Royal wedding apathy matches passion in Britain

Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:51am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - For every Briton who will tune in to watch Friday's royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, one definitely will not.

That was the finding of a recent Ipsos MORI poll for Reuters which underlines how, for all the international media hoopla surrounding the big occasion, the appeal of a rare show of royal pomp and pageantry is far from universal.

"I want to get as far away as possible from the wedding because it really doesn't mean anything to me, so my wife and I are going for a long weekend to Italy," said Londoner Alex Joseph, voicing a common view that has tended to be drowned out by the rising din of royal fervor.

"I don't think we will escape it fully as everyone will be talking about it, but at least we won't have to face the madness in London."

Ivan Smith, 25, agreed. "It's just a wedding," he said. "Everyone is going mad about it. I couldn't care less. I'm just going to enjoy the bank holiday we get."

The center of the British capital will be effectively shut down on Friday as the route of the royal wedding is closed off, hundreds of thousands of well-wishers line the streets and fill parks and security is tightened for the big occasion.

Little wonder that many Londoners have escaped. And people across the country have taken advantage of an extra day's holiday on Friday which, combined with Easter and May Day means that three days off translates into an 11-day break.


<p>Crowds walk along Whitehall which will be part of the Royal Wedding Procession Route, in central London April 27, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>