London is visited by half a million tourists on an average day. Friday is expected to double that turnout.
What to advise? Well, a good map and comfortable shoes, for one thing. A bottle of water, perhaps. A fully-charged phone and/or camera. Do mind the sun (although the forecast is mixed). And mind your wallets and handbags. Professional pickpockets love a crowd.
Local tour guide Jakob Hartmann said London is doing a thriving business even ahead of the happy day: “We are kept very, very busy. As you can see around Buckingham Palace, there are lots of tourists, all coming to see Kate and William, of course. So, all hotels are fully booked this week.”
Westminster Abbey, where the wedding will take place, is one of the focal points of Kate and William mania. Not everyone taking a keen interest is from abroad. Easter Sunday also saw British enthusiasts getting their own picture of the place.
A mother with her young daughter said: “We have just come to ‘do’ the Abbey before the wedding, so she can get the idea of the proportion of everything, where everyone is sitting, and all of that… Create a memory!”
The souvenirs are selling like royal good luck charms. One gleeful consumer said: “Mugs, tea towels, I am picking up everything that has pictures of Kate and William on it!”
London wants to be sure the tourists enjoy the once-in-a-generation spectacle.