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Kate Middleton's hometown preps for 30,000 tourists

In just 13 days the world will celebrate the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. But the event will be extra special for Kate's hometown of Bucklebury, 50 miles southwest of London.

But will the town be ready for the royal wedding festivities?

Photos: Kate Middleton
Photos: Prince William and Kate Middleton

CBS News Royal Contributor Victoria Arbiter reported the village which features, most notably, a small pub and butcher shop is expected to accommodate 30,000 people.

Arbiter said, "In a village this size, that's going to be a tremendous number of people. There's definitely going to be a huge media presence. But I think they're so proud that their home girl is going to become a princess on April 29th, so they're ready to welcome the press with open arms."

But why go to Bucklebury?

Kate's hometown - a charming village of old homes and big country estates with a small town center - holds a fascination for people, Arbiter said.

The village is excited, too, for Kate's big day, she said.

Special Section: Britain's royal wedding

"There's definitely a great sense of pride in the village," she said. "We had an opportunity to talk to some of the locals this morning and they're very excited. They're all going to be celebrating together on the day. The flags are flying. So I think the anticipation is only going to build over the next 13 days."

But will the village become a tourist destination?

Arbiter said interest in the small town will likely drop off after Kate becomes princess.

She explained, "The pilgrimage to Althorp where (Princess) Diana grew up didn't start until she died and was buried there. Unfortunately, when you come to Bucklebury, other than the main road you can drive down and say, 'That's Kate's butcher, that's Kate's florist,' there isn't anything else to see. Once the madness of the wedding dies down, Bucklebury will return to the quiet little hamlet that it is."

The town is readying for an influx of tourists on the day, but some locals are leaving the town on wedding day - to attend the big event in London.

Arbiter said the local butcher, the pub landlord, the postman and the couple who run the local Bucklebury convenience store have been included on the wedding guest list.

"They ... are friends of the Middleton family," Arbiter said. "The Middletons have been here pretty much all of Kate's childhood. As it's such a small place there really is a sense of community, you interact with your local butcher. He probably knows what you have for dinner every Friday evening. The postman, it's very much a personality that comes to your door. There's no strangers in this village. It's very much a tight community that's friends, as well."

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