LONDON: Prince William made sure his mother Princess Diana in his own words did not “miss out” on the ceremony and celebrations for his wedding to Kate Middleton.
His bride wore Diana's engagement ring, a hymn from his late mother's funeral was sung at the service and guests for the wedding included Elton John who sang Candle in the Wind at Diana's funeral in the abbey.
Fourteen years ago, the eyes of the world watched as William, then 15, walked solemnly behind the coffin of his mother as it was taken through the packed streets of London to her funeral.
William wed Middleton in front of almost 2,000 guests and an audience of millions worldwide. But the one person conspicuous by her absence was Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.
From the moment the couple announced they were getting married last November, William has deliberately ensured that Diana's memory would not be forgotten, giving Middleton his mother's large blue oval sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
“It's very special to me,” William told reporters in November. “It's my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement and the fact we are going to spend the rest of our lives together.”
The build-up to the day and the ceremony itself has been littered with reminders of Diana.
“The only downside is the sad side,” said Joan Lunden, a US TV host who covered Diana's wedding in 1981 and is part of the Fox News royal wedding team.
“That thought of Gee, I wish Diana was here'.”
Before the wedding, the couple were reported to have visited Diana's resting place, an island at her family's Althorp estate in central England.
“It was very important for William to take Kate to visit his mum just before their wedding day,” a source told the Daily Mirror newspaper.
“It is tragic that she won't be there to see the wedding and that she never got to meet his bride.” - Reuters