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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trees to the big day! Workmen create Kate's indoor forest at the Abbey as bride and her sister leave home, possibly for the last time

By Daily Mail Reporter

She's leaving home: Kate Middleton takes the wheel as she leaves her Berkshire family home with sister Pippa alongside her

As Kate Middleton left her family home this afternoon, in what may be the last time she will visit her homestead before her big day, gardeners were spotted preparing trees for Friday's Royal Wedding.

While Prince William's wife-to-be wheeled away from her Berkshire home alongside sister Pippa workers unloaded trees at Westminster Abbey.

With only three days to go before the Royal Wedding at Westminster Abbey the 29-year-old might never return to her parents' house as Catherine Middleton - but these gardeners will do their best to create her perfect indoor forest for Friday.

On the move: Kate looked relaxed with only three days to go until her big day at Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace

Kate was heading to London for final preparations before the nuptials on Friday, which will be watched by millions around the globe.

The bride-to-be has ordered more than four tons of foliage - including eight 20ft-high trees - to recreate a lavish English country garden inside Westminster Abbey.

Under the guidance of her so-called ‘floral designer’, Shane Connolly, half a dozen English Field Maples have been installed in the historic church to create a ‘Living Avenue’ under which guests will walk to their seats.

Heave: Three gardeners lift a tree at Westminster Abbey while another worker wheels in a flowering plant

Tree's a crowd: Gardeners deliver trees to Westminster Abbey for Friday's Royal Wedding

Each of the trees have been placed in a planter personally designed by Mr Connolly and hand-crafted by artisans on the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove estate.

The entire scheme is believed to have cost up to £50,000 – not quite the ‘austerity’ wedding St James’s Palace originally had in mind.

According to royal sources, the idea was suggested by Mr Connolly as a way of mirroring the Abbey’s famous arches.

Kate fell in love with his suggestion but agreed on the environmentally-friendly proviso that the trees were seasonal and could be re-planted.

Knock, knock, coming in: A fork-lift truck helps manoeuvre a maple tree into Westminster Abbey

Standing tall: A group of gardeners prepare to move a tall tree into Westminster Abbey

Bloomin' marvellous: Two gardeners wheel another tree into Westminster Abbey

Meanwhile Kate's fiancĂ©, who had spent Easter Sunday with his future in-laws, was spotted leaving the Middleton’s family home earlier today.

William has been eager to spend as much time as possible with his future bride’s family before his hectic pre-wedding rehearsals tie him up for the rest of the week.

So he decided to pop in once more ahead of his Friday wedding with Kate and was spotted driving off after the visit.

On Sunday, a fleet of three Royal Protection Squad cars accompanied William as he pulled up into the driveway of the family’s Bucklebury mansion.

High trees in: Gardeners dip an English maple tree so it can fit through the entrance of Westminster

Say trees: Photographers snap away as more maple trees are wheeled in to the old abbey and workers get ready to set down the maple tree in order to make Kate's English country garden look perfect

Steady as she goes: Workers put up an English field Maple tree in preparation for the Royal wedding in Westminster Abbey

Living avenue: Bride-to-be Kate has ordered more than four tons of foliage - including eight 20ft-high trees - to recreate a lavish English country garden inside Westminster Abbey

He was there for a special Easter Sunday lunch with all the trimmings and arrived with a mystery brown package, which he personally delivered to his bride-to-be Kate Middleton.

Newsmen who gathered outside the Middletons' home speculated on whether it was a special wedding gift - or just a box of chocolate Easter eggs for Kate, her mother and sister.

Prince William was understood to have spent four hours with his future in-laws, enjoying the family lunch.

Smiling: Kate did not shy away from grinning at the waiting paparazzi

Prince William was spotted leaving Kate Middleton's family home in Berkshire today, for a quick visit before being tied up with wedding rehearsals

Sitting out of view in the offside rear passenger seat of a bullet-proof Range Rover, with two minders in the front and four others travelling in cars to the front and rear, the Prince was understood to have enjoyed his afternoon in the countryside.

Thames Valley Police officers had been sent to Bucklebury earlier in the morning, as part of the force's contract to provide protection to Kate when she is at home.

Security was beefed up several hours later, with the arrival of armed police and plain-clothed detectives from Scotland Yard's Royal Protection Squad and within 30 minutes Kate's groom-to-be had arrived.

Prince William and his bride-to-be Kate Middleton will be busy with wedding rehearsals and preparations for the rest of the week

Home sweet home: Security has been stepped up in the Thames Valley village of Bucklebury where Kate's family lives

The Middleton family and William, 28, were thought to have chatted animatedly over lunch, discussing everything from village preparations for the wedding to how
William and Kate would be feeling as they walked down the aisle together after the service at Westminster Abbey.

The mystery box was carried into the house but after that, its contents remained unknown.

The Prince, with two armed guards, left Bucklebury in a Range Rover at 4pm, leaving Kate, her mum Carole, dad Michael sister Pippa and brother James, to do the washing up.

Practice makes perfect: The London Chamber Orchestra, who will play at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding service on Friday, were rehearsing at St John's Church

Flower power: The Middleton family's florist, Emma Sampson, shown at Windsor Great Park - where many of the flowers and plants for Westminster Abbey will be sourced - with Shane Connolly, the Royal Wedding florist

High fliers: RAF personnel practise during the lining rehearsal for the Royal Wedding at RAF Holton base at Buckinghamshire

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was spotted leaving Jo Hansford hair salon in London's Mayfair just days before the big day

Royal protection officers sent from Buckingham Palace and Scotland Yard left the family home soon after, leaving officers from Thames Valley Police to keep guard near the front drive of the five-bedroom property for the rest of the day and night.

It was understood Kate was spending Easter Monday with her family less than a week before the Royal wedding on Friday, April 29.

An insider said: ‘Kate will be here (at her family home) until tomorrow, then she's gone for the rest of the week.’

A full music rehearsal will take place at the Abbey tomorrow, with a dress rehearsal for clergy and broadcasters on Thursday.

The Duchess of Cornwall was no doubt having a consultation to decide how to wear her hair for Friday's ceremony

The salon describes itself as 'the leading hair colour salon in the UK, specialising in the creation of perfect colour and styling'

All smiles: Chelsy Davy is spotted shopping in Chelsea ahead of Friday's Royal Wedding

At some stage the Prince and Miss Middleton are also expected to head to the venue for final preparations.

Meanwhile, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was seen today leaving Jo Hansford Hairdressers in London’s Mayfair.

The salon describes itself as ‘the leading hair colour salon in the UK, specialising in the creation of perfect colour and styling’.

Camilla was no doubt making sure her bouffant was going to look perfect for the big day.

Royalists: Many Royal Wedding fans were covered cap-a-pie in Union Jacks - and some of the supporters were interviewed by the world media as they set up camp outside Westminster Abbey

Happy campers: A woman inflates her air bed as she sets up a tent outside Westminster Abbey as she awaits the Royal Wedding

As the excitement about the Royal Wedding increased, a number of die-hard Royalists set up camp outside Westminster Abbey.

Tents were pitched, sleeping airbags pumped up, and camping seats snapped upright as fans settled in for the wedding... three days before Kate and William are due at the famous London landmark.

Royal wedding: Global media arrives to London to cover royal wedding - BBC NEWS



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