(CBS) Since Nov. 7, 2010, when Britain's Prince William of Wales asked for Catherine Middleton's hand in marriage, all eyes have been on London: from the royal blue sapphire engagement ring that belonged to Princess Diana, to the flock of fashion designers vying to create Middleton's wedding gown, to the elaborate preparations at Westminster Abbey. Millions around the world have been captivated by the future Prince and Princess and are anxiously awaiting the biggest royal wedding since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. It's projected a global audience of nearly two billion people will tune in for the big day on April 29. While Britain is facing some daunting economic challenges over jobs and budgets, the royal wedding gives the residents of the country a moment in history - a time to reflect - a time to ponder their future under a more modern monarchy.
In CBS News' primetime special "The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty," "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Katie Couric takes you inside the day's most intimate and historic moments. The special broadcast, airing live from London at 8 p.m. ET, features a look at how the House of Windsor is enthusiastically embracing the digital age. Wedding-watchers were able to attend the nuptials virtually from their own homes using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools. Well-wishers were able to send their thoughts and messages directly to the Royal Family using Facebook and Twitter.
Royal historian Dr. David Starkey looks back at the greatest events at Westminster Abbey, where the couple wed. Starkey details how Prince William and his fiancée deviated from traditional royal nuptials - breaking customs in their mode of transportation, their entrance and even their vows. Majesty Magazine Editor Ingrid Seward shares details about the VIP guest list, the fashions of the day, Prince Harry's best man speech and the wedding price tag. Royal Contributor Victoria Arbiter weighs in on the couple's first kiss as husband and wife and the post-wedding lunch, hosted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Perhaps the most anticipated moment of the day was the first glimpse of Middleton's wedding dress. Correspondent Tracy Smith talks to designer David Emanuel, who created the unforgettable wedding dress of the late Princess Diana. Emanuel explains the complexity of creating a gown worthy of Westminster Abbey and how Middleton's style and dress designer will define her as a future fashion icon.
As Prince William and Kate Middleton venture into their new life, how will the pressures of having joined the Royal Family - as some have called it "The Firm" -influence their marriage? Correspondent Troy Roberts talks to Tom Bradby, a British TV correspondent and close friend of the couple, who was handpicked to conduct the only television interview after their engagement. Bradby explains how their relationship is one based on trust and how the close bond of the Middleton family will act as a stable foundation for the pair. In addition, Claudia Joseph, Kate Middleton's biographer, looks at how they first met, their brief split in 2007 and how Prince William's relationship with the Middleton family will fill a void in his own life. Plus, after the party's over, how will the Prince and Princess spend their coveted first moments together out of the spotlight?