LONDON —Not invited
to Kate and William’s wedding? Fear not. For a price, royalist romantics can
follow in the happy couple’s footsteps on a London walking tour.
Among the hundreds of British firms
hoping for a boost in business because of April’s royal wedding is Celebrity
Planet, a London-based travel company offering a tour of sites with links to
Prince William and his fiancée, Kate Middleton.
The two-hour amble through a
wealthy swath of London charts the highs and lows of the royal romance as
breathlessly reported in the U.K.’s tireless tabloid media.
One of the first stops is a branch
of Jigsaw, the clothing chain where Middleton was working as a part-time
accessories buyer in 2007 when William got cold feet and broke off their relationship.
“It was while she was working
here that she got the dreaded call from Prince William saying he just wasn’t
that interested,” said Umezawa, 25. “She burst into tears in front of
all her colleagues.”
More insights are on hand down the
road outside Mahiki, a nightclub favoured by the young and wealthy, and by
paparazzi hoping to see them behaving badly — and where tabloids reported
Prince William racked up a bar bill of 11,000 pounds in a week after the
The Kate and William walk stops at
London landmarks like St. James’s Palace — the residence of Princess William
and Harry — and Westminster Abbey, where the prince and Middleton will be married
by the Archbishop of Canterbury in front of more than 2,000 guests.
There are also lesser-known spots
like jeweller Garrard, where William’s father, Prince Charles, bought a diamond
and sapphire engagement ring for his intended, Lady Diana Spencer.
The ring passed to Diana’s children
after her death in a car accident in 1997, and William gave it to Kate when
they became engaged.
There’s also the building that
housed the office of Kate’s great great-grandfather, Richard Noel Middleton, a
wealthy industrialist with the foresight to set up a trust fund for his
That allowed Kate to go to
$47,000-a-year Marlborough College, one of Britain’s most elite schools.