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Royal Wedding Seating Plan Revealed





BBC

Close family members are to sit nearest to the royal couple as they take their vows on Friday at Westminster Abbey.

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry will sit in the front row.

Celebrity guests include Sir Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham and Rowan Atkinson.

Miss Middleton’s mother Carole will sit directly opposite the Queen, next to her husband Michael and her son James.

The remaining places on the Middletons’ front row are yet to be confirmed.

Celebrity guests

Westminster Abbey is essentially two churches, said the BBC’s Royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell.

Those sitting near the high altar will have the best view of the marriage while guests in the nave would see very little, he said.

The wedding will see 2,000 guests pack into the 1,000-year-old Abbey.

Among those attending will be Olympic swimming star Ian Thorpe, who recently announced that he was coming out of retirement to compete in London in 2012.

Prince William met the sportsman when he visited Australia last year and he is now a supporter of the swimmer’s charity, Thorpe’s Fountain for Youth.

Other sports personalities attending will be former England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward, Sir Trevor Brooking, a Football Association colleague of the Prince who is the body’s president, and Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas.

Service personnel also feature heavily in the guest list.

Squadron Leader Paul Bolton, from RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales, where the prince is based as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot has been invited.

Prince William has invited members of the families of two close friends and colleagues from Sandhurst who died on active service.

Holly Dyer, the sister of 2nd Lieutenant Joanna Dyer, who was killed by a bomb in Iraq in 2007, and Susie Roberts, the widow of William’s Sandhurst platoon commander Major Alexis Roberts, killed four years ago in Afghanistan, will both be in the congregation.

Spencer family

Next to the Middletons will be members of the Spencer family including Lady Sarah McCorquodale, the sister of William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Lady Anne Wake-Walker, Diana’s aunt; Lord Fellowes and Lady Jane Fellowes, Diana’s brother-in-law and sister; and Earl Spencer will be seated alongside her.

Foreign dignitaries and diplomats will sit in the South Transept which is directly to the side.

Forty-six foreign royals will be in attendance, including the Prince of Bahrain, whose country was recently criticised by Foreign Secretary William Hague for its human rights record.

Prime Minister David Cameron and other cabinet members and Ed Miliband, Labour leader will sit in the south side of the Abbey behind the choir.

Seated behind the choir will be faith representatives and friends of the bride and groom.

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The Daily Telegraph

A seating plan released ahead of the royal wedding ceremony has revealed that only the couple’s nearest and dearest will be able to witness the wedding ceremony for themselves.

More than 1,000 of those in the Abbey will have to rely upon video screens to follow the service.

Prince William and Kate Middleton chose the Abbey for its intimacy despite its size, as well as its 1,000-year Royal history and majestic beauty.

About 1,000 people will sit in the section of the Abbey in front of the Quire, a partition in the building which restricts the view of the altar to anyone behind it, giving it the feel of a large parish church.

One tradition Prince William and Miss Middleton appear to have eschewed is having a bride’s side and a groom’s side.

Members of the Spencer family, relatives of Prince William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, will sit next to the Middletons. Friends of the Middleton family will sit on the other side of the Abbey away from the Royal Family.

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family will sit in the North Lantern across the aisle from the Middleton family, who will be in the South Lantern. They will be the closest to the Sanctuary, where William and Miss Middleton will stand.

In the front row, in order, will be the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, with a seat reserved for Prince Harry when he has completed his best man duties.

Moving away from the altar, the foreign royal families have the next seats. The South Transept, directly to the side, is reserved for foreign dignitaries and the diplomatic corps.

Family friends of the Middletons, sitting behind the dignitaries, may well have to strain their necks for a glimpse of the happy couple.

Carole Middleton will be directly opposite the Queen, seated next to her husband Michael, then her son James. The remaining places on their front row are yet to be confirmed.

Moving down the Abbey, next to the Middletons will be members of the Spencer family. Lady Sarah McCorquodale, the sister of Prince William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, will be first, seated next to her husband, Neil McCorquodale.

Lady Anne Wake-Walker, Diana’s aunt, is next, followed by Lord Robert Fellowes and Lady Jane Fellowes, Diana’s brother-in-law and sister.

Earl Spencer and his fiancée, Karen Gordon, are next. Friends of William and Miss Middleton are to be seated next to them.

Other friends of the couple will sit to the side of the Middletons and Spencers in the North Transept, and North Transept Aisle.

On the south side of the Abbey in the ornate choir stalls will be the seats reserved for Prime Minister David Cameron and other members of the Cabinet and MPs. Service chiefs and more friends of the couple will join them in the Stall South.

Seated behind the choir on the other side of the Abbey will be faith representatives and yet more friends of the bride and groom.

The Prince of Wales’s guests will sit in the North Nave, with the rest of the seats in that section set aside for the general congregation.

There will be seats for more faith representatives in the South Nave, but that will also largely be filled with other guests.

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