News / Europe

    10 Ways You Can Get Into the Spirit of the Royal Wedding

    Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton pose for a photograph in St. James's Palace in central London, November 17, 2010
    Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton pose for a photograph in St. James's Palace in central London, November 17, 2010
    Alex Villarreal

    1. Become a "CopyKate"

    Kate Middleton is quickly cementing her status as a fashion icon.  Her most notable pieces have sparked a knock-off frenzy, with retailers scrambling to cater to the market of women seeking to emulate her style.

    From the royal blue dress she wore on the day her engagement was announced, to the cream blouse and white dress she donned in her engagement photos, to the 18-carat sapphire-and-diamond ring that was once Princess Diana’s, the items in Middleton’s wardrobe have spawned re-releases and imitations in a number of stores and all over the Internet.

    The Dress:

    The actual $616 blue dress by Brazilian-born designer Daniella "Issa" Helayel sold out in British stores within hours of the November engagement announcement.  A short-sleeved $26 replica released in November by British supermarket chain Tesco sold out online within an hour.  British budget retailer Peacocks produced an even cheaper copy (just under $23) that reportedly also sold out almost immediately.  But perhaps the closest design to the real thing is the Pepita Dress by Ingenue London, which sells for less than $150 and comes in a range of colors.

    The Blouse:

    British retailer Whistles has reissued the blouse Kate wore in her engagement photos, which was originally part of one of its 2008 collections.  The silk shirt has now been dubbed the Kate Blouse and is available online for just over $200.


    The Ring:

    Kate Middleton wears her engagement ring which once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales, on the day her engagement to Prince William was announced in London Tuesday Nov.16, 2010.
    Kate Middleton wears her engagement ring which once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales, on the day her engagement to Prince William was announced in London Tuesday Nov.16, 2010.

    The stunning sapphire-and-diamond sparkler that once sat on the ring finger of Prince William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, has spawned a number of imitations.  There are even entire websites devoted solely to replicas of the ring.  The imitations range from $20 fakes to genuine stones in the thousands of dollars.  U.S.-based home shopping network QVC has a few inexpensive options.


    2.  Get Smartphone Apps

    On April 18, the British monarchy is releasing its first official “Royal App,” focused on seven past royal weddings.  The Royal Collection says the $3 application "reveals the tradition, splendor and romance" of the events and includes images of wedding dresses and jewelry, gifts exchanged between bride and groom, presents from family and friends, wedding cakes and flowers.

    Royal Wedding App for iPhone
    Royal Wedding App for iPhone

    The Apple and Android-compatible app will be available in eight languages and is the first in a series of Royal Collection apps planned for this year.

    But the official app is not the only royal wedding-themed software available.  Will and Kate’s union has inspired a slew of other developers, including Mark Riley who created a countdown app to tick off the time remaining until the big day.

    The $2 "Alarm Royale" app also features a daily alarm complete with royal-themed music and fun facts about the royal couple.  An animated countdown-to-the-wedding app is available for free from WeeWorld.


    3.  Express Your A"doll"ation

    The Limited Edition Princess Catherine Engagement Doll.
    The Limited Edition Princess Catherine Engagement Doll.

    What better way to i"doll"ize soon-to-be Princess Kate than to get her mini-me?  Hamleys toy shop in London is selling a Limited Edition Princess Catherine Engagement Doll for $57.  The doll is clad in an outfit similar to the royal blue dress Kate wore when her engagement was announced.

    The toy’s maker, Champions of British Style, is donating one British pound (about $1.63) from each doll sold to the British charity Help for Heroes, which helps wounded soldiers.

    U.S. company The Franklin Mint also has released a Kate doll, but this one is a bit pricier.  If you are prepared to invest $195, you can pre-order the hand-painted, 40-centimeter (16-inch) “Portrait of a Princess” doll.  But you will have to wait until June for it to ship.

    For $295, the company also is offering a Kate Middleton bridal doll that will feature an exact replica of the gown she wears on her wedding day.

    If you would like the chance to help out Prince William and his future wife with their wardrobe choices, you might enjoy this paper dolls set Royal Wedding: William and Kate Dress-up Dolly Book.  Or you can always knit your own royals with the Knit Your Own Royal Wedding pattern book by Fiona Goble.

    4.  Grab Some Popcorn and Watch...The Movie

    Just in time for the royal wedding, U.S. television network Lifetime has produced a movie chronicling Prince William and Kate Middleton’s romance, which culminated in their engagement last year.

    Actors Nico Evers-Swindell and Camilla Luddington play the happy couple in the TV movie, entitled William & Kate.

