands were tightly gripped. It marked, somehow, a new beginning for the royal family, a wedding part solemn tradition, part native British genius for theater and part, and irresistible, a good old-fashioned love story.

Prince Harry looked back first. Yes, she was almost there. Prince William, for his part, looked to settle any nerves.

The first glimpse of his bride, who looked beautiful. And to his father-in-law-to-be, something about wasn't this supposed to be a small family affair?

So the Windsors we're marrying, like so many other European royals, into the middle class, dipping their toes into an infinitely larger gene pool. This was a union of two first born and in this celebrity age, with the tall, handsome, telegenic couple at its heart, it was also a live television event disseminated around the globe. And yet somehow, there was an intimacy to it.

The vows were spoken quietly, but firmly. As produced, the word "obey" was omitted.

DR. ROWAN WILLIAMS, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: I, William Arthur Philip Louis...

PRINCE WILLIAM: I, William Arthur Philip Louis.

WILLIAMS: Take thee, Catherine Elizabeth.

PRINCE WILLIAM: --- take thee Catherine Elizabeth --

WILLIAMS: --- to my wedded wife.

PRINCE WILLIAM: --- to my wedded wife.

WILLIAMS: To have and to hold from this day forward.

PRINCE WILLIAM: To have and to hold from this day forward.

WILLIAMS: For better or for worse.

PRINCE WILLIAM: For better or for worse.

WILLIAMS: For richer or for poorer.

PRINCE WILLIAM: For richer or for poorer.

WILLIAMS: In sickness and in health.

PRINCE WILLIAM: In sickness and in health.

WILLIAMS: To love and to cherish. PRINCE WILLIAM: To love and to cherish.

WILLIAMS: Till death us do part.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Till death us do part.

WILLIAMS: According to God's holy law.

PRINCE WILLIAM: According to God's holy law.

WILLIAMS: And thereto I give thee my troth.

PRINCE WILLIAM: And thereto I give thee my troth.

WILLIAMS: I, Catherine Elizabeth --

KATE MIDDLETON: I, Catherine Elizabeth --

WILLIAMS: Take thee William Arthur Philip Louis --

MIDDLETON: Take thee William Arthur Philip Louis --

WILLIAMS: --- to my wedded husband.

MIDDLETON: --- to my wedded husband.

WILLIAMS: To have and to hold from this day forward.

MIDDLETON: To have and to hold from this day forward.

WILLIAMS: For better or for worse.

MIDDLETON: For better or for worse.

WILLIAMS: For richer or for poorer.

MIDDLETON: For richer or for poorer.

WILLIAMS: In sickness and in health.

MIDDLETON: In sickness and in health.

WILLIAMS: To love and to cherish.

MIDDLETON: To love and to cherish.

WILLIAMS: Till death us do part.

MIDDLETON: Till death us do part.

WILLIAMS: According to God's holy law.

MIDDLETON: According to God's holy law.

WILLIAMS: And thereto I give thee my troth.

MIDDLETON: And thereto I give thee my troth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ring was of Welsh gold, as is the tradition. William had already decided he won't himself wear one. Before sitting down to write his address, the Bishop of London would have heeded the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1981 about fairy tales and presumably he decided not to repeat them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire. So said Saint Catherine of Siena, whose festival day it is today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so, in Westminster Abbey and outside, they sang one of the most rousing songs in the English hymn book, "Jerusalem."

(singing)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music by Hubert Perry, words by the English poet, William Blake.

(singing)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: the newlyweds came out to cheers and a brief exchange, she to him, "Are you happy?"

"Yes," he said. "Are you?"

"Yes."

And so out into the world they ventured in an open state landau (ph). The Mounted Guard provided escort. When one of its number parted company with his horse, they would have been oblivious to it all.

Back at the Abbey, a church verger was taking advantage of having the place to himself again. Down The Mall they came and massive well-wishers swarming toward the palace gates, only held back by the policemen.

They would have to wait a while, but everyone knew it was part of the ritual --- the balcony appearance. Although the royals don't like performing on demand, a kiss was expected. Eventually, the public and media wish was granted. It was the briefest of kisses.

A minute or so later, the groom whispered, "One more kiss?"

(END VIDEOTAPE)

END