The newly ennobled Duke and Duchess of Cambridge ride in a 109-year-old carriage

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 29, 2011 08:15 AM
Alastair Grant/AP

Cinderella, move over.

The fairy-tale aspect of the Royal Wedding was cranked up an extra notch for the procession to Buckingham Palace following the main ceremony and the exchanging of vows at Westminster Abbey.

The freshly ennobled Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped into a 109-year-old State Landau carriage and rode from the Abbey, past Parliament Square, through Whitehall and down the Mall atop a red tarmac that gave the appearance of a red carpet.

Boarding the carriage at 12:15 p.m. London time, they held hands and smiled at one another before beginning their nearly 10-minute ride. Within moments, the roar of the crowd along the route could be heard all the way to the palace.

Accompanying them in the procession were thousands of marching soldiers, military bands and mounted regiments.

The open-air, red-and-gold carriage in which the newlyweds sat and waved to the cheering crowd was originally built for King Edward VII in 1902, and had carried the groom’s parents, Diana and Prince Charles, after their 1981 wedding service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, the Duke and Duchess of York, also rode in it for their 1986 wedding. The Queen uses it too, usually to foreign heads of state when they visit London.

Had it been raining on Friday morning in London, the alternate plan was for the Duke and Duchess to ride in the enclosed Glass Coach, which dates back to 1881.