LONDON | They’ve got the carriage, the abbey, and a national holiday in their honor. Now Prince William’s marriage with Kate Middleton is getting what every young engaged couple really needs — a wedding website.
Tech-savvy couples the world over set up websites to feature their nuptials. Such sites give guests a handy way to get directions, browse photos, buy gifts, or even choose the music. Although Internet users aren’t likely to get much say in the royal reception’s playlist, fans will find photos, updates, videos and more on www.officialroyalwedding2011.org, a site that Prince William’s office, St. James's Palace, says may be used to livestream the event itself.
On Wednesday, much of the site seemed to consist of content from the royals’ existing social media ventures, such as Buckingham Palace’s Flickr account, Clarence House’s Twitter page, the Royal Channel on YouTube and the British monarchy’s Facebook site.
But officials are promising exclusive content about the wedding, including that most coveted detail of all — details about Miss Middleton’s gown when they are made public.
St. James's Palace said the site was being hosted by Google App Engine, which is designed to handle large bursts of traffic. A spokeswoman declined to say how many visitors the site was expected to receive, although it seems safe to say that it will draw many more than the 1,900-odd guests expected at the ceremony.
The government has also launched a separate site intended to offer practical information for members of the public interested in taking part in celebrations for the wedding.
And though it hardly needs it, the royal wedding will be getting a little extra star power.
Mr. John has told a Canadian TV talk show that the pair have received an invitation to the big event. Mr. John was a close friend of William’s mother, Princess Diana, and sang his song “Candle In the Wind” at her funeral in 1997.
Palace officials say invitations have been sent to about 1,900 guests but the names have not been released.
The coveted invitations are expected to go to family friends, members of other royal families, diplomats, charity workers and others.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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