For most teens who live in London, the words “Royal Wedding” mean two days off from school. For the rest of the world, the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William and Miss Catherine "Kate" Middleton means hours of media coverage and an inside look at the British monarchy.
Since I was spending spring break in London this year, I decided to see what kids there think about all the pomp and ceremony, as well as the two-day holiday!
I met my friend Harlan from summer camp right outside Westminster Abbey where the couple will be wed on Friday, April 29. I spoke to a few people in the neighborhood about preparing for the wedding, which will parade through the streets of London to the Abbey.
“Most of my friends at the Highgate Wood School Arts College are looking forward to the day off school,” said Laura F., 14. “But they’re are also excited to see Kate’s wedding dress.”
The dress and the honeymoon destination are well kept secrets that have royal watchers abuzz with speculation. It is the talk of the school, she told me.
I asked a few kids on the street what it means to marry a prince. Most agreed: you need a good princess gown.
“Kate is well known for being on ‘best-dressed’ lists in magazines or on TV,” said Rosie B. from Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK). “And she’s been followed by fashionistas all over the shopping beats of London. The interesting thing about Kate is that she’s shopping in Harrods and H&M all at the same time!”
Harrods and H&M are well-known department stores in London. Unlike common expectations of royal behavior, Kate, who is not of royal blood, shops off the rack just like you and I! Her status as a commoner-turned-princess is what many of England’s everyday citizens like best about this young woman who could be Queen.
All the teens I spoke with agree that Kate’s wedding gown is sure to be stunning. They also seemed to know all the inside scoop about it—everything that is except what it looks like.
“The royal staff even has a duplicate dress ready in the case of emergency," Laura said. "That’s pretty cool.”
After her wedding, Kate’s simple life of hanging out with friends and working in her family business is likely to get pretty complicated. For one thing, she’ll probably have a new title—Princess Catherine. And people will bow and curtsy when they meet her. She won’t see her husband very much either—at least at first. He serves full time in the Royal Air Force.
As a princess she will need to pick some favorite charities and spend a lot of time helping them with fundraising. Kids in London have some pretty specific ideas about what she should do in that area.
“She’ll be bombarded with charities wanting her endorsement,” says Rose B., 17, of Cambridgeshire. “I hope she picks something important for kids like helping children with autism or cancer. Many of my friends also want her to pick specific charities like preventing animal abuse or helping teenagers with depression.”
PHOTOS: (TOP) A young girl waits to see Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive at the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA), in Darwen, northern England April 11, 2011. Prince William and his fiancee were there to officially open the Acadamy. (PHOTO : Phil Noble/Reuters)
(BOTTOM) A woman holds a tea bag with the portrait of Kate Middleton.Britain's Prince William is on the tea bag in the background. (PHOTO: MARCUS BRANDT/AFP/Getty Images/NewsCo)