Updated: Royal couple will be Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as wedding day gets under way

Prince William has arrived at Westminster Abbey for his marriage to Kate Middleton in a historic ceremony watched by millions across the globe.

He is wearing the famous red tunic of an Irish Guards officer rather than his Air Force uniform. He faces a wait of around 40 minutes for his bride to arrive.

The prince became the Duke of Cambridge today - an announcement which means Miss Middleton will become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge when the happy couple are pronounced husband and wife by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Queen marked the royal wedding by giving her grandson the dukedom - the highest rank in British peerage.

Miss Middleton will now become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge on her marriage at the much-anticipated ceremony in Westminster Abbey.

William also became the Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus, which means Kate will become the Countess of Strathearn and Baroness Carrickfergus.

All titles are in the gift of the Queen and it was up to the monarch to choose which one to bestow on her grandson and his new wife.

Most Read

But William's thoughts will also have been taken into account by the royal matriarch in a private discussion between the Prince and his grandmother.

Tradition dictates that royal men receive a title on their wedding - and often more than one.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: 'The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince William of Wales.

'His titles will be Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.

'Prince William thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and Miss Catherine Middleton on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.'

As well as a duchess, Miss Middleton is also technically Princess William of

Wales.

According to protocol, she is not officially Princess Catherine as she was not born a princess in her own right.

Instead she adopts her husband's first name, in the same way as Princess Michael of Kent, who married the Queen's cousin Prince Michael of Kent.

But it is likely that in the eyes of the media and public, she could always be known as Princess Catherine or Princess Kate.

The Duke of Cambridge was seen as the favourite for William's new title in the run-up to the wedding.

The Queen even paid a visit to the city just two days ago.

Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett's Peerage, said of the dukedom: 'It's a well-known place and I think it will have some resonance with the public.'The news came as hundreds of thousands of well-wishers poured into London eager for a glimpse of the wedding.

Early morning trains, usually all-but deserted on a Bank Holiday, were packed with royal fans, some wearing mock tiaras, most clutching Union flags.

They were rewarded with the news that the happy couple will brave the elements and travel from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace in the open-topped 1902 State Landau.

As the bride and groom awoke after spending the traditional night apart, thousands of well-wishers were already lining the processional route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

Forecasters' warnings of rain showers over central London failed to dampen the mounting excitement.

Paddy Harverson, the Prince of Wales's communications secretary, said William was relaxed and having breakfast ahead of his wedding.

The Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall, who is officiating at the ceremony while the Archbishop of Canterbury marries the couple, predicted 'a tremendously warm and uplifting day'.

Months of meticulous preparations will come to fruition as the couple marry in front of 1,900 guests and a global television audience of two billion, just after 11am.

The world will get the first full view of the bride's dress when she steps out of the Rolls-Royce with her proud father Michael.

Miss Middleton, 29, will walk up the aisle on her father's arm as a commoner.

Just over an hour later she will return back down, with her new husband by her side, as a member of the Royal Family and a future Queen Catherine.

Tradition dictates that royal men receive a title on the morning of the wedding and it was up to the monarch to choose which one to bestow on her grandson and his new wife.

The last Duke of Cambridge, like Prince William, married a commoner for love. He wed the actress Sarah Louisa Fairbrother in 1847.

William also became the Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus, which means Kate will become the Countess of Strathearn and Baroness Carrickfergus.