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The next big royal wedding is just one month away (April 29!), and TLC (home of The Wedding Story) is tracking its progress with Doppler Radar-like precision. Sunday night, the network kicked off its coverage of Prince William's marriage to Kate Middleton with William & Kate: Inside the Royal Wedding, a one-hour special that offered all the information known about the nuptials, plus lots of speculation about potential flowers, dresses, cakes and the like.
Early in the hour, the special featured an interview with the couple, sitting relatively casually (for British royalty) on a couch. In the snippets shown, the self-deprecating Prince William of Wales did all the talking, while his adoring bride-to-be Kate beamed at him. The pair met when they were 19 and students at St. Andrews University in Scotland. "We were friends for over a year first, and it just sort of blossomed from then on," he said. "We just spent more time with each and had a good giggle, had lots of fun. She's got a really nice sense of humor, which kind of helps me because I've got a very dense sense of humor."
Kate's best friend, Jessica Hay, and another St. Andrews student, Ben Duncan, offered breezier, more personal tidbits -- like the fact that Kate is an amazing hockey player, and that William would probably prefer a private 25-guest affair. The special's eyebrow raiser, if you could call it that, was the anecdote about the day that William began looking at Kate in a different way: When she took part in a charity fashion show at St. Andrews, William was sitting in the front row. She walked out in a see-through negligee. TLC showed the photo -- and, yes, the outfit is definitely see-through!
Two hundred guests have been invited to the wedding, which will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 29. William's brother Henry will be the best man; Kate's sister Pippa will be the maid of honor. Then they'll ride in an open carriage to Buckingham Palace, with over one million people expected to line the parade route. (The security bill alone is estimated at $20 million.) The reception will feature a buffet, and guests will sit at tables set with precision-like accuracy (a ruler is used to mark the space between place settings).
Details like the dress, flower arrangements, cake, carriage and the rest have not been disclosed, but TLC interviewed experts in these areas to guess at the couple's selections. Viewers watched a cake designer create a seven-tiered fruit cake, and Princess Diana's dress designer discussed the pressures of making a royal wedding dress.
"People see William as the new golden boy," said one royal watcher. "And with his bride-to-be, maybe they can do what Charles and Diana never did, which is work as a brilliant team, and I think that's what the Queen sees in this union." In other words, everybody's hoping that this royal wedding turns out better than that one.