By AMY WILLIAMS
From The Dress to That Kiss, we were all riveted by the Big Day’s biggest moments. But what was happening behind the scenes? Our reporter at the wedding Amy Williams brings you the inside stories on the event of the decade
It is an interesting moment to request a bacon sandwich and a cup of breakfast tea. It’s 11.06am on 29 April, the sartorial secret of the decade is out of the bag (or the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI), the future Duchess of Cambridge is en route to her Duke, and Eamonn Holmes is peckish. He was up at 4am and is well into an eight-hour stint anchoring Sky News’s coverage of the Royal Wedding. With the commentary baton passed to royal expert Alastair Bruce for the ceremony, this is his moment to sit back and, like his audience, watch history from the sofa.
Crowds gathering outside Buckingham Palace
I’m on a 12-hour shift, hanging out behind the cameras with the Sky team at Canada Gate, where a village of tiny TV studios has been created at the foot of Green Park offering the best views of Buckingham Palace – no camping required. You can’t move for stars of the small screen: Phillip Schofield, Fearne Cotton et al limbering up their smiles and their superlatives – they may be fighting for ratings, but they are all great chums. Eamonn and his co-presenter Charlotte Hawkins bump into the BBC’s Huw Edwards before he goes on air at 9am: they point out that he’s forgotten to remove the napkin tucked into his collar to protect his tie from his croissant and there follows much
good-humoured puffing as to who will be clocking up the most airtime. ‘I won’t have been in a TV studio this long since the 1988 Telethon,’ says Eamonn; but Huw will be presenting highlights at 10pm and wins.
Jobs don’t get much bigger than this – the nation, buoyant at daybreak and besotted by the afternoon, has an insatiable appetite for televised news, opinion and pictures. This is the gig of the century, and not one YOU intends to miss.
Sky anchor Eamonn Holmes with his Sky News Sunrise partner Charlotte Hawkins: 'I have to be cooped up in a tiny studio all day with this one...It could be worse,' he says
Intrepid YOU correspondent Amy with the best view in the land of Buckingham Palace
From left: watching the wedding through a Sky lens with cameraman Chris Hollier; inside the gallery from where the TV coverage was directed
Bumping into the BBC's Huw Edwards (aka the competition)
From left: Eamonn steers coverage from the temporary studio; a TV autocue
YOU's Amy takes notes
Eamonn and Charlotte take a break while watching the wedding
With royal correspondent and presenter Sarah Hughes and Dickie Arbiter, resident royal expert for the day. 'What's impressed me most is the couple's guest list,' says Dickie, 'because you could name the number of celebrities on the fingers of one hand'
THE OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER
Photographer Hugo Burnand (centre) cycles to the Palace with his team including his mother Ursy (in purple) and wife Louisa (in blue)
Hugo Burnand took the portraits inside the Palace.
‘My team and I cycled in because it seemed the safest option. I’d spent a total of 32 hours inside the Palace in the run-up to the wedding, planning for the 26 minutes we had to shoot the portraits. There was no guarantee we were going to get my favourite shot — the “informal formal” of the couple surrounded by their bridesmaids and pages. In fact, we had only 30 seconds to pull that off, just before the balcony appearance. My team all looked at each other: “Shall we go for it? Yes!” It was one shot, so what we got is each individual giving their best in that split second — and what a split second.‘
THE ABBEY GUARDSMAN
Sergeant Major Lochrie from the Headquarters Household Division — the Queen’s personal troops — was positioned at the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey. He greeted all of the royal guests and opened Catherine’s car door when she arrived at the Abbey.
Kate as caught by one of the hundreds of TV cameras lining the route
Kate's arrival at 11am at the Abbey, as viewed on monitors in the Sky gallery
From left: News studio director Tom Allen who was calling the shots from an outside broadcast truck; Royal producer Rose Gretton who fed vital information on proceedings to the studio sofa
Richard Ward was responsible, with James Pryce, for Kate’s hair, for the bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party.
‘We started working on Kate’s hair at 7.30am at the Goring Hotel, though we’d reported to Clarence House at 5.45am — I’d set my alarm for 4.45, but I was wide awake at 4.15 willing it to go off! After waving Kate off from the side of the hotel with what felt like the entire hotel staff, I rushed to Buckingham Palace to await her return. We were offered champagne and sandwiches and allocated a suite for the morning — it’s a tough life! I’d lost my father the weekend before the wedding so it was an emotional day for me. Of course, it’ll all return to normal soon, and I’ll have to get back to actually cutting some hair.’
Eamonn encounters another friend from the BBC, a nervous Fearne Cotton, who, at 7am, was preparing to mingle with the crowds wearing a polka-dot dress and red kitten heels
Amy catches up with David Emanuel, co-designer of Princess Diana's wedding dress, who'd spent the morning commentating for UK, Canadian, French and Hungarian TV. 'I had become the master of speculation,' he said, 'but it all stopped when I finally saw the dress. It was a triumph. I looked at Kate and thought, "This is a woman in charge"'
THE ROYAL HARPIST
Claire Jones, an official musician to the Prince of Wales, played throughout the lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace.
‘When you’re playing at a big event you can’t help but look around the room for the faces you might recognise, celebrities and so forth, but I remember at one point looking up from my spot in this huge reception room and realising everyone around me was royal. William came to thank me at 3pm when I finished, then Catherine joined him and I also spoke to Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Edward and Sophie, and Prince Harry. It seemed to mainly be a drinks do, I didn’t even see any canapés to be honest, but I like that — when you put a harp into a situation where there is food and cutlery people are likely to take far less interest in you or the music.’
Sky News presenter Dermot Murnaghan takes in the crowds and a much-needed coffee after holding the fort at the studio from 4am to 9am. 'It's a long stint, but on a day like today a lot of news is drip-fed to us. At 8am we heard that Kate and William would be known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and that kept us going for the final hour. My little daughters are not impressed, though - I've already had them on the phone wanting to know why she won't be Princess...I don't think Duchess cuts the mustard with the under-tens!'
THE FANFARE TRUMPETER
Senior aircraftman Jonathan Pippen (above, second from left) performed with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force inside Westminster Abbey.
‘Before the service I walked around the Abbey more or less straight into David Beckham. I said, “All right, mate?” and he said, “All right.” There we were, hanging out at the same wedding! Me and the boys had a pretty good view from high above the congregation. We couldn’t hear much, but when the crowds outside cheered we knew they’d said “I do”. When it was over our wing commander shared a bottle of port with us to celebrate — on a normal parade day you’d never find yourself drinking with a commander ranks above you. It was brilliant.’
From left: One of the many spectators, revealing a humourous message; our photographer Clive Booth, overcome by the romance of it all, snaps these lovers outside Buckingham Palace at 5pm as the crowds disperse
Christopher Warren-Green, music director and principal conductor of the London Chamber Orchestra who played during the wedding service.
Amy catching up with Lucy Yeomans, editor of Harper's Bazaar, who'd been sharing her fashion know-how with Sky viewers: 'When Kate stepped out and we knew that it was McQueen, all our Christmases came at once'
With royal correspondent Paul Harrison, who attended the service for Sky. 'The guests were stretching their necks beyond normality to get a glance of that dress. Then the handkerchiefs came out - but not in the journalists' section!'
William and Catherine on their way to Buckingham Palace after the wedding service