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London keys up for royal vows

The way is now open for a massive royal wedding gala in London in July, at the height of the international tourist season and the British school holidays, celebrated with all the pomp and ceremony for which the British are justly famed.

Buckingham Palace announced March 3 that Prince Charles would marry Lady Diana Spencer on Wednesday, July 29 -- not in Westminster Abbey, where his mother Queen Elizabeth II was married -- but at the high altar in the much bigger St. Paul's Cathedral. One reason, a palace spokesman said, was that St. Paul's could accommodate more guests.

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The wedding will be performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. The cathedral can hold 2,000 people. Closed-circuit television may be shown in the crypt beneath. One of the countless details of procedure and ceremony now beginning to emerge: The wedding certificate is to be made of embossed goatskin.

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