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Royal Wedding: World Dignitaries, A-List Celebrities, Royal Family Begin Arriving at Westminster Abbey

Aired April 29, 2011 - 04:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning from London. If you're watching in the United States or around the world or anybody here in Europe, you're watching the royal wedding on CNN. Millions of people here and across the globe waiting and watching for the moment Prince William and Kate Middleton walk down the aisle.

I'm Anderson Cooper, joined by Piers Morgan and Cat Deeley.

Good morning to you.



MORGAN: What a wonderful day to be British, don't you think, Anderson?

COOPER: It's a good day to be a commoner, too, I think.

MORGAN: I mean, the most incredible thing has happen. We've reached the day of the wedding and it's the most speculated about wedding in history and we still don't know who's made this dress.

DEELEY: We don't.

MORGAN: Quite amazing.

DEELEY: There's Sarah Burton from Alexander McQueen, there's also Jenny Packham, she came up recently and so did Stella McCartney.

COOPER: Do you think that's going to be the moment or at least one of the key moments?

MORGAN: Two moments, the moment she gets out of the car and reveals the dress, and in that moment, after the fly-by, when the RAF shot and the big kiss happens. That's when we'll able to go, ah.

COOPER: And the pictures you're seeing, really nobody does pomp and pageantry like the British do. It's extraordinary. London is decked out. There have been people waiting now overnight, and the weather is actually holding which is really --

MORGAN: Well, I can confirm, it probably isn't going to rain because the royal couple have decided to go open top carriage, when they come out of the thing, which is the first confirmation I've seen that they must sure it won't rain because there's no way that our future king and his future queen will be coming back here with rainfall on their head.

DEELEY: I thought you've been checking the weather last night.

COOPER: That actually is the same as open landau, the 1902 landau, which is the same landau coach used by Prince Charles and Diana after the wedding.

MORGAN: It is the preferred choice of the queen. It is the number one carriage they have. They've been given the best stuff today

COOPER: What's happening right now, Kate Middleton is at the Goring Hotel, along with her family. That's where she spent her last night as a single woman. Prince William is at Clarence House, which is the official residence in London of his father. And the queen is right behind us, at Buckingham Palace.

And there's a very structured order of events of what is going to take place this morning. The wedding begins at 11:00 East Coast time -- excuse me, 11:00 a.m. here in London, 6:00 a.m. East Coast time in the United States. Really, in the next hour, though, we're going to be watching a lot more of these guests starting to arrive, a lot of the dignitaries from around the world.

MORGAN: It's a bit like the Oscars. You know, you get the ones you don't recognize to start with. They can't believe they got a ticket and then as it slowly builds up, you start you say, hang on, I know, then you get into the David Beckhams and Elton Johns and then the big ones.

COOPER: You're both British. I think that you will know everybody who



MORGAN: That's Harry's girlfriend, not girlfriend, right there, live on CNN.

DEELEY: There you go.

COOPER: Wow, see? I was right.

DEELEY: Thank you very much.

COOPER: Richard Quest is with us also from outside Westminster Abbey.

Richard, the scene there, it must be as much excitement as there is here at Buckingham Palace.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: An enormous amount. But, of course, as you were just talking about the north entrance over there where the Chelsea Davies of this world and all those others go in, we are at the great west door and it is here where, of course, the foreign royals, the royal family themselves and then the queen and the duke and duchess of Cambridge.

By the way, guys, that is the title that the queen has bestowed on William and Catherine this morning. They will in future be known as Prince William, duke of Cambridge, and she will become Catherine, duchess of Cambridge, a title, the gift of her majesty.

The guests are arriving. They've got to get 1,900 guests, or about 1,600, 1,700 guests in before, as Piers was rightly saying, the A-listers arrive. The A-listers start arriving just about 50 minutes from now, Anderson.

