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London Readies for Royal Wedding Day

  • Selah Hennessy

Police walk past a flag hanging outside a coffee shop, depicting Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, in Whitehall, in central London, April 27, 2011

Police walk past a flag hanging outside a coffee shop, depicting Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, in Whitehall, in central London, April 27, 2011

It's been a high octave build up and now Britain's royal wedding day has finally arrived.

The build up to Britain's royal wedding has been spectacular, with interest and excitement flowing from all corners of the world.

Now the event has finally arrived and interest is high in Britain's capital, London.

"There is terrific excitement," noted Richard Fitzwilliams, a specialist on the royal family. "It's one of the weddings, not only of the decade, but also of the century and I think that we'll get something like one million people in the streets of London."

About 5,000 police have flooded London's streets to keep a close eye on the hundreds of thousands of people expected to be in the capital, along with top dignitaries from around the world, pop stars and footballers, and of course, the royal family itself. Quite a last minute stir was raised on Thursday when Syria's ambassador to Britain was taken off the list of invited guests as a result of a violent crackdown by the Syrian government against protesters there.

Human rights groups have been critical of a number of invitations, including Swaziland's absolute monarch and Zimbabwe's ambassador to Britain.

Fitzwilliams says the guest list should not be a controversy.

"All nations with whom Britain has quote 'normal' diplomatic relations - and that includes, I'm afraid, Zimbabwe - have been sent an invitation to send a representative," noted Fitzwilliams. "In the case of Libya and the case, now, of Syria that invitation has been withdrawn."

Political woes did not interfere with the excitement outside Westminster Abbey on the eve of the wedding, as royal fans waited in anticipation.

Many camped outside the church for days, hoping to get a look at the royal procession as it passes through London.

"We're right in front of the abbey," one of the spectators said. "We're not in front of the prime location, which is just behind me. But we think we have a very good view of Kate arriving and Kate and William leaving so we're very happy with our spot."

People from around the world, including the USA, Canada, and Indonesia, had pitched their tents. Many nations' flags flew high in the air along with royal souvenirs, hats, banners, and balloons.

Canadian Margaret Kiddle has travelled to Britain for many royal events, including the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer 30 years ago. She says it's a tradition.

"Well if I don't see anything, I'm a monarchist and I'm here for the Queen and Prince Phillip and her family and she's the queen of Canada too. Don't forget that," noted Kiddle.

It may be a British royal wedding, but it seems to have captured the imagination of the world.

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