8:41 British Consul General Sir Alan Collins addresses the BBC America crowd, as does network prexy Herb Scannell. Both are big Doctor Who fans. There is another toast. Wedding cake is distributed.
That's it from me - enjoy your morning, especially if it hasn't started yet.
8:31 And they are off. No one knows where they're honeymooning. Later today (or possibly tomorrow): ratings on this monster.
8:29 And now the flyover. One of the pilots' helmets says "Congratulations" on it. Looks like there's actually a reporter inside the plane. Wills kisses Kate again just for the hell of it.
8:27 The kiss! Champagne toast!
8:25 Here's the royal couple on the balcony. Kate looks pretty. William looks dashing. She's got her bouquet. There are a bunch of little kids who are super cute in their little soldier outfits.
8:24 What do you suppose they're doing for 55 minutes? Taking wedding photos? Having awkward family time?
8:23 The RAF is flying over the palace; BBC has a camera inside one of the fighters. At least one is very, very old and has no roof on its cockpit.
8:18 As I look up from my computer for the first time in quite a while, it occurs to me that I am surprisingly underdressed. Everybody here, especially everybody here who is British, is wearing a suit or a dress, never mind that they all got here at 5:50.
7:51 The marmalade here is, in strictly British terms, pretty boss.
7:48 BBC showing footage of poor Diana now, intercut with shots of the vast parade as it marches down the street. During interviews for this article I expressed some skepticism that the wedding was going to be a draw for US viewers and pretty much everyone I talked to said they were confident that folks across the country were going to get up or stay up. BBC America publicist Amy Mulcair says that people were outside at 5:45 waiting for the doors to open to this event, which started at 6:00.
7:33 Now the peasantry is being interviewed. More scones, please.
7:31 Is Camilla hiding anything in that hat? Is that even Camilla? I think with some carefully applied makeup, the third of the face that we can see could belong to anyone.
7:29 The Queen is, of course, batting cleanup in this whole procession. Wow, cute teenage royal or Middleton person, bad time to get caught picking your nose.
7:26 Catherine of the Surprisingly Good Bone Structure is helped out of her carriage by an actual footman. Like in the movies, guys!
7:24 The carriages have arrived at the palace, as have the cars carrying, presumably, RAF or SAS guys there to discourage anybody in the crowd drunk or desperate enough to do something bad.
7:22 Will she have to be Catherine of Something now? Quick, Kate, pick a name before the historians do it for you! Be Catherine of the Surprisingly Good Bone Structure before somebody christens you Catherine the Bloody.
7:21 All right, Kate has the smiling-and-waving thing down cold. One wonders, do any of them have to go to the bathroom right now? Are they allowed to go to the bathroom? Ever? One suspects not. It would be letting the side down, one feels.
7:20 Adorable children waving to the commoners from their coach-and-four. The little girl has garlands in her hair and everything.
7:17 People are outside the church and thus free to smile, even Her Majesty, who is in what looks like a horse-drawn Popemobile with Prince Philip. The horses themselves are clearly over it.
7:12 Eavesdropping yields the information that the couple must now go to the balcony at Buckingham Palace to kiss, since Anglicans don't kiss the bride at the ceremony. They do let their priests get married, though, which seems like a reasonable compromise.
7:11 The carriage is headed down the street, and people are cheering like lunatics. Kate and Wills are waving politely. The Queen's hat is still awesome.
7:10 Still no rain. Take that, science!
7:08 What do you do AFTER this wedding? Will William sit on the kingly couch in his underwear? Will Kate take a royal spinning class? How is this not the high point of your life, and thus all downhill from here?
7:07 Harry, flirting with the maid of honor.
7:05 Actually, she looks like she's got the giggles. So does William, although he's doing a better job of hiding it.
7:05 Kate smiles. THANK YOU.
7:04 Smile, for God's sake! Someone, please, please smile! Kate probably had to go back into that room to sign something saying she gave up all rights and privileges conferred on her by the union because she smiled.
7:02 The recessional, led by Charles and Camilla coming out to sit down. Do all Englishwomen have hats that hide their faces from the cameras? They seem like a good idea for people who are tired of being photographed and want some privacy.
