Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's deputy chief of staff

Key gets better wedding seat than Elton John

While Elton John and the Beckhams watch the royal wedding on big screens at the back of the church, John Key and other Kiwi dignitaries will have a close-up view of the couple.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have created "a church within a church" at Westminster Abbey for Friday's ceremony, to create an intimate feel for their family and friends.

The seating plan for the 1900 guests has foreign dignitaries and diplomatic corps rubbing shoulders with the royal family.

They include Prime Minister John Key, his wife Bronagh, Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand, his wife Lady Susan, and High Commissioner to London Derek Leask.

They will be sitting in the South Transept, to the right of the British royal family and foreign royals in the South Lantern.

Former sheep shearer Gary Lewis, from New Zealand, and his wife Lady Davina, 24th in line to the throne, will sit with members of the royal family.

The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla will be in the front row, with a seat for Prince Harry when he has completed his best man duties.

Kate's mother, Carole, will be directly opposite the Queen in the North Lantern, beside her husband Michael, their son James and daughter Pippa.

The Middleton clan joins members of the Spencer family, including the late Diana's brother, the 9th Earl Spencer, and her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale.

Kiwi polo player John-Paul Clarkin, a friend of the prince, is likely to sit with his wife Nina in the North Transept, a spot dedicated to the couple's close friends.

Other New Zealanders will be with the rest of the congregation, which will include David and Victoria Beckham, Rowan Atkinson, Sir Elton John, Joss Stone and Sir Clive Woodward.

The Abbey is partitioned by a barrier, so the 1000 people sitting behind it will have to watch the wedding on large screens.

Not attending is a Mexican teenager who spent 16 days without eating while pleading for an invitation. Estibalis Chavez, 19, was deported by British officials after travelling to London on a plane ticket bought by a lobbyist.

Miss Chavez didn't have enough money or a place to stay in London.

- NZ Herald

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