A year after the world gaped at Kate Middleton and Prince William's nuptials, it was their turn to watch at the wedding of a close friend. Not that the royal couple went unnoticed.
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On the weekend of their first anniversary the couple celebrated the marriage of Kate's close school friend, Hannah Gillingham. Paparazzi snapped the Duchess, her Prince and her sister Pippa cowering under umbrellas on the way into a Suffolk church. Kate wore the Erdam Navy lace dress she first debuted last summer on her North American tour. This time, she dressed it up with a gold-buckle belt, but was overall dressed down enough to let the bride have the floor. Pippa was less concerned about that (see her gold minidress and butterfly pay-attention-to-me hat)
It's always a big deal when Kate and Will go anywhere, but because it was their anniversary weekend, the tabloids were in full-on stakeout mode. People Magazine got a hold of one the photographers who captured Kate and Will outside the church. Royal snapper Mark Stewart called it a "re-run of the royal wedding" because Gillingham's guest list overlapped with Kate's. So did her gown. The lace bodice and blooming skirt looked remarkably similar to the McQueen original that sparked an international bridal trend the year before. What can you do? Timing is everything.
US Weekly, had an insider in the church, reporting on the most minor of moments between the couple. In case you were wondering, the couple sat in the front of the church. Also, an anonymous source says: "Lots of people congratulated them on their first year anniversary, but they seemed quite keen not to take any attention away from the bride and groom."
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So far, nothing about the royal anniversary weekend is blowing anyone's minds.
After the event, the couple either stayed overnight and attended a wedding brunch (Daily Beast) or went home early Saturday night (US Weekly). Depends on whether you want to believe they're hard-partying wedding troopers.
What every publication seems to agree on, including a palace aide, is that the couple spent their Sunday afternoon in total privacy at their farmhouse cottage in Anglesey, Wales. The Daily Mail folks think they know what the couple is believed to have ingested--a home-cooked fish en papillote (in parchment) in honor of what's known as a "paper" anniversary.
So there it was. After weeks as a trending topic and months inspiring memorabilia , the royal anniversary was no different than the average weekend for most couples. No hot air balloons, no re-doing vows, no serenades with a five-piece orchestra. Just a low-key weekend with friends--plus a few insiders, sources and paparazzi.