The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is expected to have a world-wide audience of over a staggering 2 billion people. So we took the opportunity to get a flavor of the event to come by travelling into central London at 2 o’clock in the morning for the armed forces’ rehearsal of the event.
By 2 o’clock all the relevant roadshad been closed off to traffic, and suddenly this usually busy part of the city fell quiet. As one pliceman observed, it was as if we had stumbled on to the set of a zombie movie where all the population had vanished! For the first two hours we wandered around the streets, only meeting policemen as they kept guard of the roads and parks – and you couldn’t have met a more friendly bunch of Keepers of the Peace. Everyone was in good humor, even if no one really knew what was going to happen.
Then at 4 o’clock mounted soldiers appeared in front of Westminster Abbey, where the wedding will take place. Then for the next few hours cars arrived and departed and then the route the married couple would take to Buckingham Palace was lined with the three armed forces. To see them marching in to a deserted central London could only once again remind us of war and Science Fiction movies. It was all very surreal.
Later on in the day, after some sleep, we walked down the world-famous Regent Street, decked out in Union flags to celebrate the wedding to come. It was also a chance to see some of the sights we had seen in the early morning, although with many more people.
This promises to be a spectacular tv event, and it seems that London is ready to make it the best one possible…