Reading Their Lips: What the Microphones Didn’t Catch on the Royal Wedding Altar

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Even with billions of eyes tuned to William and Catherine yesterday, they managed to slip a few comments by us.

Surely it was a technique to calm the wedding nerves. William was caught chatting to his bride and her father after their nearly 4-minute procession down the center aisle of Westminster Abbey. But what were they saying? Leave it to the experts to figure it out.

(More on TIME.com: See the scenes from a fairy-tale wedding day)

Tina Lannin is a professional lipreader who was born deaf. She’s helped police departments, and yesterday she told the Associated Press what the microphones couldn’t hear.

When the bride arrived at William’s side on the altar, he had his first glimpse of his soon-to-be wife, Kate Middleton. In a quick quip, according to Lannin, he gushes to her: “You look lovely …(unclear)… You look beautiful.”

But much of William’s speech was muttered on the altar, including the part that Lannin couldn’t determine, written as unclear. But some theorists took the reading to the next level, thinking that William may have mentioned his mother as his bride took his side. The Times of London commissioned Mary Stephens to read William’s lips, who found his greeting to be: “Your eyes look just like my mother’s – you’re so beautiful.”

(More on TIME.com: What are the couple’s odds of ‘Happily Ever After?’)

As the couple waited, flanked by Prince Harry and Kate’s father Michael Middleton, William turned to the man who would soon be his father-in-law, smiling after having a laugh of sorts. Lannin discerned his utterance: “We’re supposed to have just a small family affair,” the Prince joked. Of course, with two billion of their closest friends.

It’s unclear if any of these quotes are truly correct. Only the bride herself knows what William stated to her on the altar. But that won’t stop us from reviewing the tape time and time again.

(More on TIME.com: See our complete coverage of the Royal Wedding)

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