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Prince William and Kate set a wedding date at Westminster Abbey

November 23, 2010 |  9:57 am

Westminster Abbey selected for royal wedding Prince William and Kate Middleton have chosen to be married at Westminster Abbey on April 29, the Friday after Easter, it was announced Tuesday. 

A bank holiday has been declared for the occasion, which turns it into a four-day holiday weekend when Monday's "early May bank holiday" is added.

"The wedding of Kate and William will be a happy and momentous occasion," Prime Minister David Cameron said. "We want to mark the day as one of national celebration -- a public holiday will ensure the most people possible will have a chance to celebrate on the day."

Westminster Abbey, home to many royal weddings, was also where Princess Diana's funeral was held in 1997. Also married there were the late Princess Margaret, and her children Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, all of whose marriages eventually ended in divorce. The 1,000-year-old abbey can hold 2,200 people.

Kate and William royal wedding commemorative mug Katie Nicholl, an expert on the royal family, told the CBS "Early Show" on Tuesday that this wedding is quite a break from tradition -- perhaps informed by the things that didn't work for Di. For example, the Middleton family will help with the planning.

"Traditionally, royal weddings are handled within the royal household. ... This wedding is completely different. Prince William is arranging it. He is overseeing everything with Catherine Middleton. She's going to be very much a part of it. ... It's Prince William's way. And this is what we're seeing more of."

The royal family and the Middletons will pay for the wedding, reception and honeymoon, with the taxpayers picking up things like extra police and street-sweeping. The couple's engagement was announced a week ago.

"All parties involved in the wedding, not least Prince William and Miss Middleton, want to ensure that a balance is struck between an enjoyable day and the current economic situation," said Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the prince's private secretary.

So, when do we have to start calling the princess-to-be Catherine?


Prince William and Kate Middleton are engaged [pictures]

PREACH IT! Kate Middleton and Audrina Patridge are the same person

Nice engagement ring, Kate and Wills -- just don't stand next to Hilary Duff

-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Top photo: Westminster Abbey in central London. Credit: Ben Stansall / AFP / Getty Images

Left photo: Mugs commemorating the engagement of Britain's Prince William to Kate Middleton are put into boxes at the Prince William Pottery Co. in Liverpool, northern England. Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters