Saturday, April 30, 2011

What honeymoon? A weekend away then it's back to work for Wills on Monday

By Rob Cooper

Newly-weds: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk hand in hand from Buckingham Palace as they prepare to board a helicopter to fly off on their honeymoon

William and Kate spent first night together at Buckingham Palace

Couple will go on honeymoon later - but date and destination is a secret

Newlyweds expected to spend weekend at Balmoral

Newlyweds William and Kate will not go on honeymoon this weekend - and Prince William will be back at work on Monday.

The couple, who flew out of Buckingham Palace this morning, will spend the weekend together at a private location in the UK.

William will return to his job as a search and rescue helicopter pilot next week before the couple finally jet off on their overseas honeymoon at a later date.

Royal honeymoon: Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, fly off from Buckingham Palace this morning

After spending their first night as a married couple together at the Palace, they walked out of the Palace casually dressed hand in hand this morning.

It had been thought they would take two weeks off for the traditional post-wedding break.

But it appears they want some private time in familiar surroundings after one of the most important days in their life saw their marriage celebrated by the nation and beyond.

They will probably travel to the Queen's Balmoral Estate in Scotland, which will afford them privacy and stunning countryside in which to unwind.

A St James's Palace spokesman said: 'The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen not to depart for a honeymoon immediately.

'Instead, after spending the weekend privately in the United Kingdom, the Duke will return to work as a search and rescue pilot next week.

'The locations of both their private weekend before the Duke returns to work and their future honeymoon, which will be overseas, will not be disclosed in advance.'

Maid of honour Pippa Middleton and her brother James emerge from the Goring Hotel today after last night's wedding celebration

St James's Palace stressed that the couple had asked that the media respect their privacy over the weekend and during their holiday.

William and Kate emerged from the Palace today hand in hand from the palace's garden entrance, located at the side of the imposing building.

In bright sunshine, they strolled along the gravel path and out into the open space where the maroon helicopter was waiting.

The Duke's new wife wore a light blue dress, dark jacket and platform shoes, while he was dressed in his trademark chinos with a pale blue shirt and navy jacket - a casual look in complete contrast to yesterday.

The couple stopped briefly to chat to two Royal Household footmen and appeared to be thanking for them after their stay.

When they finished, William put his hand on the small of his wife's back and they went over to talk to the helicopter pilot before climbing on board.

Newly-weds thanked Buckingham Palace footmen and spoke briefly to the pilot before boarding the helicopter this morning

Before they got on the aircraft, palace staff had carried out some of their luggage, which included a bouquet of white blooms.

The couple are said to still be on a high after their wedding day which was both an intimate family affair and a global event televised across the world.

Pippa Middleton and the rest of her family, who had been staying at The Goring hotel, left this afternoon, smiling broadly.

Michael, Carole, Pippa and James Middleton posed briefly for photographs in casual clothes.

Pippa, who wowed a worldwide audience yesterday in her stunning bridesmaid dress, was wearing a blue blazer, cream buttoned shirt and white jeans.

They looked happy and relaxed and bore no signs of the after- effects of last night's celebrations.

Mr Middleton told the gathered crowd: 'We had a wonderful time.'

For William and Kate, Kenya is thought to be the most likely honeymoon destination as a punter tried to put £5,000 on William and Kate heading back to the country where he proposed last year.

But the Caribbean, Australia, Jordan and Scotland are among the destinations that the couple may have chosen.

The Middletons emerge: Mother Carole Middleton, father Michael, brother James and maid of honour Pippa Middleton leave The Goring hotel

Morning after: William and Catherine, casually dressed, head out of Buckingham Palace this morning after a huge party for 300 family and friends last night

Palace joker: Prince Harry leaves Buckingham Palace in a coach - while wedding guest Chelsy Davy left in a royal car with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie

At last night's the black-tie do, which started with dinner in the palace's lavish ballroom and ended with dancing into the small hours, Prince Harry gave his best man's speech.

Around 300 family and friends attended the lavish bash last night where they partied until 3am.

