The pomp and circumstance prep is well underway!
Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding is in less than eight weeks — and it seems that half of London is hard at work preparing for the big day.
With the dress currently being handcrafted in two secret locations (including a private suite within Clarence House), and the tiara waiting patiently in a Mayfair-based vault, everything is going according to meticulous plan.
I took a tour of Westminster Abbey this week, and the place was buzzing! No detail there is going ignored.
Every inch of the royal peculiar is being buffed to camera-ready perfection, with the High Altar cloth already away for refurbishment (no small feat — it's over 15 meters long!).
And a source tells me that Kate, 29, and William, 28, have finally decided on the hymn selections — which mean that the young choir can now begin secret, after-dark rehearsals.
Across town, in London's Chelsea neighborhood, the newly blacked-out windows of a private street-level office say it all. A royal courtier informs me that this is where the bouquet and floral arrangements are being crafted.
Three companies, including royal florist Simon J. Lycett Ltd., are thought to be responsible for the wedding day blooms. The theme? English country garden, of course.
And Kate doesn't just have the wedding to worry about: there's also an entire royal wardrobe to prepare.
Though she has no stylist, I've learned that princess-to-be has enlisted the help of friend, and owner of Moda Rosa, Rosie Wild, to select outfits for future engagements.
"This is Kate's favorite shop," says a source of the Arlesford-based boutique. "Many of those fabulous Temperly, Jenny Packham and Issa dresses were all bought here. It's Kate's secret fashion spot.
"Rosie is helping pull together a whole new wardrobe for the honeymoon and [royal visit to] Canada. Kate will make the final decision on everything."
Having run Us Weekly's overseas bureau for four years, I've experienced my fair share of A-list births, adoptions and marriages, but nothing has come close to the hysteria surrounding the royal wedding.
Nevertheless, Kate seems to be taking it all in her stride. As a palace source recently put it to me: "One billion people may be watching on April 29, but Kate's focus will be on just one of them. William."
By Omid Scobie, European Bureau Chief, for UsMagazine.com
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