Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding

As I mentioned in my previous post, we get an extra Bank Holiday this year to celebrate the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. For the past 5 months, the Royal Wedding and the happy couple (who will be the future King and Queen of the Commonwealth realm) has been all over the news on the BBC to The Guardian, and of course, the London Evening Standard. We've heard about everything from the guest list (who's in and who's been snubbed?) to the flowers (lilies of the valley, peonies, English rose?), the music (what will she walk down the aisle to?), the wedding vows (will she obey?), and the procession route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. It's hard to believe that the Royal Wedding will be underway in just under 12 hours! So much excitement and buzz in London.

Most of my colleagues took advantage of the two long weekends to skip town (3 vacation days for 11 day holiday -- not a bad deal), leaving the office like a ghost town. I left work early today to indulge in some retail therapy on Regents Street. I purposely brought my camera along to take some shots around London and all the festivities leading up to the Big Day tomorrow. 
 Regents Street:

Regents Street was all decked out with Union Jack flags. Souvenirs shops sold everything from tacky commemorative mugs and plates, Royal Wedding flags, and other Kate & Will memorabilia. Even little shops and bars in my own neighbourhood in Clapham Common was decorated with Union Jack flags and congratulatory messages to the Royal Couple. In fact, Clapham Common is hosting the big Royal Wedding sleepover called "Camp Royale." I tried to get a glimpse of Camp Royale on my morning run yesterday, but as most of you know, I am vertically challenged and just couldn't jump high enough above the security walls to see the camping grounds. I suspect that it's going to be a messy weekend in the Common...good thing we're skipping town!
Shops around Clapham Common:

After doing some leisurely shopping on Regents Street, I decided to walk to Buckingham Palace via the Mall to see for myself just how crazy some people are to get a prime spot along the wedding procession route. Yep, crazy indeed, but then again how often does a Royal Wedding happen? The entire length of the Mall was heaving with overzealous British and overseas campers of all ages, size, and shape. Let's hope Mother Earth would be so kind that it doesn't rain in the next 24 hours.
The Mall and Buckingham Palace:

Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Catherine Middleton will exchange vows in front of 1900 guests, also had a sizable group of campers, but not as crowded as the Mall. Like everywhere else in London, the Union Jack flag proudly waves ahead of the Big Day tomorrow. Well, I'll read and hear all about it once I touch down in Ljubljana tomorrow afternoon! Congratulations to the Royal Couple!
Westminster Abbey:
 Big Ben, London Eye, and Union Jack flags

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