MORGAN: The full title is not just the duke of Cambridge. And this is where you'll see pomp and pageantry at its finest. William's title is conferred by the queen today, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and my favorite, Baron Carrickfergus. COOPER: I wasn't sure how to say Carrickfergus, so that's why I was leaving it up to you.

MORGAN: She's Lady Carrickfergus and him, Baron Carrickfergus.

COOPER: Why is there -- and, Richard, maybe you can answer this for us -- why is there a change of title? I know it's the tradition.

QUEST: Well, I think we've seen the dean and members of the Abbey coming out to talk the crowd here which has caused an amazing amount of enjoyment. They are obviously are going to be taking part, three members of the clearly officiating today. The dean of Westminster, Dr. John Hall, over there, you then got the archbishop of Canterbury who will solemnize the marriage and the full address, Anderson, will be given by the bishop of London is Dr. Richard Chartres, who not only confirmed Prince William but would also spoke at Princess Diana's memorial service.

To answer your question, they give several titles because they have a title in England, they usually have a tight until in Scotland, which is what has happened here, and in the case of William, of course, he has a title in Wales. Prince Charles, his father is not only Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, he's the duke of Cornwall and he is also the duke of Rothesay when he's in Scotland.

So, that is why they have these different titles given on different occasions in this different way. Over the next few years, I promise you, William and Catherine will accumulate a great many more, Anderson.

COOPER: And the history, Richard of the building you are standing behind, Westminster Abbey is just extraordinary, when you read. I mean, it goes back more than 900 years. It's seen a lot of weddings. It has seen many coronations. It's really just an extraordinary part of British history.

QUEST: Absolutely. That building, of course, goes back to 1065 when it was consecrated in the time of Edward the Confessor. The first coronation was William the Conqueror in 1066. Now, since then, 38 coronations have taken place there but there have been 39 monarchs crowned because William and Mary both were joint crown. So, 39 monarchs crowned there.

But bring it more up-to-date. In the last 100 years, there have been nine royal weddings, including the queen mother, including the queen herself, duke of York, Prince Andrew and now, of course, William and Catherine.

There are 300 people buried in the Abbey. And I'm told that the fanfare that we will hear when the couple sign their register, a fanfare written specially for today's occasion and will be played by the RAF central band trumpeters will probably wake the dead, it will be so loud.

COOPER: And, of course, this is the Abbey where Princess Diana, where her funeral service was, Piers, but it's not where Prince Charles was married.

MORGAN: St. Paul's Cathedral. So, it's a bittersweet for a lot of the guests. William, I'm sure, will have feelings about his mother. We know from the order of service, a lot time, a lot of music relates back to Charles and Diana's wedding. Even though the opening hymn you'll hear is actually one that was played at the end of Diana's funeral at the Abbey. So, a lot of attempt here, I think, to bring Diana into the wedding and also have continuity with Charles and Camilla's wedding, with Charles and Diana's wedding, and I think that's a very nice family thing that they come to some arrangement over.

COOPER: Interesting, though, that they chose to have the wedding at Westminster Abbey rather than St. Paul's. St. Paul's is actually much larger venue. It can seat I think up to 3,500 people, I think it says something about who Prince William is that they want, and Kate, that they wanted it --

DEELEY: It's the intimacy I think that's so nice. It's on a world stage and it's going to be watched, you know, by so many people. It retains that level of intimacy then I think if it's a small church.

MORGAN: Also, William is not flash, you know? That's the thing I would say about him. Some of the royals have been over the years, accused of being quite vulgar.

DEELEY: Who, Piers? Come on.

MORGAN: We all know who we're talking about. But I think the great thing about this wedding, it's a meeting of pomp and pageantry. And also, a couple of people. You know, she is a commoner, as we say, which means she's basically from ordinary stuff.

COOPER: Do people still use that term here?


COOPER: Really?

DEELEY: I don't like it very much.

COOPER: I don't like it at all.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) probably sounds un-American.

COOPER: Every American is a commoner.

