Westminster Abbey, United Kingdom Royalty’s Church of Choice for 1,000 Years

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LONDON (AP).- Westminster Abbey has been at the religious heart of the English — and later British — monarchy for some 1,000 years, regularly hosting coronations and funerals. Unusually, the church is a “royal peculiar,” which means it belongs directly to the sovereign. Weddings at the abbey have been more irregular, although Prince William’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and his great grandmother were both married there. Here is a brief history of the storied church, which is officially known as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, Westminster. —Around 960: St. Dunstan, the bishop of London, sets up a religious community on Thorney Island, a swampy area on the banks of the River Thames. —1066: William the Conqueror is crowned king in the abbey on Christmas Day. —1245: Henry III