Kate to ride in "commoner" car on wedding day

The finer points of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding are starting to come into focus. "The Early Show" has learned how Kate Middleton will arrive at Westminster Abbey. 

CBS News Royal Contributor Victoria Arbiter reported Kate and her father will arrive at the abbey in the same Rolls-Royce Phantom VI car that Charles and Camilla were riding in last September when they were attacked by protesters.

Pictures:: Prince William and Kate Middleton
Special Section: Britain's Royal Wedding

She said, "It has big windows, so eager crowds will be able to get a good glimpse of the bride. And Kate also said that she liked the idea of arriving at the abbey as a commoner by car, but leaving by carriage as an official member of the royal family."

"And it makes an extra statement that she chose that car," co-anchor Erica Hill remarked.

"The Early Show" also learned how the royal wedding ceremony will conclude.

Arbiter said that, following the wedding service, William and his new princess will leave Westminster Abbey in the same horse-drawn 1902 state Landau carriage that carried his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, after their 1981 wedding.

Originally built to fit King Edward VII's wide girth, it has plenty of room for the happy couple and a potentially large wedding dress.

The great Kate Middleton weight debate
Pictures: Royal wedding gowns

Like Charles and Diana before, they'll travel through streets lined with noisy, excited crowds of well-wishers, before making their way to Buckingham Palace, where they will appear on a balcony and punctuate the day with a kiss.

However, if the heavens open up and rain pours down, the newlyweds will ride, Cinderella-like, in the same glass carriage that transported Diana to St. Paul's Cathedral 30 years ago.

Hill said, "There is also interesting news out on the order in which everybody will be making this procession. The queen is actually going to be sort of grandmother first, queen second, as I understand it."

"Yes, she is," Arbiter said. "The queen normally will lead any procession. She is, after all, the queen. But on a royal wedding, the precedent changes just a little bit. So William and Kate will be leading the royal procession, followed by Harry and ... the maid-of-honor, then the bridesmaids. The queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be in the fourth carriage and then Prince Charles and Camilla will be riding with the Middletons in the fifth carriage. So I think that will be an interesting one to listen in on."

Hill said, "How we'd love to be a fly on the wall of that!"

Arbiter added that, with the royal wedding only 38 days away, there is a new sense of urgency to preparations behind the palace walls.

She said, "Cars are being polished, horses put through their paces, and somewhere, the finishing touches are being put to a dress that has become the world's best-kept secret."

The Royal Mews, the department in charge of all royal ground transportation, has handled the biggest of events - from weddings to coronations - but even veteran coachmen are eagerly anticipating this particular day.

Martin Oates, a senior carriage restorer, said, "The actual day when you're standing as part of the parade, it does send a shiver down your back."

Col. Toby Browne, Lieutenant of the Victorian Order of The Crown Equerry, said, "There is something very special about this sort of occasion. It only happens once in somebody's lifetime. The eyes of the world will be upon us on the 29th of April."

Comments