LONDON -- Palace officials Wednesday revealed key details about the upcoming royal wedding, announcing that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will marry Prince William and Kate Middleton when they tie the knot on April 29.
Prince Charles' representatives said the wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey will begin at 11 a.m., kicking off a day of pomp and ceremony on what has been declared a national holiday throughout the United Kingdom.
The newly released information sheds light on the official wedding plans, which will see the newlyweds emerge from Westminster Abbey to ride in a carriage in a gala procession to Buckingham Palace.
The route, which will take them through the heart of ceremonial London, is expected to be lined with a huge crowd of well-wishers hoping for a glimpse of the royal couple. The carriage will go through Parliament Square, Whitehall, Horse Guards Parade and the Mall.
On arrival at Buckingham Palace, the couple plan to make a brief public appearance on the main balcony.
"We're hoping obviously for a balcony appearance and a kiss on the balcony," royal commentator Dickie Arbiter told Sky News.
Once they retreat inside the palace, the newlyweds will be the guests of honor at a reception hosted by William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The reception guest list has not been released, but palace officials said it will be drawn from members of the wedding congregation who make up both the couple's official and private lives.
It is not clear if William and his new bride will then have a chance to relax -- or if more events will be scheduled before a gala dinner and dance thrown by Prince Charles that evening.
That event will be held at Buckingham Palace rather than at one of Charles' residences. His office said close friends of the newlyweds will join family members at that event.
The official statement also indicated that Middleton will break with tradition and arrive at the wedding traveling by car, not in a special royal carriage.
Royal historian Hugo Vickers told the BBC that both Diana Spencer and Sarah Ferguson arrived at their royal weddings via carriage when they wed Prince Charles and Prince Andrew.
He said the time of year might be the reason: "I'm not sure if you can have an open carriage in April anyway."
She will leave the Abbey in a carriage, as befits a princess.
The palace did not specify where Middleton would spend her final night as a single woman.
Officials said the Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev. John Hall, will conduct the service and the Bishop of London, the Right Rev. Richard Chartres, will give the address.
The wedding update clears up many important questions about the schedule but leaves many more questions open to speculation.
High on the list are the matter of which designer will be chosen to design Middleton's wedding gown, and what celebrities will be on the guest list.
It is also not clear who will provide musical entertainment.