Royal Couple Arrives in Azores Precede London
TERCEIRA, Azores (AP) _ Prince Andrew and his princess, newly wed in the splendor of British pageantry, boarded the royal yacht Britannia on Wednesday evening for a honeymoon cruise through this lush chain of Atlantic islands.
The world watched Andrew and Sarah Ferguson marry Wednesday morning in Westminster Abbey, that venerable symbol of England, and grant the wish of a cheering throng by kissing tenderly on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Andrew’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, gave them a good-luck dusting of confetti as they left the palace in an open carriage to be brought to the Britannia by a jet of the Queen’s Flight.
The sleek, blue-hulled yacht dropped anchor in Praia da Victoria just two hours before the newlyweds, both 26, landed at 8 p.m. (4 p.m. EDT) at Lajes, the U.S.-Portuguese air base.
After a welcoming ceremony, they sped by motorcade three miles to the dock and boarded a launch for the Britannia. Hundreds of residents lined the small bay and the last hundred yards to the port gates.
Forty minutes after their plane landed, Andrew and Sarah were aboard the yacht for the five-day cruise through the nine islands of this Portuguese archipelago, 740 miles into the Atlantic.
Local officials said the Britannia requested permission to call at Pico, Sao Jorge, Faial and Sao Miguel for a farewell reception before the newlyweds fly home July 28.
On Wednesday morning, they walked into Westminster Abbey separately as Andrew, the royal bachelor, and Sarah Ferguson, the commoner daughter of a retired army major. They emerged hand in hand about an hour later as the newest pair of royal highnesses and, by order of the queen, the Duke and Duchess of York.
Tens of thousands of Britons and tourists lined the mile-long route of the wedding procession from Buckingham Palace to the medieval church, in which members of the royal family have been crowned, married and buried for 920 years.
It was a day to forget economic recession and other troubles, and to glory in the remembrance of empire that Britain displayes so well.
Crowds were much larger for the wedding in 1981 of Prince Charles, the queen’s eldest son and heir to the throne, and Lady Diana Spencer, but that day was declared a national holiday.
Family and friends gave Andrew and Sarah a tumultuous, confetti-strewn sendoff to their honeymoon in the Portuguese Azores Islands in the Atlantic.
Discreetly placed television cameras gave an estimated 300 million viewers in 42 countries a prime view of the day’s events.
Britain’s favorite family kept the common touch despite the pomp, and the wedding remained a family event that brought tears to the eyes of Prince Charles.
For the public, one of the biggest treats came last.
Television viewers saw Queen Elizabeth, relaxed and smiling, tossing confetti at her son and new daughter-in-law. At one point she chased Prince William, her 4-year-old grandson, to keep him away from the departing carriage.
Cheers from the crowd outside the abbey grew so loud at times that the sound filtered through the thick stone walls into the cavernous space where Andrew and Sarah knelt before the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Robert Runcie, who conducted the ceremony.
The 2,000 invited guests ranged from first lady Nancy Reagan to princes and princesses from Europe and Japan, and pop singer Elton John.
Clouds and a spattering of rain ushered in the day, as they do so often in London, but sun broke through as the procession of horse-drawn coaches, vintage Rolls-Royce limousines and cavalrymen left the palace for the abbey.
Sunshine put a glitter on the silver breastplates and gold braiding. Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall were awash with red, white and blue Union Jacks, and the red tunics and black bearskin caps of marching bands.
The statues of such as Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln gleamed under fresh coats of beeswax.
Strains of ″God Save the Queen″ rolled majestically over the crowd outside Buckingham Palace as Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, set out at the head of carriage procession.
Andrew, looking poised and self-assured in the dress uniform of a Royal Navy lieutenant, rode with his younger brother Prince Edward, the best man, and Charles and Princess Diana.
Sarah rode in the 1910 Glass Coach with her father, Maj. Ronald Ferguson.
She wore an ivory silk satin dress with a 17 1/2 -foot train, by designer Linka Cierach. It was beaded with bees and thistles from her coat of arms and anchors and waves representing the royal family’s naval tradition.
Her thick red hair was down, under a veil and a gem-studded tiara.
″Sarah 3/8 Sarah 3/8″ the crowd chanted. Enthusiastic admirers were held back by some of the 3,600 policemen and soldiers assigned to security and crowd control.
The bride entered the abbey to a trumpet fanfare from red-coated marines in pith helmets. Her walk down the aisle, on her father’s arm, was accompanied by music from the organ and a choir.
Her mother Susan, divorced and remarried, sat near the altar with Maj. Ferguson during the ceremony.
Mrs. Reagan wore a sea-green silk dress and matching coat by James Galanos, one of her favorite American designers. She sat facing the altar in an area reserved for high-ranking foreign dignitaries.
Sarah chose the traditional service in which the bride pledges to ″obey.″ As her good friend Diana had done in 1981, she stumbled over her husband’s name, repeating Christian while taking Andrew Albert Christian Edward as her lawful wedded husband.
Andrew had trouble keeping his sword out of the way as he slipped the gold ring onto Sarah’s finger. Sarah put a ring on his litle finger, which was a surprise not in the script. Prince William, Charles’s son and second in line to the throne, got a case of the 4-year-old fidgets and chewed the chinstrap of his sailor hat. The queen smiled indulgently and some in the audience laughed.
At 11:50 a.m., Runcie pronounced the couple married. Charles pulled out a large handkerchief, blew his nose and wiped his eyes.
The choir burst into ″Lead us, heavenly Father.″ Charles read the lesson from Ephesians 3:14-21, ″that ye be rooted and grounded in love″
They signed the register ″Andrew″ and ″Sarah Ferguson,″ then marched up the aisle with fingers entwined, pausing to bow and curtsy to the Andrew’s mother. Sarah grinned broadly.
The prince and new princess appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace later, with the family.
They waved to the people below. The throng called for a kiss, and they obliged.
After a wedding breakfast of lobster, roast lamb and strawberries, the family, 140 friends and scores of nannies, chambermaids, cooks and footmen saw the newlyweds off in a boisterous scene in the palace courtyard.