Prince William, Kate Middleton tie nuptials

Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, married his commoner fiance and former classmate Catherine Middleton at the historical Westminster Abbey on Friday in a ceremony marked by pomp and pageantry and watched by some 2000 invited guests and billions around the world via television, internet, face book and twitter.

Just before the ceremony, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince William and his wife will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Thousands of Britons and overseas visitors lined the marriage route on a cool and cloudy day to welcome the married couple when they emerged from the Abbey after hour long ceremony.

This was the 16th Royal marriage at the 1000-year-old Church where William’s parents Prince Charles, heir to the throne, and late Princess Diana tied nuptials in 1981.

William and Kate, both 29, announced their engagement in November last year after eight years of courtship. The two met at the University of St.Andrews in Fife, Scotland, some ten years ago.

Kate was the first commoner to marry a prince close to the British throne in 350 years. The last time was in 1660 when Anne Hyde wed the Duke of York, who later became James II.

The Dean of Westminster conducted the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, married the couple as the church bells peeled.

Pakistan was represented at the wedding by High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan along with other diplomats and representatives of Commonwealth countries based in London.

Prince William, an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, based in Wales, and his future wife travelled separately to the wedding service. The prince drove in a Bentley, accompanied by his younger brother and best man Prince Harry.

William’s father Prince Charles and his wife came to the Abbey in a 1950 Rolls Royce Phantom. They were followed by William’s grandparents Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillips who left Buckingham Palace.

William, Harry, Prince Charles and Prince Phillips all wore ceremonial military uniforms.

Miss Middleton travelled in a Rolls Royce, accompanied by her father from a nearby hotel. They were the last to arrive at the Westminster Abbey. Kate wore a designer white wedding dress with a two metre long train and a tiara on her head, a gift from her mother-in-law.

Some 5,000 policemen were on duty while members of the British armed forces lined the route. At the end of their wedding service, the couple travelled in the open 1902 State Landau along the Processional Route to Buckingham Palace.

The day was a declared public holiday and some 4,000 street parties were to be held across the country to mark the auspicious occasion.