William may have flown out in a helicopter this morning, but his younger brother and best man Harry had to make do with a minibus.

The Prince was photographed leaving the Palace at 3am - while Chelsy Davy left with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie in a car.

The couple are now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after the Queen bestowed the title on her grandson.

Royal wedding guests said they were feeling a little jaded today.

His father's car: William drives Catherine to Clarence House from Buckingham Palace in his father's soft-top Aston Martin decorated with balloons yesterday

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk hand in hand after a lavish bash for 300 people last night

Prince William, his wife Catherine and their bridesmaids and page boys Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Miss Eliza Lopes, Miss Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Master Tom Pettifer, Master William Lowther-Pinkerton

As Kate and William flew off from Buckingham Palace in a helicopter to begin married life together, one guest described how the celebrations had continued into the early hours.

Kate's family, along with some of their guests, stayed at the exclusive Goring hotel near the palace.

Family friend Tony Ainsworth, from Dorset, said outside the hotel: 'It has been an historic occasion. After the concerns of getting to the church on time, it all went smoothly.

'We had a party at the hotel last night that went on well into the evening, so we're feeling a little jaded this morning. Carole and Mike (Middleton) made an appearance as well.

'I went to bed around 1am but I heard guests stumbling around at 5am, coming back from the palace, which woke me up.

'My own daughter got married two years ago and, as a father of the bride, I thought Mike handled himself brilliantly, James also gave an incredible address.

'I hear everyone's talking about Pippa. She looked stunning. She's the most eligible girl in the country right now.'

Party: Wedding guests leave Buckingham Palace in the early hours of this morning after the evening reception, attended by 300 close family and friends

Royal departure: Prince Charles is driven away from Clarence House in his Aston Martin which William used to drive Kate yesterday with the numberplate 'Just Wed'

Flashback: William drives his new wife in his father's soft top, decorated in balloons, out of Buckingham Palace and down to Clarence House

Guests leave: The party at the Palace lasted until 3am - when there was a brief fireworks display to mark the end of the celebrations


Bookmakers had this morning made Kenya the 3-1 joint favourite after a punter had tried to place a £5,000 stake.

But they may continue their wedding theme of championing the UK and spend part of their break in Scotland, where both the Queen and the Prince of Wales have private homes they could use.

Bookies are also offering 3-1 odds on William and Kate heading north of the border.

The Duke is known to have a deep affection for Africa, and would be on safe romantic territory if he chose to take his wife to Kenya, where he proposed to her last year.

Jordan, with its plethora of ancient sites, has also been touted as a possibility for the couple's honeymoon.

The Middle Eastern country would no doubt have nostalgic appeal for Kate as her family spent two years there when she was a child. However its proximity to hotspots such as Syria could count against the country.

If they are keen to escape the prying eyes of the media, a secluded Caribbean island might be a safe choice.

Bequia and Necker Island all have the benefit of being easily secured, as does the ultra-exclusive Mustique, where Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton are frequent visitors.

Lizard Island, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, has also emerged as a contender.

However, with William resuming his pilot duties in two weeks, the significant jetlag likely from such a far-flung trip could rule it out.

They may also be tempted by Chile, as they both spent time in the South American country during their gap years before university.

Thirty years ago, William's parents the Prince and Princess of Wales spent the first stage of their honeymoon in Romsey in Hampshire, where they stayed at Broadlands, the family home of the Mountbattens.

The second part of their holiday was spent on board the royal yacht Britannia. They boarded at the Rock of Gibraltar before cruising to Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, the Greek islands and Egypt.

Finally, they went to Scotland to spend time with the Royal Family in Balmoral.

Honeymoon destination odds

3/1 Kenya; 3/1 Scotland; 7/2 Jordan; 11/2 Cornwall, 6/1 South Africa,7/1 Caribbean, 10/1 Mustique; 10/1 Tanzania, 20/1 Seychelles, 20/1 Saint Tropez, 25/1 Australia, 25/1 Monaco, 25/1 Maldives, 33/1 Wales (all odds from William Hill)


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