On Parade for the Wedding

By | Category: Travel destinations

As the great day approaches, 594 Guardsmen and 33 Officers from 3 Guards Regiments have been rehearsing at London’s Wellington Barracks. They are “Street Liners” in the Mall and in front of Buckingham Palace. In position for over two hours, they’ll be in full dress uniform wearing bearskins and tunics as heavy as a light overcoat.
I met the youngest on parade, Welsh Guardsman Joseph Woosnam who was 18 in January and who comes from an army background. Both his father and elder brother served in the Welsh Guards. Joseph and the family come from Anglesey where, coincidentally, Prince William is currently serving. At 5 am yesterday morning, Guardsman Woosnam was involved in the final rehearsal before tomorrow’s big event watched by visitors who have begun to camp out on the route. Extra trains have been laid on by East Coast, among other companies, to bring visitors into London and National Express has coaches from 35 locations coming into Clapham Common where 10,000 people will base themselves. According to the coach company, the popular routes are from Southampton, Bournemouth and Stansted. (overseas visitors coming to watch?) In all PwC estimates about 850,000 people will come into central London to watch the event, 20 million of us will watch it on TV in our countries and anywhere between 2.5 and 3 billion will watch worldwide. That’s about a third of the entire world. If that isn’t great publicity for the UK what is?
The honeymoon destination is still secret but wherever it is – Jordan and Australia have both been mooted – will have an increase in tourism as I’m sure Anglesey will.
In the meantime, like Joseph Woosnam, lots of us will be on parade at street parties up and down the country and across the world. (I’ve certainly heard of some in Australia and Texas.) Virgin Atlantic plan to have “street parties” on their flights and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines will have a street party feel as well. Meanwhile, back on terra firma, it’s estimated that a million of us will be going to regular street parties up and down the country. The Evening Standard reports over 850 in London alone with 85 in the borough of Richmond and 79 in Wandsworth. Only Barking & Dagenham don’t seem to be having any. Or at least if there are any, the council doesn’t know of them. Elsewhere, there seem to be just about 300 in Hertfordshire, about 100 in Cardiff and the same in Lancashire. It is hard to say how many because if a road closure isn’t involved, the council doesn’t need to be told. So a party in a block of flats car park isn’t counted. Nor in a cul-de-sac. So no-one will ever really know how many there will be. There will be just one in St Andrews but a huge party at that with 2,000 guests expected says The Scotsman.
And back on Anglesey, there is a huge party planned by the Anglesey Tourism Partnership, the council and other partners which will probably be featured around the world as the BBC is there. Called One Big Day, it starts at 9.30 in the morning and lasts all day. As they say, everyone’s welcome. Locals will hope it attracts more of us to visit the island where the couple will return. As will Guardsman Joseph Woosnam. Eventually.

words and picture by Anthony Lydekker

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , ,