LONDON - (AP) - With a smile that lit up TV screens around the world, Kate Middleton married Prince William in a union thatpromised to revitalize the British monarchy. A million peopleroared their approval as the royal couple then paraded throughLondon in an open carriage.Even knowing that an immense television audience was turning into watch, the couple managed, at times, to appear in their ownprivate world Friday, both at Westminster Abbey and on the balconyof Buckingham Palace.William whispered to Kate, who radiated contentment and joy, asthey pledged their lives to one another at the church with thesimple words "I will."After a ceremonial tour around London, they then delivered two -not one - sweet, slightly self-conscious kisses on the balcony,with William blushing deeply at the highly anticipated event.Within moments, a flyby of vintage and modern Royal Air Forceplanes roared overhead.For much of the world, the wedding was a dramatic introductionto Middleton's beguiling star power. Despite the pressure, the29-year-old carried the day with an easy smile, youthful exuberanceand a sense of decorum that matched the event.
After the ceremony, Middleton curtsied easily before her newgrandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, comfortably sharing the stage withthe woman who has reigned since 1952. For many Britons, it was thefirst time since the queen's youth that they have seen such acomposed, beautiful royal bride.The sighting of Middleton's wedding gown - the biggest secret ofthe day - prompted swoons of admiration as she stepped out of aRolls-Royce with her father at the abbey. Against all odds, the sunbroke through steely gray skies at precisely that moment.
Her ivory-and-white satin dress - with its plunging neckline,long lacy shoulders and sleeves and a train over 2-meters (yards)long - was designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.Middleton's hair was half-up, half-down, decorated with dramaticveil and a tiara on loan from the queen. Her dramatic diamondearrings were a gift from her parents."It's a dream," said Jennie Bond, a leading British monarchyexpert and royal wedding consultant for The Associated Press. "Itis a beautiful laced soft look, which is extremely elegant. Shelooked stunning."
The structured dress, which emphasized Middleton's slim figure,reminded some of the wedding dress worn by a princess from anotherera, the late Grace Kelly of Monaco.
William, second-in-line to the throne after his father, PrinceCharles, wore the scarlet tunic of an Irish Guards officer,reinforcing his new image as a dedicated military man.
The couple's first royal wedding present came from the queen:the royal titles of the duke and duchess of Cambridge.A flood of well-wishers - as well as some protesters - packedcentral London, especially around Buckingham Palace, WestminsterAbbey and other landmarks beginning at dawn, despite cooltemperatures and the threat of rain. Cheers erupted as hugetelevision screens began broadcasting at Trafalgar Square and HydePark.
The Metropolitan Police estimated the crowd peaked at onemillion along the route, with around 500,000 people in and aroundThe Mall trying to catch a glimpse of the couple's kiss.