It’s the moment everyone is waiting for. While only 1,900 guests will see William and Kate make their vows in the Abbey, tens of thousands will cram outside the gates of Buckingham Palace to see the newlyweds make an appearance on its balcony.
And when they do appear around 1:25pm the crowd will be urging William to seal his new marriage with a kiss. It’s a tradition that began 30 years ago on July 29, 1981 when the Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer. After they returned to the palace for lunch they stepped out on to the famous balcony with the Queen and the rest of the royal family.
Their fairytale wedding had captivated everyone and, carried away by the romantic atmosphere, the crowd wanted to see the couple kiss.
At the time the Prince appeared wary. ‘They are trying to get us to kiss,’ he told Diana, who replied, ‘Well, how about it?’
As was later revealed, Charles then turned to the Queen and said, ‘Mother, may I?’ With a nod of approval, she said, ‘Of course!’ He needed no further urging and puckered up with his beautiful young wife, as the crowd roared with delight.
Five years later it was Prince Andrew’s turn to kiss his bride Sarah Ferguson. When the newly created Duke and Duchess of York appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony they pretended they couldn’t hear the shouts of the well-wishers urging them to show their love for one another.
Cupping an ear they mouthed the word ‘What?’ until finally they relented and amid an outburst of giggles, Andrew planted a long, smoochy kiss on his wife’s lips.
They were like playful puppies, who simply could not hide their feelings for one another.
It was different when the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999.
Their wedding took place at St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where there is no balcony. But Edward had already demonstrated his passion for his bride on the day they became engaged. He grabbed his laughing fiancee and kissed her soundly in front of the cameras.
From the time Queen Victoria became the first member of the royal family to marry in public, smooching or canoodling was quite out of the question. Public displays of affection such as this were not considered appropriate until Princess Diana came along. Although she was an Earl’s daughter she had a wonderful common touch, which endeared her to the public.
So, it wasn’t surprising that she was ready and willing when her groom planted a loving kiss on her upturned face. The body language between the two revealed a longing to be kissed on her side and enthusiasm mingled with wariness on his.
So what can we expect from Kate and William? They have been great smoochers right from the start. It was back in 2004 when William kissed Kate on the slopes of Klosters that we first knew she was his girlfriend.
William is someone who likes to surprise us. So I won’t be astonished if he stops at the Great West Door of the Abbey as he emerges with his wife on his arm and kisses his new missus.
Since then they have been snogging and canoodling all over the place. So don’t be surprised if they break all records on the palace balcony and kiss repeatedly.
My only worry is it may rain just when they appear. This would ruin the highlight of the day for all of us. So, let’s hope the rainclouds roll away and it’s nothing but blue skies for them both from here on.