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Posted at 12:12 AM ET, 01/ 9/2011

More on this weekend's wedding

By Autumn Brewington

The Daily Mail's Katie Nicholl provides some background on how Prince William and Kate Middleton know the friends whose wedding they attended this weekend. She also notes that, "unusually for a wedding," Kate was dressed in black.

We've pointed out when we've been skeptical of things Nicholl has written -- so we also want to be clear when we're appreciative. That Kate was dressed in black is interesting for two reasons. One, it's a wedding. A lot of etiquette rules have lapsed over time, and not wearing black to weddings may well be among them. But Kate is about to marry into a family that prizes tradition like few others in the world. She was there, for example, when Prince William was inducted into the world's oldest order of chivalry in 2008, complete with ostrich plumes and velvet robes. Social decorum is not something the Windsors take lightly.

Britain's Prince Charles of Wales and his then-fiancee, Lady Diana Spencer, at a charity event in London on March 9, 1981. (AP)
And members of the royal family traditionally do not wear black unless they're in mourning. Then-Lady Diana Spencer reportedly received grief over not just her low neckline on her first public engagement with Prince Charles in 1981 but also the fact that her dress was black. (An exception to this protocol was the Queen Mother's wardrobe during a state visit to Paris the summer of 1938, when she reached back to centuries-old etiquette and wore white to recognize her mother's recent death.) In later years, Diana disregarded this unwritten rule. Kate frequently wears black, so we're curious whether this is a royal tradition she intends to upend.

By Autumn Brewington  | January 9, 2011; 12:12 AM ET
Categories:  Ceremony, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Royal family  
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Next: A flashback on Kate Middleton's 29th birthday

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