MORGAN: All commoner means is you haven't been born into blue blood. You're not part of the establishment, if you like, you're not a member of the royal family or extended family. You're not someone being born with a silver spoon and privilege.

So, to a Brit, having Kate Middleton come through as one of them, she comes from a similar backgrounds of many of the people watching, she's one of us, she is very much as Diana was, the people's princess. She's the people's duchess.

DEELEY: And I actually think right from that moment where he gave her the ring and Princess Diana was -- you know, she was part of it right from that moment.

COOPER: And, yet, we'll be talking about it a lot over the next many hours of this. Very clear differences between Diana and Kate, very different women and very different stages of their lives.

MORGAN: Crucial difference I think we've seen this week. Diana was 19 when she got married, incredibly young -- marrying a man in his 30s who we now know loved another woman.

COOPER: Richard, is this by you?

QUEST: Yes, just to let you know what you're seeing in terms of this particular band that is now leaving the barracks and heading to Buckingham Palace, this is the lifeguard that will form of the Welsh Guards that will form at Buckingham Palace with a contingent heading off to St. James Palace.

This is the guard that always turns out. It is the guard that is there for guarding her majesty, the queen. It is one of the first bands that is leaving. There will be six bands in all.

Back to those titles that we were talking about a moment or two ago, one of the tights given today, of course, is a reflection that Prince William is a colonel in the Irish Guard and it is in a uniform -- as a colonel of the Irish Guard that Prince William will be married today.

Becky Anderson is at Buckingham Palace.

Becky, you've got thousands of crowds with you. You've also got the mass bands of the Welsh and Irish Guards heading in your general direction. They are coming your way fast.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me tell you, people are going to be enjoying that. There are people as far as the eye can see. The excitement is absolutely palpable.

Let's walk around and find out where some of these people are from.

Where are you from, guys?

CROWD: Boston.



ANDERSON: Why are you here? Come on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've come to visit my daughter who lives here. And this is just wonderful.

ANDERSON: You're not missing work today, are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. They know I'm here.

ANDERSON: What are you looking forward to most?


ANDERSON: The kiss?


ANDERSON: Let's move along. Thank you, guys.

We got Venezuela down here, I believe. It's like the U.N. down here, Richard.

Hello, guys. You excited?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I come from Venezuela. This is like a fairy tale.

ANDERSON: What are you looking forward to most?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to see the wedding, you know? It's like a dream come true. I left Vienna, (INAUDIBLE). This is wonderful, like a beautiful dream for me.

ANDERSON: Fantastic. Have you been here all night or have you just got here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Woke up at 2:00 in the morning.

ANDERSON: Two o'clock in the morning, you got up at 2:00 in the morning?


ANDERSON: Are you tired? Look forward to it. It's going to be an absolutely fantastic day.

We got a little guy down here. What's your name?


ANDERSON: What are you looking forward to?

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: When the procession comes down.

ANDERSON: Excellent. We will see some of the bands starting to come down behind me here.

The first thing you'll really see out of Buckingham Palace today is the duke of York's kids and his brother Edward and wife Sophie. That's at around 10:35. And at 10:42, you'll see the queen coming out of Buckingham Palace. Back to you guys.

COOPER: All right. Let's listen in to the banned as they are coming by our location and coming to Buckingham Palace. Let's just listen in.


COOPER: So, the band is now heading down the Mall, heading toward Westminster Abbey as more guests continue to arrive. And throughout the many hours of coverage, we're going to be obviously covering -- talking to all our correspondents in the field as to Cat Deeley here and Piers Morgan.

We're also going to try to let you hear just the natural sound as much as possible. We don't want to talk too much. And I know that's often irritating for people at home as great as it is to hear us all.

MORGAN: Important to remember with these guys, they're not just ceremonial soldiers. These people have been to battle. They've been in Afghanistan and Iraq. And these are proper fighting soldiers you see marching around here. So, you'll see them all day long in various forms. These are proper heroes.

