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Royal wedding: The wedding party rehearses at Westminster Abbey

April 27, 2011 |  7:31 pm

Royal wedding rehearal: Carole Middleton and Pippa Middleton arrive

Prince William and Kate Middleton on Wednesday completed the final rehearsal leading up to their Friday nuptials at Westminster Abbey.

Prince Harry, Kate Middleton and Prince William at the wedding rehearsalThe private rehearsal included William and Kate, her parents Michael and Carole MiddletonPrince Harry and senior clergy, St. James' Palace told the Associated Press.

Kate's sister Pippa, who will serve as her maid of honor, was spotted driving in with her mum.

The wedding party arrived in a convoy of cars surrounded by police vehicles while Middleton's family drove into London from their hometown of Berkshire.

It was their first rehearsal inside the abbey and will be the final one before the big day. They've rehearsed before but never inside the iconic building, which is being decorated with trees and flowers in preparation for the ceremony. The flowers and plants include British-sourced blossoms, azaleas, lilacs and others.

Horse-drawn carriage at Westminster Abbey for royal wedding rehearsalLondon roads were blocked off near Buckingham Palace and along the wedding procession route from the abbey as hundreds of military men and women took part in a full-scale rehearsal in the predawn hours. Horses and horse-drawn carriages traveled past onlookers, while security checks around the venue continued Wednesday.

But don't feel so bad for those camped out along the route. The Band of the Coldstream Guards and more than five military bands have been practicing the entertainment (including show tunes, pop songs and sing-along ditties) for the crowds lined up on the route on the day of the wedding, according to Clarence House. 

The bride will be spending her last night as a commoner at the 101-year-old Goring Hotel, where her family will be based for the next few days. An estimated 2 billion people are expected to tune in to the nuptials and watch her leave the hotel for Westminster Abbey with her father at precisely 10:51 a.m. Friday (that's 2:51 a.m. for those of us in the Pacific time zone).

Meanwhile, the groom will be spending his last night as a single man with his father Prince Charles, stepmother Camilla Parker Bowles and brother Prince Harry having a private dinner at St. James' Palace in London.

Now, on to the wedding!


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-- Nardine Saad

Top photo: Kate Middleton's mother Carole and sister Pippa leave Clarence House in London. Credit: Juan Medina / Reuters

Right photo: A screengrab from video of Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry arriving at Westminster Abbey. Credit: APTN / Associated Press

Left photo: A horse-drawn carriage is driven past London's Westminster Abbey. Credit: Carl Court / AFP/Getty Images