The world was given its first tantalising glimpse of bride Kate Middleton in her wedding dress as she left to meet her royal groom at the altar.
As the soon-to-be HRH set off from the exclusive Goring Hotel in London with her proud father Michael, the ecstatic crowds lining the processional route cheered as they caught sight of the future princess and her much-anticipated bridal gown.
Through the windows of the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, the bride could be seen to be wearing ivory dress with long sleeves and open neck, with a veil covering her face.
Miss Middleton was travelling to the ancient gothic Abbey as a commoner. In just over an hour's time, she will retrace her route amid the pomp and splendour of a carriage procession with her husband at her side, the newly titled Duke of Cambridge.
William's grandmother the Queen gave him a traditional wedding-day dukedom so when the happy couple leave the abbey they will not just be man and wife, they will be the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Kate will take on the title when the Archbishop of Canterbury pronounces the couple man and wife in front of a congregation of 1,900 and an estimated worldwide TV audience of two billion.
The bride managed to keep details of the bridal gown top secret in the run up to the big day. The dress, like the other outfits she has worn in recent weeks, is likely to spawn a raft of copycat creations for other brides and set a trend for many years to come.
Kate spent the night apart from William as is the tradition at the Edwardian Goring surrounded by family and friends.
Her morning was a busy one, preparing for her grand entrance with her hairdresser and couturiers on hand. Her historic journey was taking her past Buckingham Palace where she is one day likely to live, down The Mall and Whitehall, to the royal church, where William has spent a nervous 40 minutes waiting.
The rest of the Royal Family, including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and William's father Prince of Wales and stepmother the Duchess of Cornwall, were all taking their places in the church. There too was mother of the bride Carole Middleton and Kate's younger brother James Middleton.