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Royal Couple to Get Pre-Wedding Counseling

Prince William and Kate Middleton pose for photographs in the State Apartments of St. James Palace Nov. 16, 2010, in London (AFP/Getty Images) AFP/Getty Images

LONDON (CBS/AP) Like most other young couples marrying in the Church of England, Britain's Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, will be meting with clergymen for some marriage preparation lessons.

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The couple are expected to meet Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Bishop of London Richard Chartres before they marry on April 29, palace officials said Wednesday. Both clergy will be involved in the wedding ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey.

"It's customary for a priest to meet with the couple before their wedding," said Maria Papworth, Williams' spokeswoman.

These marriage preparation sessions include discussions on how to handle marital disagreements and how to prepare for the changes brought on by parenthood. Meetings often take place in groups, but talks for the soon-to-be royal couple will be private and strictly confidential.

The marriage of William's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, ended in divorce. St. James Palace would not comment on whether they also received similar attention, but it is normal practice for a Church of England wedding.

As the country's most senior cleric, Dr Williams is widely expected to officiate at the wedding , but newspaper reports in Britain say Bishop Chartres, a close personal friend of Prince Charles, will deliver the sermon.

Chartres is the third most senior official in the Church and a regular visitor to Prince Charles' Highgrove home. He presided over William's confirmation and delivered the address at Princess Diana's 2007 memorial service.

Chartres was embarrassed last month when one of his junior bishops predicted on his Facebook page that the upcoming royal marriage would last just seven years. Though the junior bishop later apologized, Chartres said publicly he was appalled by the comments.

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