- Associated Press - Friday, April 29, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Queen Elizabeth II has arrived at Westminster Abbey, where her grandson Prince William is marrying Kate Middleton.

The 85-year-old monarch and her husband Prince Philip were driven from Buckingham Palace in a royal Bentley.

The queen wore a primrose Angela Kelly dress and matching crepe hat adorned with silk roses.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived moments earlier Friday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

LONDON (AP) _ Prince William and best man Prince Harry strode into Westminster Abbey in formal military attire Friday as royal fans lined the streets of London by the thousands, hoping to snatch a glimpse of a historic royal wedding expected to revitalize British monarchy.

A third of the planet was forecast to be watching Friday as William and Kate Middleton, the future king and queen of England, start their lives as husband and wife with the two simple words “I will.”

All the clamoring over every detail _ the wedding dress, her hair, their titles, the romantic kiss on the balcony, the honeymoon _ finally will be answered. But the biggest question won’t be resolved for years: Will this royal couple live happily ever after?

Will their union endure like that of William’s grandparents _ Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, now in its 64th year _ or crumble in a spectacular and mortifying fashion like that of his own parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana?

Recent history augurs badly: The first marriages of three of the queen’s four children ended in divorce. But William and Kate seem to glow with happiness in each other’s company, and unlike Charles and Diana they’ve had eight years to figure out that they want to be together.

Still, the fate of their marriage depends on private matters impossible for the public to gauge, for a beautiful bridal gown and a sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring do not guarantee a happy ending. Any wedding is fundamentally about two people. Will their lives together, starting with such high hopes, be blessed by good fortune, children, good health, productive work?

Much will depend on whether 28-year-old William and 29-year-old Kate can summon the things every couple needs: patience, love, wit and wisdom. But they face the twin burdens of fame and scrutiny. Money, power, beauty _ it can all go wrong if not carefully nurtured.

These are the thorny issues upon which the fate of the monarchy rests, as the remarkable queen, now 85, inevitably ages and declines.

By dawn on Friday, crowds were awake and waving flags for television cameras under steely gray skies and cool temperatures. Technicians ran last-minute checks on huge television screens broadcasting the ceremony at Trafalgar Square. Cheers erupted in Hyde Park when the screens began operating.

“Will, it’s not too late!” said a sign held aloft by one admirer dressed as a bride.

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