All of London,Â the rest of England and much of the world â€“ excitedly awaits the April 29 wedding of Prince William of Wales and his bride, Kate Middleton. While few will actually be invited to sit inside Westminster Abbey for the ceremony, up to a million people are expected to line the streets around the gothic church, well known as the site of other royal weddings and coronations. If you plan to be in the crowd, here are some things you should know:
England has declared a special â€œbank holidayâ€ for the weekend of the wedding, which means it will be a four-day weekend. That will give more people time to travel to London for the wedding, making it essential to secure flights and accommodations,Â either through independent travel or an organized tour groupÂ as soon as possible.
Be aware that on the day of the wedding, it may be difficult to get a glimpse of the royal couple if youâ€™re at street level, as each block along the one-and-a-half-mile route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace will be thronged with people. Some tour organizers have been able to secure space in private venues that will provide upper-story views of the wedding procession.
Outside the historic wedding, London is full of great things to see and do, and depending upon when you get to the United Kingdomâ€™s capital, you might consider making your own visit to Westminster Abbey, as well as to St. Paulâ€™s Cathedral where Prince Williamâ€™s father, Prince Charles, wed Lady Diana Spencer 30 years ago this summer.
With the greater-than-usual number of visitors, you should purchase tickets or make reservations for theaters, tours and restaurants as soon as you can.Â Â Also, keep in mind that itâ€™s a quick two-hour ride from London to Paris or Brussels on the Eurostar train.Â A side trip to one of those cities could turn yourÂ trip into a mini-European tour!