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Royalty rubs shoulders with celebrities

News18test sharma |

Updated: April 29, 2011, 5:29 PM IST
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Royalty rubs shoulders with celebrities
Former England soccer captain David Beckham and singer Elton John mingled with monarchs on Friday.

London: Former England soccer captain David Beckham and singer Elton John mingled with monarchs and politicians as an eclectic cast attended Britain's royal wedding on Friday.

Beckham, his hair swept back and with a medal awarded by Queen Elizabeth on his lapel, chatted with British film director Guy Ritchie before the ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

John waved to the crowds and gave a thumbs-up as he arrived with his partner David Furnish for the wedding of Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, and Kate Middleton.

The singer performed in the abbey in 1997 during the funeral of Princess Diana, William's mother.

Former Prime Minister John Major was also among early arrivals at the Abbey. Major, a Conservative, was prime minister from 1990 to 1997. His two Labour successors Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were left off the guest list.

Prime Minister David Cameron, preparing to attend the wedding, said he was very excited.

"It's a mixture of this amazing young couple, the fact they love each other, it's also the institution, the national symbolism, the monarchy, the service of the royal family," he told BBC TV.

"It's all those things and a chance to celebrate. We are quite a reserved lot, the British, but then when we go for it, we really go for it."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and opposition leader Ed Miliband joined the 1,900 inside the abbey, along with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The guest list draws from a broad spectrum of society, the old establishment colliding with the brasher world of celebrity, reflecting William's privileged background and his attempts to reach out to a wider public.

Among those invited was Lance-Corporal Martyn Compton, a friend of the prince who served alongside him in the Household Cavalry and was so severely burned in an ambush in Afghanistan in 2006 that he lost his ears and nose.

Photographer Mario Testino, who took the official engagement pictures, and singer Joss Stone, who performed at a tribute concert for William's late mother in 2007, are included, as is "Mr Bean" actor Rowan Atkinson.

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, former England rugby coach Clive Woodward, ex-England soccer star Trevor Brooking and Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas will represent the sporting world.

First Published: April 29, 2011, 5:29 PM IST
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