Prince William's Wedding Ushers Are Paid Gentlemen

Prince William's Wedding Ushers Are Paid Gentlemen
Prince William

02/19/2011 AT 05:00 AM EST

Prince William has been an usher at some of his best friends' weddings' but sadly for them, they won't get the chance to return the favor.

That's because the role of helping guests to their pews at Westminster Abbey will go to a ten-member group of Gentlemen Ushers, a tradition that dates back to the 15th century. Ushers were originally assigned to staff the door of any room in which the monarch was present. Nowadays, the men – drawn from the three branches of the Armed Forces (and they continue to wear their services' uniforms) – are paid a small allowance to be on hand at ceremonies held by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, State Banquets and, crucially, weddings.

– Simon Perry

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