Will and Kate's Royal Wedding: The Green Lowdown in 8 Juicy Details
Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
It's been 30 years since Charles and Diana's wedding, which means royal watchers all over the world have been working themselves into a tizzy over every last, secret detail of the Friday, April 29th nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton.
And while a royal wedding for 2,000 is hardly going to be a small, understated affair, some reports credit the couple with making eco-friendly choices. Of course, not all their decisions are taking the environment into account.
1. The Ring
William popped the question on a trip to Kenya with Kate and some friends in November 2010 -- and sealed the engagement with the same sapphire-and-diamond bauble that his father gave to his mother on their engagement.
The 18-carat center stone would be worth about $300,000 today, say jewelry experts, but the choice of an heirloom ring means the couple skipped extra resources that would have gone into making new.
2. The PartyPhoto: Karen Roe/Creative Commons
And some sources have also said that the couple will choose in-season flowers for their decor: Business Green quoted an anonymous "source with knowledge of the plans" as saying, ""[Sustainability] is considered by both Clarence House and Buckingham Palace in terms of everything it does, so you wouldn't be wrong to assume that the food and flowers will be seasonal and sustainably sourced."
3. The RegistryImage: The Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund
What do you get a Prince and Princess who can have, literally, anything they want? Instead of registering for candlesticks, roasting pans, tablecloths, and new flatware, William and Kate instead set up a Charitable Gift Fund, which allows guests to donate to more than 26 different organizations -- including those that support armed forces members and their families, youth sports, education, and community foundations.
Also on the list: Conservation efforts from the Zoological Society of London to save black and greater one-horned rhinos, three species of tiger, African forest and Asian elephants, and Earthwatch's global volunteer work.
4. The Cake
Photo: RUI VIEIRA/epa/Corbis
Feeding 600 guests means the royal couple needs plenty of cake: They've decided to have two, reports The Telegraph.
One will be a traditional fruitcake made with "dried fruits like raisins and sultanas to walnuts, cherries, grated oranges, and lemon, French brandy and free range eggs and flour," and decorated with intricate scrollwork and icing flowers, including roses, lily of the valley, and ivy. The second cake -- a request of Prince William -- will be an English treat known as a McVities chocolate biscuit cake, which the paper says was a favorite childhood dessert.
5. The DressPhoto: WWD/Condé Nast/Corbis
Of all the questions surrounding the details of the wedding, the biggest ones are about the dress: What does it look like, and who's designing it? The palace has been tight-lipped about the details of the frock, insisting that they don't want to spoil the Prince's first look at his bride, but last week The Huffington Post's royal correspondent, Yvonne Yorke, wrote a post claiming that the chosen designer is Sophie Cranston of Libélula -- but Cranston denied it. (Other suggestions have included Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, who designed the dress shown here, and Stella McCartney.)
The Daily Mail says that Kate designed the gown herself with "inspiration" from Renaissance fashions and "a nod to the iconic Emanual wedding dress worn by Lady Diana Spencer."
Though eco-friendly labels aren't the rumored frontrunners, speculation is that Kate will wear plenty of borrowed jewelry from her soon-to-be grandmother-in-law (and if your grandmother-in-law was the queen, wouldn't you?).
6. The HoneymoonPhoto: tiarescott/Creative Commons
Add the royal honeymoon to the list of details that the palace hasn't released yet -- though plenty of watchers have their own ideas. It's been suggested that the couple would vacation in Mustique, in the Seychelles, in Jordan, in Kenya, and in countless other places -- so we can pretty much assume they won't be taking a staycation (although they could follow the example of William's parents and spend some time in Scotland).
7. The GuestsPhoto: John Stillwell - WPA Poo//Getty Images
Nearly 2,000 guests from all over the world were invited to the wedding ceremony -- including David and Victoria Beckham, friends of Middleton's parents from Mustique, the King of Jordan, Elton John, and royals from throughout Europe.
About 600 of those guests are invited to the reception afterward, and 300 to the dinner Charles will host that evening. It's way too much math for us, but if you calculate the flights, trains, cars, and other travel required to get those people there, the amount of food and drink, the paper that went into the invitations, and the rest of the supplies required to entertain that many people, you get a skyrocketing carbon footprint.
8. The TransportationPhoto: Christian Horcel/Creative Commons
Though it's often traditional for brides to make their way to the church in a horse-drawn carriage, Willia and Kate opted for a more modern mode of transportation: A car.
Whether that's for safety reasons, in case of bad weather, or simply because that's what they wanted, the choice means that the couple won't be supporting the horse-and-carriage industry. And while cars aren't necessarily greener, the royal itinerary leaves a very precise nine minutes between the time Kate and her father depart their hotel and the moment the wedding ceremony begins, making this short car trip the least of the couple's green concerns. (But hey -- they could always choose a hybrid.)