Prince William and Kate Middleton married on this day nine years ago. Upon leaving Westminster Abbey together, the couple became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, marking a momentous day for the Royal Family. But in the run-up to this splendid wedding, the royal tradition was not followed to a tee.
Prince William, second-in-line to the throne and future King, decided to walk away from a custom followed by his father and all his older relatives and appoint Prince Harry as his “best man”.
Traditionally, members of the Royal Family don’t have best men alongside them on their wedding days but “supporters”.
But for William, calling his brother best man, “had more relevance to his life than the alternative”, The Times wrote.
Prince Harry made the same decision when he married Meghan Markle on May 19 2018 and appointed Prince William as his best man rather than supporter.
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Prince Charles also chose his younger brothers, Edward and Andrew, as his best men ahead of his wedding with Princess Diana.
However, in accordance with the tradition, the Earl of Wessex and Duke of York were called supporters.
After being appointed best man, Prince Harry said to be “delighted” with his brother’s choice.
Speaking in 2011, Harry said: “It means I get a sister, which I have always wanted.”
Royal experts pointed out at the time how Prince William’s choice for his best man was “completely natural”.
Royal historian Hugo Vickers said: “Normally, a member of the Royal Family has his brothers as his supporters, or joint best men.
“As Prince William has only one brother, and he is very close to Harry, it’s an obvious choice.”
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Kate and Prince William met at St Andrews University and, after cultivating a friendship for more than a year, started dating.
Today, the happy couple will celebrate their wedding anniversary in Norfolk, where they are staying with their three children – George, Charlotte and Louis – and the little Cambridge’s nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo.
Kate and William have been self-isolating at Anmer Hall in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and haven’t met face-to-face with any member of their extended families.
Last week, they celebrated the second birthday of Prince Louis behind closed doors.
To mark the happy day, Kensington Palace shared a few snaps of the toddler taken by the Duchess of Cambridge in their gardens.
Royal relatives and the Middletons are widely believed to have wished Prince Louis a happy birthday via video calls.
Similarly, this Saturday the Cambridges will celebrate the fifth birthday of their daughter Charlotte.
According to a source, the Cambridges have planned a Zoom birthday party, which will see friends of the little royal and members of their families to make sure Charlotte won’t feel alone on her big day.
The Queen is said to be among the guests of this virtual party.
During this lockdown, Kate and William have opened the door of their house to the press and royal fans.
In March, they showed pictures of their offices while they were on the phone with some of their patronages.
During April, they took part in several video calls with charities and individuals, including teachers still working in schools to make sure children of key workers aren’t left alone.
The Cambridges also gave a rare interview focused on the importance of the mental wellbeing during the lockdown.