As is customary, the bride and groom will travel separately to the wedding service. First to arrive is William and his best man, brother Harry, who will leave Clarence House in a royal Bentley. Kate, who stayed overnight at the posh Goring Hotel, will travel to Westminster Abbey with her father in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI.
The royal nuptials took place in this 11th-century abbey—the coronation site since 1066—and the home of many modern royal weddings, including those of William’s grandparents and great-grandparents. On a sadder note, it was also the location for the funerals of William’s mother in 1997 and that of the Queen Mother in 2002.
Across from the abbey, this is the first place the newlyweds passed in their carriage. The square is a familiar tourist draw: it’s just outside the Houses of Parliament, and it features imposing statues of important figures in British history, such as former PM Winston Churchill.
The road that runs from Parliament Square to the southern end of Trafalgar Square
Britain’s national war memorial, the Cenotaph is also a familiar spot for royals: every Remembrance Sunday, the Queen and other members of the royal family gather to honour fallen servicemen.
Next is the only surviving part of the old palace of Whitehall, which was largely destroyed by fire in 1698; it has a spectacular ceiling painted by Peter Paul Rubens. More grimly, King Charles I was executed on a scaffold located outside the Inigo Jones-designed building in 1649.
Horse Guards Building and Parade
This imposing building is guarded by mounted troopers of the Household Cavalry. Only members of the royal family, or those with special ivory passes, can pass beneath the building’s central arch, as William and Kate did on their big day. Each June, the large parade ground is the scene of the annual military parade and march known as Trooping the Colour that also marks the official birthday of the Queen.
Royal wedding watchers caught the spectacle on big screens here. Named to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars, it’s now a popular draw for visitors to the city, particularly for the National Gallery, and, in December, the glowing Christmas tree and New Year’s celebrations.
Pronounced “mal,” this was the longest road of the royal wedding procession. A red tarmac gives the illusion of a royal red carpet; it connects Buckingham Palace with Admiralty Arch. In the past, it’s been filled with crowds celebrating royal events such as Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.
St. James’s Palace
The official residence of kings and queens for three centuries, it also served as the gilded backdrop for William and Kate’s official engagement photos.
The London residence of Prince Charles and the duchess of Cornwall, as well as William and his best man, Prince Harry. It was previously the home of the Queen Mum.
The newlyweds passed through the palace gates to enter the London residence and administrative HQ of the British monarchy. There, the Queen hosted a champagne reception for 650 guests. In the evening, some 300 friends gathered for a dinner and dance with the newlyweds.