COOPER: Absolutely. A big hour ahead as celebrities and VIPs arrive to take their seats in the Abbey. We are following all of it very closely. We have limited commercial interruption throughout the many hours of our coverage. We're going to take a quick break.

You can also talk to us during the program on Twitter, #CNNTV.

Be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back to our live coverage of the royal wedding. The rain has held off. The guests are arriving. We just saw David Beckham arriving. We'll see if we can get that shot up. MORGAN: Very stylish Mrs. Beckham, I notice. She's wearing one of her own outfit. He's wearing his medal. He's either OBE or MBE. It's his medal from the queen. So, very proudly marching down with his medal there.

COOPER: The celebrities are going to be arriving all throughout this hour. Members of the royal family begin to arrive at the top of the next hour. All of this, of course, will be bringing to you live.

I want to check in with Max Foster, who's outside the Goring Hotel, which is where Kate Middleton is with her family. That's where she's going to be departing from.

Max, is there a crowd there? Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, the streets are already packed with people.

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes, there's a big crowd behind the camera. But I'm going to show you the state limousine that's just pulled up outside the hotel there. I'm assuming that's for Carol and James Middleton, because they're going to be the first to leave.

You'll see behind that, that tunnel which Kate will walk through to her limousine when that arrives. So, we don't get any idea of the dress until it drives past here. We're going to get a pretty good view, glass-backed limousine with Catherine and we're going to see straight into that. We've had Shane Connolly arrive, the florist for the royal wedding. He had some bunches look like this covered. I think that's probably the bouquets, had lots of guests leave. They'll have a long wait at the Abbey.

That's the update.

COOPER: Max, I want to check back in with you shortly. I just want to bring in -- we're going to show David Beckham is here and Victoria Beckham arriving.

MORGAN: David Beckham with a top hat.

DEELEY: And I think you're right. You're right, Piers. I think that is her dress.

MORGAN: She's clearly one of her own design.

DEELEY: I think that might be a Philip Treacy hat.

MORGAN: I think that is a Victoria Beckham dress.

DEELEY: So, you would, wouldn't you?

MORGAN: Two billion pairs of eyes, big ka-ching moment for Victoria Beckman. They are very stylish. They are the kind of sporting royalty I think in Britain. And Becks looks good there.

COOPER: We're also joined by Sarah Haywood, internationally world renowned wedding designer. Who are some of the other big celebrities that we are anticipating in this hour? We should be seeing Rowan Atkinson, I believe?

MORGAN: Elton John.

COOPER: Elton John.

MORGAN: Some of the big sporting stars are coming in. (INAUDIBLE) is coming. Josh Stone, the singer.

COOPER: Guy Ritchie, the director, former husband of Madonna.

How do the Beckhams know Prince William, do we know?

MORGAN: Actually, through the World Cup bid, which is the Soccer World Cup bid. They first got to know each other there. They're also working together for the Olympics next year here. They helped both get the Olympic bid for us.

COOPER: Beckham is head of the soccer federation here.

MORGAN: They've been very active of the Olympics in London next year and also in getting us the soccer World Cup and various other things. So, the pair of them have become quite good friend through sport. I'd imagine Victoria and Kate will be discussing fashion at the party later.

DEELEY: Well, let's talk about weddings. Sarah, how much organization does something like this take to put together?

SARAH HAYWOOD, WEDDING DESIGNER: Stratospheric organization.

DEELEY: This to you must seem like a nightmare.

HAYWOOD: I tell you why this is a nightmare for me, because people are going to come to me and say, I want what they had. You can't put a price on this because it really is a fairytale. I can't hire Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey -- I can't line them all with people. I can't get you a household cavalry escort. I can't get you the London I probably could get you.


HAYWOOD: That's why this is a fairy tale. Even the best people in the world can't get you this. You can't even put a price on it because they own all this stuff. They own the carriages. You know, the head of the armed forces, I just can't do this for you. So, I'm standing here, believe me, I'm a cynic.

