Forecasters warn of rain on Kate and Wills's parade

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The Independent Online

Uh-oh. The sun may not shine this Friday, the Met Office revealed yesterday.

A specially prepared wedding forecast, issued complete with beaming/ gurning picture of the royal-couple-to-be, indicated clouds on the horizon: the bride and groom, their 1,900 guests at Westminster Abbey, and hundreds of thousands likely to line the couple's route back to Buckingham Palace along Whitehall and The Mall, may have to dodge the showers.

The blissful conditions of recent days, which saw near-record temperatures for April at the weekend, are coming to an end and today will be "much cooler than of late". Tomorrow may still be bright but with a chilly north-east wind in the South-east, which will continue into Thursday.

But take a look at Friday: "It is likely that Southern Britain will see mostly cloudy skies with showery rain at times, accompanied by a brisk north-easterly wind," the forecast says.

"Given the likely cloudy, breezy, and potentially damp conditions, it will feel cooler than of late over southern areas."

Henry VIII might have seen this as treason had it been for any one of his own marriages and sent the disloyal forecasters to the block. These days, all William and Kate can do is grit their teeth, especially when they go into the details: "In London, the weather on Friday will be much cooler than it has been over the Easter weekend," the forecast says. "There is a risk of some showery rain, but equally there may well be some brighter interludes at times. A brisk north-easterly wind could make it feel distinctly cool."

It's a far cry from the marriage of William's parents, the Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales, on 29 July 1981. That was the balmiest of days after a sweltering hot night; when the newly married pair returned from St Paul's in the open-topped state landau and waved at the crowds, before that sunny kiss on the Buck House balcony, there didn't seem to be a cloud in the sky (little did we know).

Even the funeral of Diana, 16 years later on 6 September 1997, was an exquisite, soft, September day, which made the whole affair seem more poignant.

But at least rain this Friday is not a certainty. Perhaps Wills and Kate may pop into the Abbey, and pop out again, and pop along The Mall, in one of those forecast brighter interludes. In which case, the joy at your street party may know no bounds. Gawd bless you, Sir! Gawd bless you Ma'am! Huzzah!