Brief stories from Britain's royal wedding

12th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A round-up of stories about the upcoming marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton on 29 April.

London -- A third of Britons want Queen Elizabeth II to abdicate within two years, with 59 percent wanting William to be next on the throne, bypassing his father Prince Charles, according to a poll in The Sunday Times newspaper.

The Panelbase survey of 2,000 adults found that 42 percent of young men and 39 percent of young women want the queen to abdicate within 24 months.

Among women aged 18-34, 78 percent said they thought William and his fiancee were better suited to the throne than Charles and his wife Camilla.

"There are some signs of a fairytale effect," said Panelbase managing director Ivor Knox.

-- Around 100 primary schools are acting out the royal wedding as a way to mark the occasion and teach young children about traditional customs, The Sunday Times said.

Pupils play the part of the happy couple, with a pretend Archbishop of Canterbury performing the ceremony, the report said.

London -- Prime Minister David Cameron has called on local councils not to block street parties on29  April, saying he intends to have one at Downing Street -- although presumably after the ceremony, to which he has been invited.

Writing in The Sun tabloid, he said about 4,000 parties had already been planned across the country, and urged councils -- who must give their approval to close the road -- not to ask organisers to complete too much red tape.

"My message to everyone who wants to have a street party is: I'm having one and I want you to go ahead and have one too," Cameron wrote, adding: "So go on -- bring out the bunting and let's make this a day to remember.

Royal wedding dog collarLondon -- Man's best friend can now join the party with a new range of patriotic pet accessories, from crown-shaped dog treats to a Union Jack bowl and place mat, as well as special snacks for the big day itself.

"I'm sure the queen's Corgis will be joining in the festivities so why should the rest of the UK's animals miss out on the excitement?" said Scott Jefferson from Pets at Home.

Niue defends stamps that part Wills and Kate
-- The Pacific nation of Niue defended "unusual" royal wedding stamps which raised eyebrows around the world by splitting Prince William from his bride-to-be Kate Middleton.

The stamps, approved by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, have a perforated line between the royal couple. Together they are worth NZ$5.80 (US$4.53) but when separated the prince is worth $3.40 and Middleton a cheaper $2.40.

Niue Premier Toke Talagi said he had received plenty of feedback from around the world since the stamps were issued last month with people saying they found them "unusual".

"People indicated the stamps, made by New Zealand Post, meant the couple will separate in future. I don't know why they would interpret it that way," Talagi told AFP.

"I don't think it means that. I think it means we're very happy celebrating the royal marriage."

However, Talagi said the stamps could be a tourism boost for the country, which occupies a 260 square-kilometre (100-square-mile) coral island in the south Pacific and has a population of just 1,400.

"I suspect in future a lot of people will come here to see where the stamps are from."

New Zealand Post said on its website they "capture the royal couple as we so often see them -- graceful, composed and very much in love".

Niue Royal Wedding StampThe general manager of stamps, Ivor Masters, told New Zealand's TV3 news that the stamps were collectors' items and it was unlikely they would be torn apart for postage.

Simon O'Conner, chairman of the pro-royalist Monarchy New Zealand organisation, described the stamps as "slightly strange" but not insulting.

"The monarchy has thick skin and they would even have a sense of humour about it," O'Connor told the New Zealand Herald.

The president of the New Zealand Stamp Collectors club, Steven McLachlan, said he expected the stamps would prove popular.

"People from all around the world will buy this stamp in big quantities and they will love it."

rjm/br / AFP
ar/gj/ach / AFP
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