By Erin Carlson
This morning, an estimated 2 billion people tuned into watch Prince William marry Kate Middleton (now Princess -- Duchess, rather -- Catherine). As the grand affair unfolded on TV and social media, the conversation focused on everything from the dress (Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen!), to Maid of Honor Pippa Middleton's dark tan, to the fancy cars, to the newlyweds' balcony kiss(es). There was also a highlight on what we didn't hear in the broadcast. Behold, the Royal Wedding's biggest, buzziest moments:
What William said to Kate: When the bride and her father joined the groom at the altar at Westminster Abbey, the Prince mouthed these words to Middleton: "You look beautiful." According to some lip readers, he then quipped to Papa Michael, "We were supposed to have just a small family affair." Cheeky! Meanwhile, tweeting observers could not resist rewriting history with jokes at William's expense, such as this one: "We should have gone to Vegas."
What Prince Harry told William: As Middleton walked slowly down the aisle, Wills -- visibly nervous -- gazed stoically ahead, avoiding the urge to sneak a glimpse of his future wife. Not Harry. The flame-haired best man peered backward at his sister-in-law, informing his brother: "Right, she's here now." Flashing a roguish grin, he added: "Wait 'til you see her." Cue swoons from lovestruck Harry Hunters.
The kiss(es): The bride and groom smooched not once but twice on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. The crowd roared. Princess Catherine blushed, and Prince William beamed.
What Princess Catherine wore: As widely expected, McQueen's Sarah Burton, who took over for the late designer following his tragic suicide, scored major sartorial bragging rights as the bride's No. 1 pick to craft her gown. It's safe to say Burton has entered new levels of celebrity, thanks to the high-profile gig, and her creation will no doubt be copied the world over. The demure creation wowed wedding watchers who declared it a throwback to the timeless elegance of legendary princess Grace Kelly. Everyone oohed and ahhed over the long sleeves and lace bodice with the subtly sexy V-neck, the full skirt with embroidery that took hours to stitch. Middleton's Cartier "halo" tiara was on loan from Queen Elizabeth, and her earrings (in the shape of the Middleton family crest) were a gift from the bride's parents.
Hats galore: Forget love and tradition. Friday's theme might as well be "Hats, Hats and More Hats." All varieties of festive and colorful toppers popped up at Westminster, nearly stealing thunder from the newlyweds. Honorable mentions: the Queen's canary yellow hat with handmade silk roses, Victoria Beckham's dramatic black headpiece and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson's royal blue fascinator.
And so 4/29/11 will go down in history as one of the most important dates in the young couple's life. Amid all the buzz and pomp and circumstance, for one ecstatic moment the world soaked up the fairytale. Thirty years from now -- if the monarchy still exists! -- the cycle will begin anew with the next wave of Young Royals.
*I loved the second kiss. That was so cute! It really showed off the playful side of their love. He was blushing too.