MORGAN: For party planning, the royal family are the greatest party planners in the world. I've been a few of their functions and they're all incredible.

DEELEY: They're amazing.

HAYWOOD: And they love to party.

MORGAN: I went to Prince Charles' 50th birthday party in the palace. It was fantastic.

COOPER: This is the Royal Air Force band. Let's listen to them.


COOPER: Sarah, how many people would be involved in planning a wedding like this?

HAYWOOD: Hundreds and hundreds. The fantastic thing is the royal family said one time that the Lord Chamberlain is, obviously, in charge of all this. They do all the state occasions, weddings, funeral, they also did a state visit. So, at the moment, for example, they are already working on President Obama's visit next month.

So, they have a well-oiled machine. But I think that even they are excited and on edge about this. It's very personal to them. I know they want to get it right.

And I know, too, it's quite unusual that the royal family are so involved. Kate Middleton -- or Catherine I believe we're to call her, has had a lot of input on everything she wants, like trees in Westminster Abbey. That's not something they would dream up of on their own.

DEELEY: But that's lovely because she can they can take them back and put them in high grove, right?

HAYWOOD: Which I think is a lovely way of remembering. So, I think we are seeing her stamp on the day and that's new.

COOPER: But for me, I think one of the most kind of touching traditions which I hadn't realized when I got here is the bridal bouquet. It's not something that's thrown to the bridesmaids. It's actually, tradition were, the bride returns to the bridal bouquet to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

HAYWOOD: Done by Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother when she got married. Apparently someone fainted in the Abbey. So, we don't know if she plans to do it, but she then puts in on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And every wedding since they -- COOPER: Her brother had died during World War I.

We're going to take a quick break. Grab your smartphones. When we come back, you can scan code for exclusive royal wedding surprise. We'll be right back.


COOPER: One of the many marching bands we've begun to see in this, our first hour of wedding coverage.

Here's what's happening in the next hour. All for the next half hour, we'll be seeing a lot more guests and VIPs arriving at Westminster Abbey. In the next hour, at 10 minutes past, Prince William and Prince Harry will leave Clarence House and heads Westminster Abbey. Then about 10 minutes later, Kate's mother, Carol Middleton, and her brother James will leave the Goring Hotel.

At 25 past, we'll see members of the queen's family begin to arrive at Westminster Abbey. At 42 minutes past the hour, Prince Charles and Camilla will arrive at the Abbey. And just three minutes later, Queen Elizabeth and the duke of Edinburgh arrive at church. They're the last to arrive before the bride.

And the grand finale, of course, the moment Cat Deeley and so many others have been waiting for.


COOPER: You don't say Edinburg. I should have known that.


COOPER: The grand finale, of course, is the bride along with her father Michael Middleton to depart the Goring Hotel and head to the Abbey at 51 past the hour. It is Goring Hotel, isn't not? Thank you. Good.

They're going to arrive at 10:56 local time, which is about 5:56 in the United States and, of course, at 11:00 local time, the wedding begins.

DEELEY: But I want to know, what do you think will be going through Kate's head right about now? She's there at the Goring Hotel, knows she's going to be watched by millions. What do you think she's thinking?


HAYWOOD: That is the kind of thing you have nightmares about. I get people saying hi a dream, nobody came to my wedding or I had a dream I fell over in the altar.


MORGAN: Westminster Abbey apparently.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That would have been you.

MORGAN: I can relate to that, that kind of strip bare and the whole world watching.

DEELEY: What a terrible though, Piers, a terrible thought.

COOPER: She really is prepared in a way that, say, Princess Diana was not prepared. She's more mature.

MORGAN: She's had seven years to think about all this. She also split up from Prince William for a while when she thought it was never going to happen. The fact they've got back together, I think she's really given this a lot of thought.

Diana had no time to prepare for this and was way too young. And even though, she enjoyed the whole fairy tale wedding, after, it became a bit of a nightmare. I think this couple had been incredibly sense of what is going to about this (ph).

