(CBS) CBS News royals contributor Victoria Arbiter, reporting from London, will be giving CBSNews.com readers daily updates on plans for the April 29 royal wedding.
London isn't the only place getting in shape for the royal wedding. Kate Middleton's hometown of Bucklebury in the county of Berkshire is hard at work planning all sorts of events to celebrate the big day. Considering townspeople are expecting 30,000 people to descend on their tiny village, it's a good job they're prepared.
There's no question that Kate would have enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Bucklebury. On the few occasions I have been there since covering the royal beat, we've seen children out riding horses, friendly soccer games taking part on the village green and even a lady out walking her goat. (Yes, I meant to type goat!)
So friendly is the community that the Middletons have invited people that you wouldn't generally think of adding to your own wedding guest list. Martin Fiddler, the village butcher, made the cut, as did the postman, the convenience store owners and the local pub landlord. The only people missing appear to be the baker and the candlestick maker!
Incidentally, Mrs. Shangadia, one half of the convenience store owners, has just returned from India where she flew to pick out the perfect sari to wear to the wedding. Now that's making sure you've got something to wear on the day!
While five of Bucklebury's finest will be at Westminster Abbey on April 29, the rest of the village isn't going to be outdone. On Thursday, April 28, children at the local primary school plan to hold a street party in the school playground. Rumor has it they've invited Prince William and Kate and the royal couple had to politely decline. I would imagine they'll have slightly more pressing matters to attend to the day before their nuptials.
On the wedding day itself, the Spar Convenience Store is laying on free breakfast for people as they make their way to the village park to view the wedding on the big screen that will be set up there. There will be local bands on hand to entertain the crowd. The church will hold a service of thanksgiving as the bells ring out. The pubs all plan to hold barbeques and discos and there will be a tiara contest for the children. All this before a two and a half foot wedding cake is rolled out to be sliced, live on-air, for the world's media also in attendance.
Celebrations will ring out across the United Kingdom on royal wedding day, but Bucklebury's might just be a little bit more special. It's not often that a village has the opportunity to see a hometown girl marry into the royal family and this is one girl that they're delighted to call their own.
Until next time, royalphiles, keep calm and carry on.
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