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Royal wedding countdown: 1 million line up along route

April 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
On the eve of the royal wedding, Prince William and Kate Middleton released their wedding program, which includes an unseen photo and a personal note from the couple.

The official wedding program is available for download and will also be sold along the procession route. It's 27 pages and contains photos of the couple, including a new one that the public has not seen before.

The program also includes the order of service and a personal message from the couple.

"We are both so delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives. The affection shown to us by so many people during our engagement has been incredibly moving and has touched us both deeply," the message reads [Watch video].

Wedding watchers catch glimpse of royalty

An estimated 1 million people were lined up along the route between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey in anticipation of the royal wedding.

Some wedding watchers in London were lucky enough to get a glimpse of royalty on Thursday. Prince Charles' wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, came out and greeted campers outside of Clarence House. She took a short walk through the crowd of people waiting for the royal wedding procession.

Camilla even shook someone's hand and told campers she's ready for the big day. She then went back inside, leaving at least one group of wedding watchers with a happy memory of their royal campout.

And it was a priceless payoff for the onlookers who waited for hours outside the five-star Goring Hotel when Middleton emerged from a car with her mother Carole and sister Pippa. The 29-year-old waved to the crowd before heading inside to spend her last night as a single woman.

Minutes later, a mystery guest, shrouded with a fur-lined parka hood hiding her identity, rushed into Middleton's hotel. There is speculation that the person may be the designer of the wedding dress.

A canopy was erected over the entrance to the Goring to block onlookers from catching sight of Middleton when she emerges in her wedding gown Friday morning. The dress has been the best-kept secret of this very public event. Its designer remains unconfirmed, and hundreds of millions of TV viewers will see it for the first time when Middleton steps out of her Rolls-Royce at the abbey.

In the evening, as the 28-year-old groom was making his way into Clarence House where he will stay the night, he spontaneously thrilled the crowd by shaking hundreds of hands. For each person, it was a brief but touching moment when the royal member seemed human, warm and approachable.

A shy, fast-walking Prince Harry dashed in right behind him, not wanting to steal attention away from his older brother [Watch video].

The Royal Procession

More than 1,500 soldiers, sailors and air crew will be on duty to line the couple's procession route between the abbey and Buckingham Palace, just under a mile away. Plus, an additional 5,000 uniformed and undercover police will be on alert for any terror threats and rowdy fans.

Royal carriages drawn by mounted troops of the Household Calvary will roll to the palace in a sweeping procession under fluttering rows of Union Jacks. Hundreds of thousands are expected to line a parade route scrubbed clean in recent days. Westminster Abbey itself has been remade into a blooming forest, with six field maples and two hornbeams lining the aisle to the altar.

After Friday morning's ceremony, the couple will travel by carriage to the palace and emerge onto the balcony for a precisely timed kiss - at 5:25 a.m. PT - followed by a ceremonial fly-past of military aircraft. Some 650 people are invited to a luncheon with the queen, and later that night 300 close friends and family will attend a black-tie evening bash [Watch video].

Southern Californians in London for wedding

It's a festive atmosphere across the street from the Westminster Abbey, where people have grabbed prime real estate, staking their spot for a good view of the wedding procession.

At the Buckingham Palace, hundreds were camped out to get a good view of the balcony, where the prince and his new bride will greet the public and share their first public kiss.

USC student Megan Lollar and four of her friends were in London on a study abroad program. They don't understand the royal craze, but said they were excited to be there.

"I'm not sure if I understand the exact magnitude of it and why so many are here and care, but I know that because other people care, it makes me just excited to be here," said Sonya Mitchell [Watch video].

Syria's royal wedding invitation revoked

Britain announced that the Syrian ambassador will not be allowed to attend the royal wedding in light of this week's attacks against civilians by the Syrian security forces.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime, and more than 100 were killed this past weekend.

The British foreign secretary has decided that the presence of the Syrian ambassador at the wedding would be unacceptable.

London Eye gives best vantage point of city

London tourists who aren't holding a camping spot on the street can see the sights from high above the city. At 443 feet tall, the London Eye is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the U.K.

"It's fantastic. The view is absolutely phenomenal. You can see for miles, all the landmarks of London," said Jacqueline Parr of Warlingham, England.

The panoramic view comes with comfort - the passenger capsules are air-conditioned, clean and spacious, holding up to 25 passengers each.

From the London Eye's vantage point, visitors can see how London is a mixture of modern and old architecture [Watch video].

Diana's ex-hairdresser calls Kate 'flawless'

Princess Diana's ex hairdresser said he thinks she would have been thrilled with William's choice of Katherine as his bride.

Richard Dalton is the stylist who created the late Princess Diana's iconic haircut of the 1980s. It was a look that women around of the world tried to imitate.

Dalton was the princess' personal hairdresser for the more than a decade. He even gave William and Harry their first haircuts.

As one of Diana's closest confidants, Dalton believes the princess would have been thrilled with Prince William's choice of Katherine Middleton as his bride.

"I've never met her but she seems to be an incredible girl, great dignity and completely flawless, amazing," he said. "William has great choice."

Follow coverage of the royal wedding on ABC News.

"Good Morning America" will have special royal wedding coverage Friday beginning at 1 a.m. PT on ABC7, or watch it live on abc7.com/live.

Prince William and his best man Prince Harry will arrive at Westminster Abbey at 2:15 a.m. PT. Kate Middleton will head to the abbey from her hotel at 2:51 a.m. PT. The actual wedding ceremony is set to take place 3 a.m. PT.

For the full wedding day timeline, click here.

If you don't feel like getting up in the middle of the night to watch, you can watch the royal wedding rebroadcast from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the Live Well Network on ABC7 channels 7.2 and 7.3. Check here for other cable channels that will re-air the wedding.


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