Time Out London guide
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The whole world has gone royal wedding bonkers. With Prince William and Kate Middleton due to tie the knot on April 29, the UK is set to welcome an estimated 600,000 visitors, who’ll spend about Dhs183 million in the UK while enjoying the celebrations.
So where will all this money go? As always, wedding souvenirs will be big business: expect everything from celebratory travel tickets for use on the London Underground to stupendously British tea trays that enable you to drink from the royal couples’ faces, or even William and Kate bed sheets so you can snuggle down with the newlyweds. To round off the festivities, parties galore are being organised up and down the country – these celebrations could rival the scenes witnessed at the end of the second world war.
We admit that the whole shebang seems preposterously patriotic, yet brilliantly kitsch – it’s the next best thing to the football World Cup for many Brits (and, let’s face it, that always ends in disappointment). So for a celebration with a guaranteed happy ending, we urge you to embrace the festivities by jetting off to the UK, where you’ll have the chance to enjoy a ruddy good knees-up. We’ve created a no-nonsense guide to the royal wedding showdown in London, as well as a round-up of the best things to get up to while you’re there.
The big day
Before the wedding
April 29 has been declared a public holiday in the UK, meaning many people will have the day off work. Crowds waving Union Jack flags are expected to line the streets from the early hours to see Kate Middleton travel to the ceremony along The Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square in central London. Get there early to secure your spot if you want to catch a glimpse of the bride – the ceremony is due
to start at 11am.
This will take place at Westminster Abbey, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. After the ceremony, the couple will ride in a horse-drawn carriage to Buckingham Palace. Position yourself near Westminster Abbey and you’ll get a view as the newlyweds come out of the church towards Big Ben and Whitehall.
At Buckingham Palace, the Queen will give a speech, before the big moment the public will be waiting for. Just as Prince Charles and Princess Diana did a few decades ago, the royal couple will kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and the RAF will perform a flypast.
This will be an intimate affair for 250 of the couple’s close personal friends and relatives. It will take place much later on, at around 7pm, where there’ll be dinner followed by a reception.
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