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Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge drive from Buckingham Palace in an Aston Martin DB6 Mark 2, after their wedding in Westminster Abbey, in central London April 29, 2011. Prince William married his fiancee, Kate Middleton, in Westminster Abbey on Friday.

Paul Hackett/Reuters

Britain's Prince William surprised well-wishers with a James Bond moment outside Buckingham Palace on Friday by driving past with his new bride in a vintage Aston Martin convertible after a wedding reception.

William drove the blue car with a "JU5T WED" number plate out of the gates of Queen Elizabeth's central London home to loud cheers from the crowd. His wife Kate Middleton, in the passenger seat, waved to the thousands of well-wishers.

The car - whose marque was made famous by the fictional British spy James Bond - also had an "L" or learner plate fixed to its front in a nod to the couple's newly wed status and was festooned with balloons.

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William was driving his bride to nearby St James Palace so that Middleton could change for the evening festivities.

A royal official said the car, an Aston Martin Volante, belonged to William's father Prince Charles and was converted to run on E85 bioethanol, made from English wine wastage.

"He's had it for 30 odd years and he thought it was a lovely idea to offer it to him to drive back," the official said.

William and Middleton married at Westminster Abbey on Friday in a sumptuous show of British pageantry that attracted a huge world audience and breathed new life into the monarchy.

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