7 o'clock We continue to sing. Not a one of these kids is going to get out of high school without being beaten up over the footage of how adorable they look as they sing.
6:57 The BBC has a scone bar with marmalade, clotted cream, and hair of the dog. It is good for what ails you.
6:54 Who carries the bride's train at a royal wedding? I feel it should be one of those jobs that you do once and then get a stipend that supports you for the rest of your life, like a Broadway curtain operator.
6:53 Kate and Wills are signing the register.
6:53 "God Save the Queen." Liz looks pretty safe. I'd forgotten that Americans know this song as "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."
6:51 Requisite snark aside, Westminster Abbey is just a gorgeous church (obviously), and this is clearly what it was made to do. Every time I've been there I've been vaguely disappointed that royalty was not getting married.
6:48 Elton John: singing a hymn. QE2: also singing a hymn. There is a brief glimpse of technology invented in the 20th century of the shoulder of a violinist, for which someone will undoubtedly be fired. Prince Harry does not know this song.
6:45 More liturgy. "Bless these thy servants..." At least somebody is wearing a clever outfit. Anglican priests have all the fun.
6:42 I still don't understand what they're singing.
6:39 Canterbury's homily finishes. The BBC announcer lets everyone know that the text of the sermon will be available later, which undoubtedly comes as a huge relief to everyone.
6:36 Queen Elizabeth briefly wakes up.
6:35 Canterbury: "...You have both made that decision today." Kate turns and says something cute to Wills and gives the morning's first sincere smile. It's a nice moment.
6:33 I remember the homily from my wedding. Specifically, I remember that it happened, and I remember that my wife looked great. What our pastor said, I have no idea. This pretty well describes the look on William's face, although my excuse is that the guy officiating was not the Archbishop of Canterbury.
6:27 I don't understand what they're singing.
6:25 Kate's brother Guy finishes reading from Romans.
6:20 The royal couple has been pronounced man and wife, and if I'm not mistaken, I could hear the cheer outside penetrate Westminster Abbey for just a moment.
6:19 "Those whom God has pledged together, let no man put asunder."
6:16 Catherine Middleton: "I will"
6:15 Prince William: "I will"
6:14 The Archbishop of Canterbury: "...Forever hold his peace"
5:45-6 o'clock On the train; now off and headed toward the BBC America building. Two Irish guys are making fun of a third Irish guy who has worn a kilt, presumably in honor of the day. He says he is cold.
English bookmakers are working for their money today: odds on Prince Harry forgetting to do up his flies stand at 33:1, with bets on whether he'll drop the ring, whether he'll be too drunk to make his best man speech, and countless other little details of the ceremony also given.
At BBC America, there is an atmosphere of happy anticipation, muted by natural Britishness. On TV, the royals are proceeding down the aisle at Westminster Abbey; Prince William is looking extremely official and Kate Middleton is frankly looking a little scared. Her dress is kind of conservative, which I suppose makes sense, but is disappointing.
5:41 The train is late. I hate everyone.
5:37 ayem. Good Morning, I'm Sam Thielman, your Variety royal wedding correspondent, armchair edition, and I'm here in spirit with what the announcer on NPR's Morning Edition said a few minutes ago is roughly 2 billion people. It's so early I'm not even properly hung over yet. Today is supposedly Friday, April 29 but I remain unconvinced that I am not dreaming this entire blog post. I am waiting in the subway station for the 2/3 train to take me to the BBC America's viewing party for the blessed event, where there will be scones and champagne and hopefully coffee. Precious, precious coffee.
It is very easy to say that you don't care about British royalty. I don't particularly care; I am not sure I can tell Fergie the Duchess of York from Fergie the Black-Eyed Pea. But I will say this: if you've paid to see a Shakespeare history play; if you watched "The King's Speech" or more than one episode of "Game of Thrones" or "The Tudors," you do, on some level, understand what this is about, whether you admit it or not. Dozens, maybe hundreds of people have fought and killed each other (to say nothing of millions of civilians who got in the way) for the right to marry a child to a British monarch, or to become one.