The Strange World Of Royal Wedding Preparations

Tomorrow, Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot in front of 1,900 of their closest friends and family members in Westminster Abbey. Plus, the thousands of countrymen who will be gathering outside on the streets hoping to catch a glimpse. Oh, and in front of anyone with a television or computer anywhere in the world. (And Amelia and Jessica will be liveblogging it — more info on that later today!)

England has gone officially royal wedding crazy. After the jump, an update on the most outrageous preparations with just 24 hours until the big event.

  • Yesterday morning at 4 a.m., a thousand British military officers headed to Westminster Abbey on horseback for a rehearsal so they could practice running security without ruining the view for onlookers. All the cars and coaches practiced their arrival, using stand-ins for guests. Kate’s stand-in was convincing enough to fool witnesses even though she was wearing jeans and a sweater. [People]
  • While Queen Elizabeth will be throwing a traditional champagne and canapé reception after the ceremony, Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton—Kate’s sister and maid of honor, who happens to be a well-renowned party planner—are in charge of the after party. Three state rooms have been converted and caterers are making a 6 a.m. “survivor’s breakfast” of bacon sandwiches. Pippa caused quite a stir last night when she joked that the throne room was being turned into a nightclub complete with disco balls. Or at least, we think she was joking. [Daily Beast, NY Daily News]
  • Thousands of people are already camping out, angling to get the best spot for the event. The first reported camper was John Loughrey, who arrived on Monday decked out in Union Jack gear. Others have congregated at Clapham Common, where giant television screens have been erected and free tea will be given out. The common even has a “glamping” zone where luxury campers with sheepskin rugs can be rented. [Daily Beast, BBC]
  • With weather forecasts predicting rain for tomorrow, a troupe of African dancers performed a traditional dance to banish the rain outside Westmister Abbey today. “It would be a disaster if Kate got a soggy dress on the way to the church,” troupe leader Akosua Boakye explained. “This African sun dance is sure to keep the clouds away and bring on a nice bit of sunny weather.” [The Sun]
  • Sports betting site William Hill has set up all sorts of royal wedding bets—from what time Kate will arrive at the Abbey to whether the bouquet will be caught or dropped. They are offering 16-1 odds that the couple’s first dance will be to Rod Stewart’s “Have I Told You Lately.” [William Hill]
  • ITV America has commissioned an interesting wedding commentator—Margaret Tyler, 67, who happens to be a hoarder of royal family memorabilia. She has over 10,000 items—including a jar of jelly infused with a single strand of Princess Diana’s hair. Her colored commentary should be … obsessive. [Daily Beast]
  • Meanwhile, it’s not just the Brits who are going crazy for the wedding. BBC America’s series “Royally Mad” followed five Americans competing in a Brit-themed event to win a trip to the wedding. Even Tori Spelling can’t wait for the big event—she is having a Royal Wedding Sleepover Party tonight where guests must wear button-up pajamas and a mini hat. [People]