Prince William and Catherine Middleton's engagement portrait
Copyright 2010 Mario Testino
As befits a modern-day royal wedding, Prince William
and Kate Middleton
's nuptials on April 29
will be recorded and available for download on iTunes within hours of the service ending.
Decca Records is expected to release the entire ceremony digitally on the day of the wedding. Then, a deluxe CD package, featuring a special collector's booklet, will roll out in the U.S. on May 10.
Individual tracks from the service, including the vows, will also be available as singles.
The wedding is shaping up to be a real musical event in its own right. Confirmed performers include the Choir of Westminster Abbey, the Chapel Royal Choir, the London Chamber Orchestra and the Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.
The album idea isn't new – Decca also released the official recordings of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding in 1981, and Diana's funeral in 1997. But this will be the first official royal wedding album ever to enter the digital charts worldwide.
"It will capture a piece of history for a new generation," says Decca president Dickon Stainer.
"This is a great honor and an enormous responsibility," says the Grammy-nominated Anna Barry, who will be producing the record. "The wedding means so much to millions of people all over the world – we have to capture every note and every nuance perfectly and have the recording ready within minutes of the end of the ceremony."