    The producers of the movie, which was shot entirely in Los Angeles, say the story was inspired by true events.  It portrays the young couple as their friendship blossomed into romance and love.

    The movie will air in the United States April 18 and in Britain prior to the royal nuptials later this month, and will later be available as a DVD.

    Despite harsh criticism that the movie suffers from poor acting and is riddled with factual inaccuracies, producers expect the film to be widely viewed.  A review in Britain's Guardian newspaper called it "awful" and "ghastly," but concluded that it will "probably be a smash."

    5.  Make a Toast

    A worker poses with bottles of "Kiss Me Kate" ale at a Morrisons supermarket in Leicester.
    A worker poses with bottles of "Kiss Me Kate" ale at a Morrisons supermarket in Leicester.

    Pay tribute to the royal couple with Kiss Me Kate Beer.  Castle Rock Brewery in Nottingham created the royal wedding-themed beer, which features a cartoon version of Prince William and his bride-to-be on the bottle.

    Announcing plans for the limited-edition ale in February, head brewer Adrian Redgrove said it would be "elegant, tasteful and British to the core”  He called it "the ideal way to toast the couple’s future happiness."

    If you cannot make it to Britain for the festivities, you can always drink to the royal couple at home.

    6.  Get into the (Online) Game

    Image of Miniclip online game dedicated to the royal wedding.
    Image of Miniclip online game dedicated to the royal wedding.

    Think you might make a great addition to the royal entourage?  Try your hand virtually assisting with the wedding preparations with this online game on gaming website Miniclip.

    The seek-and-find puzzle game challenges you to help Will and Kate prepare for their big moment by cleaning up their rooms and other important locations like Westminster Abbey, the church where the ceremony will take place.

    7.  Make Like a Brit and Set Aside Some Tea Time

    Souvenir teabags with depictions of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton are seen in London.
    Souvenir teabags with depictions of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton are seen in London.

    Tea time is a staple of British culture.  Display your affections for the royal couple with a little showman "sip."

    German-based company Donkey Products is selling a “KaTea & William” greeting card that includes two tea bags featuring drawings of the bride and groom.  The card is going for about $7.

    8.  Curl Up to the Comic Book

    Will and Kate’s courtship and upcoming wedding are fodder for modern-day comics and comic bookmakers alike.  U.S. publishing company Bluewater Productions, known for its celebrity biography comics, delves into the royal romance in a new comic book, Fame: The Royals. The 32-page issue is slated to be available on Amazon.com and other online booksellers for $4.

    The issue is written by CW Cooke, who also wrote the company’s comic books on American singers Beyonce and Taylor Swift.

    If the first issue does not offer enough for you, Bluewater says a special collector’s edition graphic novel, to be released in May, will feature extra features, including pinup posters, illustrations of the April 29 wedding and a comparison with the 1981 wedding of Prince William’s parents, Charles and Diana.  That version will cost $8.

    Photo of an illustration for the comic book " Kate and William: A Very Public Love Affair" . 2011 photo.
    Photo of an illustration for the comic book " Kate and William: A Very Public Love Affair" . 2011 photo.

    If you prefer a British comic book-rendering of the royal romance, you can check out political satirist Rich Johnston’s Kate & William: A Very Public Love Story. William and Kate’s personal paths to each other are told individually in two separate comic books and in a third collected edition.  The book is on sale on Amazon and other online retailers for $10.

    9.  Order the Commemorative Coin as a Token of Your Admiration

    The Royal Mint has produced an Official Royal Wedding Coin to celebrate Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.  The coin features engravings of the faces of the prince and his bride-to-be, framed by their first names and the wedding date.

    The official coin, left, commemorating the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. It is next to the wedding coin of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.
    The official coin, left, commemorating the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. It is next to the wedding coin of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.

    The commemorative coin is available for about $16 and comes in a special folder.  For more serious collectors, the Mint is offering silver and gold proof coins.

    10.  "Dish" on All the Details of the Occasion with the Royal China Set

    Serve your own royal wedding feast on the Royal Collection’s official royal wedding china. The gold, silver and white dishes feature the entwined first initials of the royal couple (W for William and C for Catherine) surrounded by Prince William’s coronet and the wedding date.  The china is hand-decorated and approved by the royal couple.

    And if you’re just plain sick of all this royal wedding talk ...

    You might want to get yourself some of these - Royal Wedding sick bags.  Graphic designer Lydia Leith is behind the vomit bags, which feature a drawing of Will and Kate with the advice, "Keep this handy on April 29."  An emblem at the top of the bag reads "Throne Up."

    No endorsement of any of the products described or linked above is intended or implied.

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