Eight years ago today, Kate Middleton said 'I Do' and officially became the Duchess of Cambridge and a member of the Royal Family. She shared a sweet kiss with her new husband Prince William on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as thousands of people lined the streets, cheering and waving flags, to celebrate with them.
Brits were given an extra day off to mark the unforgettable occasion, and those who didn't travel to London held street parties and gathered around the TV to watch the historical moment. While most of us remember the main parts of the day, some of the smaller sweet moments may have been forgotten - so we've taken a look back at some of the highlights.
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🎊 8 years ago today — thank you for your lovely messages on The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding anniversary! 📷PA
Kate and William's hilarious version of You’re The One That I Want
The couple treated their guests to a performance of You’re The One That I Want from Grease during the evening celebrations. They strutted and sang their way through the John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John classic to the delight of guests who were clapping and cheering at the beaming newlyweds.
One bleary-eyed guest – who left the party at 3:15 am – said: “The Grease number brought the house down. They stood holding hands in the middle of the dancefloor grinning, then suddenly the opening bars of the song came booming out. The reaction was just brilliant. Everyone started clapping to the music. Wills and Kate began dancing around, pointing at each other and mouthing the words. It was hilarious. When the song finished, they ended up in each other’s arms with massive smiles on their faces. Everyone was cheering wildly, whooping and they did a bow to each other. After that, the dancefloor filled up and the party got going properly. It was a fabulous night. The kind of night you never forget.”
Kate's second wedding dress
The Duchess of Cambridge's stunning Alexander McQueen dress was photographed thousands of times from every angle when she married Prince William in 2011. It inspired a whole generation of brides and immediately brought lace long sleeves back into fashion. But Kate changed out of the stunning gown and into a second dress for the evening celebrations.
Kate opened for another beautiful Sarah Burton creation - a white satin dress with a diamante waistband. Kate finished off the look with an angora bolero cardigan and had a whole new hairstyle for the evening - as you do. And she wasn't the only member of the royal family who changed ready to party the night away. Prince William changed out of his dress uniform and into a tux while Pippa Middleton ditched her bottom-hugging gown for a glamorous green number.
Prince Harry's best man speech
According to many of the guests, one of the highlights of the glamorous event was Prince Harry 's Best Man speech. A guest revealed: “Harry only said a few words, but it was so emotional. The entire room burst into applause.” Wearing a fez hat Harry had started his speech by standing on the top table and describing the newlyweds as the “Dude and Duchess”. As guests chuckled, he poked fun at William’s receding hairline and said he felt sorry for Kate marrying a “bald man”. And there was barely a dry eye as Harry turned to William and told him: “Our mother would be so very proud of you.”
And how he made his new sister-in-law cry...
According to royal author Katie Nicholl, his speech also contained some emotional moments. She said: "It was affectionate, warm and funny and touched William deeply. "The speech was peppered with Harry's classic sense of humour, and he ribbed his brother: 'William didn't have a romantic bone in his body before he met Kate, so I knew it was serious when William suddenly started cooing down the phone at Kate'.
"Famous for his mimicry, Harry then impersonated his brother calling Kate 'Babykins', to much laughter from the guests. When he said the couple’s decade-long romance was his inspiration, there was a shy smile from Chelsy, while Kate shed a tear."
A very quick first dance
According to guests, William became a bit bashful when it came to the first dance. William and Kate took to the floor arm in arm for their slow waltz at 10.30 pm, cheered by the 350 guests at the evening reception. Ellie Goulding performed her version of Elton John's Your Song, but Wills reportedly asked her to switch to a faster number. The dance only lasted 30 seconds.
The table names
Instead of using boring old numbers, Kate and Wills decided to use names of places that were special to them for their tables. These included Lewa after Lewa Downs, where the groom spent time on his gap year, Tetbury, a town near Charles's county home Highgrove and villages near their Anglesey home. There was also, of course, a St Andrews table - the university where the couple met.
An unhappy bridesmaid
Being a bridesmaid can always be a lot to take on, especially for little kids. So it's hardly surprising that one of Kate's little helpers seemed to have had enough when it came to waving to well-wishers on the Buckingham Palace balcony. With thousands of people lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the couple, it would have been very noisy up there - too noisy for William's goddaughter Grace van Cutsem.
As the couple enjoyed their famous balcony kiss, adorable little Grace could be seen covering her ears with her hands with a big scowl on her face. Due to her positioning on the balcony, Grace's unhappy face appears in pretty much all of their kiss photos. Oops!
Prince Charles's sweet comments about Kate
The father of the groom used his speech to praise his new daughter-in-law, calling her William's "soul mate". A friend told the Telegraph: "William spoke very well but it was Charles who really gave high praise to his daughter-in-law. He [Prince Charles] said they were really lucky to have a daughter like her. The speech really brought a tear to the eye. She was a delightful child and is now a delightful young woman."
Another said Charles went on to make a few jokes: “The Prince of Wales made jokes about his bald patch and his son’s bald patch, saying it must be hereditary. He was stood slightly up on a stand so he was looking down on William to his left. William smiled, he was amused. Kate looked amused as well.”
The second wedding cake - a special request from Wills
As well as their stunning 'official' wedding cake, the couple also had a more personal second one - as it's one of William's favourites. The chocolate biscuit cake was made by Paul Courtney, from McVitie's, which was described as "rich, indulgent and creamy with a really snappy texture which came from the Rich Tea biscuits". Prince Harry popped in to see Paul when he was putting the finishing touches to the cake - and it almost ended in disaster.
Speaking on an ITV documentary Invitation to a Royal Wedding, he said: "We'd literally just put the top on and of course at that point, it's like – oh – a collective sigh of relief, I think there was a tear in my eye - we’ve done it, it looks fantastic. And I remember Harry came bounding in and he walked up to it and very enthusiastic. Harry was how you’d expect him to be, just a fun joker."
"And he walked up to it, very enthusiastic, 'Oh, wow fantastic, is this chocolate?' And he picked up a piece of chocolate up and ate it and then he pretended to box, with the top decoration, and we were like – 'Oh no'– … it was fun but a slightly heart-stopping moment."
Harry was one of the last to leave and led a group of guests back to the Goring Hotel for an after party. A car driven by royal protection officers dropped off Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie with Harry’s on-off girlfriend Chelsy Davy. It was not until around 5 am that the last bleary-eyed revellers eventually called it a night. Emerging from The Goring yesterday, Middleton family friend Tony Ainsworth, said: “I went to bed around 1 am but I heard guests stumbling around at 5 am, coming back from the palace, which woke me up.”Read More