We at LIFE were on the scene when Princess Elizabeth wed Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey in 1947. We were there for Elizabeth's coronation as queen of England six years later. We were there, of course, for the Wedding of the Century between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. And with LIFE Books' The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton we are already there with Charles and Di's son--Elizabeth's grandson--as he prepares to wed the lovely Kate Middleton in a true fairytale story: the man who will be king and the so-called "commoner" who has captured his heart. This is a modern-day Cinderella story, and it has captivated us. In the photographs that follow, you will see and get to know a vibrant, bright young couple who have made their own way, sometimes in defiance of royal tradition. We're all rooting for Will and Kate, and that is as it should be.