Tourists in London follow royal couple's footsteps

As the famed Changing of the Guards ceremony takes place behind them at Buckingham Palace, two American girls debate what Kate Middleton will look like at her wedding in a few days' time.

"I am excited about the dress. She will have something big", predicts Amanda Hijazin, 13, wearing a lacy top and with braces on her teeth.

"No, something simple, graceful, elegant, fabulous", her friend replies.

Looking at the palace in central London, the main balcony of which is where the couple where Kate and Prince William will greet the crowd on Friday, Amanda sighs: "It is so historical".

"I am not going to be here, but to know that they will be there, it is very nice", she adds.

"The girls are fanatical about the prince!", says Rebecca Adams, a teacher of English who is looking after the young Californians on their visit to the British capital.

"They are also interested in the younger prince", she laughs, referring to William's younger brother Harry, who will be best man at the wedding.

The teenagers wanted to stay for the wedding but it was impossible to change their tickets as the planes were full, Adams says.

"We will watch the wedding on TV. It will start at 2am (Los Angeles time) - I will set my alarm!", says Amanda.

Adams remembers watching the wedding of William's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, on television in 1981 when she herself was at high school.

"A generation later, they will do the same thing," she says about her students.

Crowds of hundreds of people around 50 deep were gathered to watch the ceremony in bright sunshine, far more than usual.

The hotly-awaited royal wedding is expected to more than double the number of visitors to London with an extra 600,000 tourists from home and abroad expected to flock to London for the service.

Tourists were also out in force outside Westminster Abbey where the royal couple will tie the knot on Friday but they were not allowed inside because services were underway for Easter.

"We wanted to see the church where they're going to get married but it's shut!" says Silvia Bosisio, an Italian woman who like many others had taken advantage of the long weekend to visit London.

"They're a nice couple, it's a shame we can't stay for the wedding," says the young blonde, who works in a wedding agency.

But there are no such problems for the Slade family from San Francisco, in the United States.

"We booked this trip to London in October so it is such a happy coincidence that it's the same time as the wedding," says Randy Slade, who is here with his wife and granddaughter.

"We'll be watching. I think it will be an overwhelming occasion. We are huge fans of the royal family. I think the queen is lovely, she is such a consistent presence in changing times."

His granddaughter Megan, an 18-year-old student, adds: "Kate is awfully pretty. I just want to see her dress!."

Koshi Kawata, a Japanese boy aged nine, said he too was "so happy."

"I am going to tell my friends that I saw where they will get married", he says as his mother looks on with a smile.

However, the Gache family from Saint Etienne in southeastern France are disappointed to be in London for the run-up to the wedding.

"It's rammed. There are so many people," said Fabienne Gache, the mother.

"We'll watch the wedding on television to see what the palace looks like - because today you can't see anything!" joked her son Clovis, aged eight, as he tried to see past the crowd.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own