The Royal Household has announced that the wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton is to take place at Westminster Abbey on Friday 29 April 2011.
Shortly afterwards the British government agreed that the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton will be marked by a public holiday. This decision only affected England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but was swiftly followed by an announcement from the Scottish Government that April 29, 2011 would also be a Bank Holiday in Scotland.
The Bank holiday is following the precedent set when holidays were previously declared to mark the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 and for the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002.
The Royal Family will pay for the wedding, following the precedents set by the marriages of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981 and Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947.
Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the announcement and said: "the wedding of Kate and William will be a happy and momentous occasion. We want to mark the day as one of national celebration, a public holiday will ensure the most people possible will have a chance to celebrate on the day."
Fittingly the day chosen for the wedding is St. Catherine's day. Though the wedding could have taken place on November 25 and that would have also been St. Catherine's day. Confused? That's because there are two St. Catherines and each have their own feast day. The November, and arguably more notable, Catherine is Catherine of Alexandria, who was a 4th century martyr who is said to have appeared in visions to Joan of Arc.
The St. Catherine who has her feast day on April 29 is Catherine of Siena. Born in 1347, the youngest of 25 children, Her life changed at the age of six when she saw a vision of Christ, seated with the apostles Peter, Paul and John. She took up a life of prayer and fasting; volunteering to nurse the sick in Siena?s hospitals. Catherine became a key figure of the Catholic Church, renowned as a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She also worked to bring the Papacy back to Rome and to establish peace among the Italian city-states. Together with Francis of Assisi, she is one of the two patron saints of Italy,