Look what’s become of Kate’s choirboys ten years on: Singers from her wedding to Prince William include Oxbridge graduates, a conductor, a trainee lawyer and a BBC presenter
- Westminster Abbey Choir sang at Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding
- The boys went on to become a conductor, a trainee lawyer and a BBC presenter
- Members of the choir were sworn to secrecy ahead of their Royal engagement
Their angelic voices – and equally angelic faces – provided the backdrop to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton a decade ago.
Now, as the Royal couple prepare to celebrate their anniversary on Thursday, The Mail on Sunday can reveal what became of the some of the boys from Westminster Abbey Choir School who sang Hubert Parry’s I Was Glad as the bride walked down the aisle.
Before the day, the youngsters had been sworn to secrecy about their involvement, banned even from telling their parents.
The Westminster Abbey choristers performed at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011
‘They were obviously shocked and surprised when they found out, but also impressed that we were able to keep it on the low,’ said Timi Otudeko, now 23. ‘That was a really cool moment.’
Timi, from Petts Wood, Kent, was a talented young footballer who had secured a trial with Charlton Athletic.
But he gave up the sport at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh to focus on playing the clarinet. Since graduating last year, he has volunteered for the non-profit organisation Do It Now Now, which works to empower black communities.
Recalling how William and Kate visited them during rehearsals, he said: ‘Beforehand, the lay vicars – the adults who sing behind us – kept telling us to be very, careful and not say anything silly, or get too caught up in the occasion.
‘That was in the back of my mind when Kate asked me what I thought about the choice of music. I was so star-struck that I can’t even remember what I said.’
Thomas Fetherstonhaugh: Went to Oxford and Royal Academy of Music before becoming a conductor
Timi Otudeko: Sacrificed promising football career to play clarinet. Studied economics in Edinburgh
Dewi Rees: Won scholarship to Cambridge and is Fellow of the Royal College of Organists
Timothy Fairbairn: Trainee at London law firm Slaughter and May, after reading history at Cambridge
Lenny Rush: Presenter for BBC Essex and still working as a musician – including as a wedding singer
Theo Beeny: Singer-songwriter who has just released a new single, The Maze, about young adult life
Months of practice for Timi were threatened on the day in an unlikely way. ‘During the service a spider crawled across my singing sheet,’ he said. ‘At the time I was terrified of spiders but I couldn’t swipe it away because we had been told to assume the cameras were on us every second so you had to be careful what you did.’
Tom Fetherstonhaugh, also 23, sang a solo during Ubi Caritas Et Amor by Paul Mealor.
‘I was told only a couple of days before. Looking back, I find it amazing that I didn’t feel nervous,’ said Tom, now an organist and conductor described as a ‘spark to watch’ by the BBC.
The happy couple on their wedding day in 2011 after the wedding ceremony in Westminster Abbey
Dewi Rees had already performed for Pope Benedict XVI during the Pontiff’s visit to London when he sang at the wedding, and is now an award-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
Theo Beeny has also embarked on a musical career but as indie pop singer-songwriter, while Lenny Rush still performs at weddings, albeit as a singer at receptions rather than as a choirboy.
Timothy Fairbairn is now a trainee at top law firm Slaughter and May while Gus Bell – seen far right in main picture – went to Uppingham boarding school in Rutland, then Edinburgh University.