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It was one of the most widely watched weddings of all time—the nuptials of Prince William to Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011. We all saw them kiss after the ceremony on the Buckingham Palace balcony—twice!—but what exactly did William say to his bride that day, as they stood on the balcony with the eyes of the world on them?
When Kate walked onto the balcony and noticed the throng of onlookers below her, her first reaction was an astonished “Wow,” reports MyLondon, via the Mirror. The euphoric crowd below the newly minted Cambridges chanted “We want Kate! We want Kate!” and, to William, “Kiss her! Kiss her!”
The couple soaked in the moment before William turned to Kate and said, cheekily, “Go on, a little kiss, go on.”
Their first kiss was “modest and quick, but the crowds still cheered with delight,” the Mirror reports.
And, though the pair normally shy away from PDA, caught up in the exuberance, William turned to Kate again and said “Let’s give them another one. I love you. One more kiss, one more kiss. Okay?” The second kiss, of course, delighted the crowd, to the point where one of the bridesmaids covered her ears. Meanwhile, best man and William’s brother Prince Harry shared a joke with his grandfather, Prince Philip.
Thinking back on that fantastic day, lipreaders studied not just what was said on the balcony but also what was said inside Westminster Abbey, where William and Kate’s wedding ceremony was held. As Kate walked down the aisle toward her groom, William stuck to tradition and avoided looking at his bride; Harry, however, snuck a glance, and whispered to William “Right, she is here now,” according to royal author Marcia Moody in her 2013 book Kate: A Biography. “Well, she looks beautiful, I can tell you that.”
When Kate finally met William at the altar after her long walk down the aisle, “the couple set eyes on each other, and William murmured to Kate, ‘You look beautiful,’” Moody wrote.
Fun fact about the Buckingham Palace balcony kiss tradition: Because Prince Charles and Princess Diana were so nervous at their 1981 wedding ceremony, he forgot to kiss his bride at the end of the ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral—so they made up for it with a kiss on the balcony afterwards.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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