by Samantha Schnurr | Sun., Apr. 29, 2018 3:00 AM
That stage was the balcony of Buckingham Palace. But, to the tens of millions of fans watching around the world, it was the picture-perfect close to the eagerly anticipated main event that spring. Seven years later, every detail of the couple's fairytale 2011 nuptials remain permanently imprinted in fans' minds—and the annals of royal history.
Nearly a decade after meeting as students at the University of St. Andrews, the two got engaged after a "romantic" proposal in Kenya while on holiday in late 2010.
Five months later, Middleton was on her way to Westminster Abbey alongside her father, Michael Middleton, in a black Rolls Royce Phantom VI, radiant and sweetly waving to a sea of excited onlookers as she faced her imminent future as a royal.
In a moment seemingly plucked from a Hollywood creation, the future duchess emerged from the car, her veil fluttering in the wind as she debuted her custom Alexander McQueen lace gown in full.
On the hand of her father and with her sister—and maid of honor—Pippa Middleton dutifully carrying her regal train, the bride approached the entrance to the church, but not without one last wave to the throngs of ecstatic onlookers.
At the end of the red aisle, the groom stood beside his brother, Prince Harry, and with his back turned, donning the red tunic of his Colonel of the Irish Guards uniform. Soon, William turned and set eyes on his bride and, an hour later, they appeared in the entryway of Westminster Abbey once again, this time as a freshly minted husband and wife.
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Off into a carriage they went next as they ventured back to Buckingham Palace, the spot of their now infamous balcony kiss and the grand finale to a picturesque occasion.
Today, the longtime couple is celebrating the seventh anniversary of that day with a brand new addition to their lives. As the parents of Prince George, 4, Princess Charlotte, 2, and a newborn son, the bride and groom have built a family together and brought the next generation of royals to life.
While they have nearly two decades together already under their belts, life has just begun for the royal couple and their new family of five. Judging by their wedding day, what a fairytale life it will be.
Happy Anniversary, Prince William and Duchess Kate!