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Fairy Tale Wedding!

April 27th, 2011

photo credit: Mario Testino/Clarence House Press Office/AP File

Though we mainly hear about princes and princesses in fairy tales, there are still a few real ones in the world. On this Friday morning (April 29th), one of them, England’s Prince William, will be getting married. And it’s going to be a huge celebration!

Westminster Abbey

The wedding is expected to be watched by 2 billion people worldwide, complete with a procession through London past many famous landmarks and ending at Westminster Abbey where the ceremony will take place. It’s one of the most famous and beautiful churches in the world. And it’s being decorated with 20-foot tall trees and 4 tons of plants and flowers for the event! It’ll be sure to feel like a fairy tale!  The reception afterward will be at the Queen’s residence, Buckingham Palace.

Souvenirs of the event include everything from t-shirts to tea towels, key chains, pencils,  pez dispensers , fridge magnets … and even toilet seat covers (!), all with the happy couple’s picture on it.

Outside of some of the wackier collectibles, this wedding is a big deal for a few reasons:

First, Prince William is marrying a woman who isn’t from a royal family, rather just from an everyday family like most of ours.  But after the wedding ceremony, Kate Middleton, will officially become a real princess, and she’ll be called Princess Catherine (though she’ll actually have a more official title). Lucky girl!

Second, many people remember that Prince William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a very famous and similar wedding 30 years ago. Princess Diana wasn’t originally royalty either but people loved her and in addition to being a genuinely nice person, she helped a lot of people in need around the world, especially children.

Tragically, Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997, when Prince William was 15 years old (Prince William also has a younger brother named Prince Harry).  And now people are happy that Prince William has found someone to live ‘happily ever after’ with.

Third, Queen Elizabeth II has been the Queen of England for over 50 years now, and she turned 85 years old this week. Some people are wondering whether at some point she’ll want her son, Prince Charles, to take over as King. But, in the rules, Prince Charles would be allowed to step aside and let his son, Prince William, be King instead (how many people can say their grandma’s a queen? Pretty cool!) . That’s just one of the ways it could happen, but that means that Prince William and Kate Middleton could actually become the King and Queen of England in the not too distant future!

Whether Queen Elizabeth remains Queen or not, the royal family doesn’t actually run the country. England ( part of the United Kingdom consisting of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales ) has a democratic government headed by Prime Minister David Cameron. So, for that reason, not everyone cares about the wedding and some people feel that too much of a big deal is being made over it. But, a lot of people are excited for this real life fairy tale.

Oh, and because the wedding is in London, England and there’ s a time difference, if you want to watch it live on TV, you’ll have to get up really early: 6 am in New York/Eastern Standard time and even earlier if you live farther west!


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