Westminster Abbey: 1,000 years of history

The Gothic church where Prince William and Kate Middleton got married is a national shrine, the site of royal coronations since the 11th century and the final resting place for British heroes.

Here comes the ... dean. The Dean of Westminster Abbey, John Hall, walks through Britain's most famous church, where Prince William married fiancée Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 before a global audience that topped 2 billion people. Toby Melville / Reuters
Westminster Abbey is where William's grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, wed in 1947; it was also the site of his mother Princess Diana's funeral in 1997. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
The royal insignia is seen above the Great West Door entrance of Westminster Abbey in central London. Westminster Abbey is one of the finest examples of neo-Gothic architecture in the country and is of great historical and symbolic significance, as the location where sovereigns since the 11th century have been crowned, including Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Toby Melville / Reuters
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, center left in orange, arrive to attend the ninth Inauguration of the General Synod at Westminster Abbey on Nov. 23. Royal officials said that Prince William and Kate Middleton chose the venue for its beauty, intimacy and historic royal connections. Dan Kitwood / AP
The April 29 royal wedding at the nearly 1,000-year-old Westminster Abbey is expected to cost around $40 million. Akira Suemori / AP
Verger Ian Thompson cleans the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey on November 10. On Nov. 11, 1920, a coffin containing the body of an unidentified member of the armed forces from the First World War battlefields was buried here. The warrior represented all those lost on the battlefields who never returned home for burial. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
The High Altar in Westminster Abbey during the ceremony for the ninth Inauguration of the General Synod, attended by Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Pool / Reuters
An organist plays at Westminster Abbey during the General Synod on November 23. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
A view of Westminster Abbey showing the Lantern roof. Nearly every British king and queen since William I has been crowned here, and 18 are buried here. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
An actor dressed as Charles Darwin looks at the grave of Charles Darwin at Westminster Abbey; many prominent British subjects are buried at the abbey, including Isaac Newton and Geoffrey Chaucer. Afp / AFP/Getty Images
The Great West Door at Westminster Abbey, which became a popular venue for royal weddings when Princess Patricia of Connaught wed the Honourable Alexander Ramsay here in 1919. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
Statues above the Great West Door entrance of Westminster Abbey. Toby Melville / Reuters
In September, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to enter the nearly 1,000-year-old Westminster Abbey. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
Visitors walk near Alfred Lord Tennyson's gravestone in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
Prince William and Kate Middleton got married before approximately 1,900 guests at the abbey. Dan Kitwood / Getty Images