101 Days to the Royal Wedding

An Insider's View From Queen's Former Press Secretary

ByABC News
January 18, 2011, 6:40 AM

LONDON, Jan. 18, 2011 — -- At a little more than 100 days before the royal wedding, it's about time for an inside view of what might happen on the day.

Some say it's to be the wedding of the decade; others say wedding of the century. And behind all great events, there's a lot of hard work.

So, what's going on behind the palace walls?

"They plan for nothing to go wrong," Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to the Queen, says. "It's almost a military operation. "

The British do this sort of thing pretty well. If you've ever seen the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, you'll know there's no shortage of pomp and ceremony.

"What can go wrong is as a result of nerves by the two key players," Arbiter says.

Diana married Charles in front of friends, family, world leaders and a TV audience of three quarters of a billion.

Did anything go wrong? Well, first of all, there was a slight wardrobe malfunction.

"When Diana got out of the glass coach, the dress was so creased," Arbiter recalls.

It wasn't just the dress, but also a slight mix up with the vows.

"Diana got Charles' names wrong," Arbiter says. "She got them the wrong way round."

Well, it's a long list of names. Charles Philip Arthur George is the Prince of Wales' full name.

"I don't think Catherine will make that same mistake," Arbiter says.

There are also four of them to remember, though: William Arthur Philip Louis.

And, on the question of names, Kate Middleton's name will change at the altar.

"When she leaves Westminster Abbey, having arrived a commoner, she will have the rather long name of Her Royal Highness the Princess William of Wales."

"If he is given a dukedom, then she will be the duchess of whatever it is," the Queen's former press secretary says.

In the meantime, we should call her Catherine rather than the more informal Kate.

"Well, her name is Catherine and I think we've got to get used to it, let's make it regal now," Arbiter says. "Kate's a bit rough, isn't it?"

Crowd Will Want a Kiss

Now, in terms of all the speculation over who will design the dress, Arbiter says the world will have to wait.

"We won't know what the dress actually looks like until she steps out of the car," Arbiter says.

The future princess will arrive at Westminster Abbey last of all. But what about after the ceremony?

"The Queen will leave first in a carriage, most likely with Kate's dad," Arbiter says. "Then Prince Philip and Kate's mum. Then the bridesmaids.

"And then William and Kate all by themselves."

The party will return to Buckingham Palace where the Queen will host a reception.

"We have a balcony appearance," the royal family insider says. "The crowd will want a kiss. We had a kiss from Charles and Diana. We had one from Andrew and Fergie. We'll be short-changed if there isn't one.

"It'll be the sort of day any princess could wish for, any bride could wish for."