DEELEY: I think they're a modern day couple. They've been together for that amount of years. And also, she's educated. She's lived her life. And I think, also, any girl on her wedding day, any of us, you can think about how it will be, but until the day comes, and there's a huge expectation, and you are the center of attention whether you like it or not. You don't know how you're going to feel

MORGAN: Half of her will be terrified and the other half will be --

DEELEY: Yes. And the other half will be incredibly excited.

MORGAN: Wow. I mean, for all brides, you love being center stage, but that's only to three or 400 hundred people. Imagine 2 billion people.

DEELEY: And they're all cheering outside. They've been out there all night. I wonder if she got any sleep. I mean, I could hear --

MORGAN: There's a good story. Tara Palmer Tomkinson has seen there, who is one of the royal family's lesser members. She had an operation on her nose last week. It had been completely desecrated by drug use. There we are. So, the first juicy revelation of the day.


MORGAN: That's a new nose. A royal wedding hooter, and it's entirely true. She had a massive cocaine problem. It ruined her nose, and she's had it redone.

DEELEY: Do you think if it hasn't gone now --


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Piers, I must object.

MORGAN: You would never have gone, otherwise. I know Tara well. She's a lovely girl.

COOPER: I expect to hear the things to go on Twitter but not on the air.


MORGAN: Trying to liven this up, Anderson.


MORGAN: There she is. COOPER: What a hat!

MORGAN: Not a bad hat.

DEELEY: Do you think she would have just pulled it down over her nose if it hadn't gone well --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel sorry for her. Sitting behind her, they're not going to see a thing.


COOPER: These hats are extraordinary. I mean, I find them endlessly fascinating.

MORGAN: Most of them are fascinators, which all they hold. The big business (ph) to go up like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But a lot of these hats will be designed by Philip Treacy, actually. He's the kind of hat designer of choice.

MORGAN: That's Philip Treacy, I think.

DEELEY: He's doing that by every hat.


MORGAN: His style is one that Victoria Beckham and Tara have on, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. they're very whimsical, very dramatic.

MORGAN: I'm going to look like a fashion genius. I had absolutely no idea.


DEELEY: Keep doing what you're doing.

COOPER: You know, we were talking about Princess Diana and Kate and how Kate has sort of learned the lessons from Princess Diana. There's actually some sound that we have where both -- from an interview that William and Kate did where Kate actually talks about Diana and talks about, you know, what her admiration for Princess Diana, and William kind of talks about that he doesn't want there to be pressure on Kate to try to fill Diana's shoes. Let's just play that if we can while we continue to watch people arrive at Westminster Abbey.


KATE MIDDLETON, ENGAGED TO PRINCE WILLIAM: Obviously, it'd be -- I would love to have met her. She's an inspirational woman to look up to. And, obviously, to this day and, you know, going forward and things, you know, it's a wonderful family. Very inspirational. Yes, I do.

HRH PRINCE WILLIAM OF WALES, UNITED KINGDOM: There's no pressure, because like Kate said, you know, it's about carving your own future. No one's going to try to fill my mother's shoes. What she did is fantastic. It's about making your own future and your own destiny, and Kate will do a very good job of that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a life, you know, in the public domain we agree that you can't escape. You both know that. You're obviously -- you know it better than Kate does.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're obviously very protective of her.

PRINCE WILLIAM: Massively so. Of course, her and her family, I really want to make sure they have the best guidance and chance to see what life is like in the family. That's kind of almost why I have been waiting this long is I wanted to give her a chance to back out if she needed to, before it all got too much, because, you know, I'm trying to learn from lessons in the past. I just wanted to give her the best chance to settle in and see what, you know, what happens on the other side.

MIDDLETON: I'm also glad that I've had the time to grow and understand myself more as well, so hopefully --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that mean --


COOPER: Here's I think, many Americans, the last time they saw Princess Diana's brother was at her funeral.