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Royals choose supporting cast for wedding

Key supporting roles in the royal wedding of the year - if not the decade - were handed out Monday, with Prince Harry named as his brother's best man and Kate Middleton's sister Pippa chosen as her maid of honor.

Prince William and his fiancee also named bridesmaids and page boys for the big event, including two 3-year-olds, The Associated Press reports.

The announcements by St. James' Palace made it clear the globally televised April 29 wedding at Westminster Abbey will be a family affair that emphasizes the tight bonds between Britain's youthful princes and between Middleton, 29, and her younger sister, the stylish, 27-year-old Pippa Middleton, whose formal name is Philippa.

In the past, royal grooms have usually chosen more than one best man, or supporter as they are sometimes called. But the 28-year-old Prince William has made clear that Prince Harry, 26, offers all the support he needs. The brothers are the sons of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.

Kate Middleton's choice of her sister Pippa as maid of honor was seen as slightly surprising because bridesmaids and maids of honor at royal weddings are typically much younger than Pippa, said royal historian Hugo Vickers.

But he said the choice makes sense because the sisters, both raised in the posh suburb of Bucklebury in horse country west of London, are so close.

SPICING UP THE ROYAL WARDROBE. Meanwhile, Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer Victoria Beckham has been asked to send pieces from her collection to Middleton for her upcoming public role as a member of the royal family once she weds Prince William.

"Apparently, she likes my clothes and has asked to see a selection," the designer said at her Fashion Week show, the London Daily Telegraph reports.

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