The atmosphere in London was mostly cheerful as thousands of people gather outside Westminster Abbey to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The line extended nearly a mile and a half, consisting of not only Londoners but also tourists and the press eager to get a glimpse of the couple.
Earlier on Thursday, April 28, the Middletons were spotted outside Goring Hotel which hosted Kate's last night as a bachelorette. This morning, the place was packed by town criers who carried a sign "Congratulation from the people of Chelmsworth". The hotel has erected a canopy over the front of the building to ensure nobody catches a glimpse of the bride-to-be in her wedding dress before her nuptials on Friday.
"It's part of history," Norene Shultis of Madison, Wis., who arrived in London Thursday after an overnight flight, told the AP. "It's so different from the United States. We don't have royalty. And we think William and Kate will be a good couple and do lots of good things and live happily ever after."
The first 1,900 guests were starting to arrive at the Westminster Abbey at 8:15 A.M. local time. William and his best man, Prince Harry is expected to arrive at the venue two hours later. Kate and her family would slip into the awaiting Rolls Royces at precisely 10:51 A.M. and arrived at the church nine minutes later.
The crowd are enthusiastically cheering and waving the Union Jack from the sideline. Despite a warning of rain later on the day, well-wishers are not budging. Securities are on guard to keep the affair tidy when additional 600,000 visitors and 8,500 journalists flock in. Around 900 uniformed officers are placed in the route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, but the London mayor had ordered 5,000 officers for the big day in total.
Over at Downing Street, flags are decked and a huge screen is erected for people to watch the wedding live. The place has turned into some kind of town fair with the presence of children's entertainment and ice cream stalls. Some 90 guests would be attending a party inside the building later in the afternoon.