By the Editors of LIFE

LIFE's vibrant look at the lives of the young royal couple featuring over 150 intimate photographs

Mar 29, 2011, 08:00 ET from LIFE

NEW YORK, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As the world excitedly anticipates the April 29th wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, only the editors of LIFE can properly commemorate the occasion with a special keepsake book that provides unique, personal insight into the nuptials. THE ROYAL WEDDING OF PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON (Time Home Entertainment, Inc.; Publication date: March 29, 2011; $19.95 hardcover) contains over 150 photographs—including those from family albums and Buckingham Palace insiders—as well as volumes of in-depth research to detail the fascinating public and private lives of these two individuals, how their love story has unfolded, and the historical context in which their royal wedding will take place.

The recipient of Princess Diana's looks, charm and compassion, William has grown up on a public stage. We've watched his transition from childhood to adulthood, and admired him for the grace with which he has handled the burden of his station, the sadness of his parents' divorce and the shocking death of his mother.  Naturally, the world has become fascinated by the woman who has captured his heart. In nine satisfying chapters, THE ROYAL WEDDING OF PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON showcases the fiery love that developed at The University of St. Andrews between a Prince and a commoner both passionate about art history. Kate Middleton's comparably humble upbringing complemented Prince William's privileged Windsor lifestyle as he strived for normalcy. William found inspiration in Kate's united, loving family as he witnessed the dissolution of his own family.  

The world looked on for eight years as "Wills" and Kate's love blossomed.  In words and pictures, THE ROYAL WEDDING OF PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON breathes life into their fairytale, capturing childhood memories, fun with friends and family, first moments as a couple, and the thrill of engagement.  LIFE editors beautifully illustrate how Kate has transcended her identity as the royal girlfriend and begun to stand alone as a fashion icon and role model with true poise.

THE ROYAL WEDDING OF PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON also pays tribute to other prominent royal weddings including those of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, the future King George V and Queen Mary, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew and others. With archival photographs and stories from behind-the-scenes, LIFE editors once again share these iconic moments with the world, as only they can.

Thirty years ago, in illustrious detail, LIFE invited the world front and center to celebrate the WEDDING OF THE CENTURY, the union of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. Now as we pay tribute to Diana's legacy and the passing of her beloved engagement ring, we anticipate the splendor that lies ahead in Prince William and Kate Middleton's official union—undoubtedly this generation's wedding of the century.