World grinds to a halt as London’s royal couple exchange vows

An estimated two billion people around the world Friday were glued to their television sets while the rest watched through live streams on the internet as Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton exchanged vows.

The Royal Wedding, which was celebrated with pomp and pageantry, was reminiscent of the fairytale wedding of the groom’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981.

Bells rang for hours over central London and flag-waving crowds cheered as the couple vowed love for each other in what was billed as the wedding of the century and Britain’s largest royal wedding in 30 years.

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married at Westminster Abbey, where most of historic events of British monarchs have taken place for centuries.

William donned the uniform of a colonel of the Irish Guards, which in an earlier Royal family statement was a decision made by the groom in honor of the soldiers who serve the country. His brother, Prince Harry, accompanied him into the abbey.

Meanwhile, Middleton wore an ivory and white satin dress with lace sleeves and shoulders and was taken to the altar by her father Michael.

Aside from the Royal Family and members of other monarchs, several high profile people and personalities such as politicians, members of the diplomatic community, and other celebrities were part of the1,900 individuals invited to the Westminster Abbey.

Authorities placed the number of people who watch the event on giant screens at Hyde Park in central London at nearly half a million, some of them coming from different parts of the world.

Some 5,000 police officers were deployed on the streets, including 110 on horseback. The Royal Wedding was also covered by an estimated 8,000 members of the press and media representatives from various countries around the world.