Royal fans from far and wide descend on London

Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:47am EDT
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - For some fans, no distance or discomfort is too great if the prize is a prime view of the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Some 200 people were already camped out Thursday across the street from London's Westminster Abbey where the couple will tie the knot the following day. Dozens of tents have been set up, but despite a chilly breeze some fans are making do with just mats or sleeping bags.

Sheree Zielke, 55, came from Canada to see the wedding.

"I'm a romance novelist so I had to come for the most romantic event in the world," she said. "I don't have a tent. It's very cold but it's worth it."

Many campers have decorated their tents and chairs with Union Jack flags and pictures of the couple. Metal barriers in front of them are adorned with banners reading "It could have been me," "It's cold but worth it" and "Congratulations to the happy couple."

These are just a few of the tens of thousands expected to line the procession route the couple will take from the abbey to Buckingham Palace after the wedding service Friday.

VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is predicting an extra 600,000 tourists in the capital on the day, meaning there would be a total of some 1.1 million visitors with 40 percent of those coming from abroad.

Cindy Sagar, from the English city of Oxford, has been camping outside the abbey since Wednesday evening.   Continued...

<p>Tents line the street outside the entrance to Westminster Abbey, the venue for the Royal Wedding, in London, April 28, 2011. REUTERS/Phil Noble</p>