x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Umbrellas may be needed for UK royal wedding

First glimpse of Kate Middleton, Prince William's bride, may be through an umbrella as showers forecast for Friday's royal wedding.

Royal fan John Loughrey talks to foreign media as he becomes the first person to camp out on the streets to wait for the start of the Royal Wedding.
Royal fan John Loughrey talks to foreign media as he becomes the first person to camp out on the streets to wait for the start of the Royal Wedding.

LONDON // Rain, strong winds and even the odd thunderstorm are threatening to put a dampener on Friday's royal wedding, forecasters warned yesterday.

As the first monarchy enthusiast camped overnight to bag a prime spot outside London's Westminster Abbey, weather forecasters warned that the sunshine that has drenched south-east England for more than a week, with temperatures reaching 28 Celsius, would be little more than a memory by Friday.

Aisling Creevey, a forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It is looking at the moment that there are going to be quite brisk north-easterly winds, showers and possibly a few rumblings of thunder.

"We wouldn't rule out the odd lightning strike as well. At the moment we're waiting to see how much sunshine is going to come - if there's more sunshine, there's more of a risk of heavier showers."

But the ill wind is being welcomed by some traditionalists because it means that, if it does rain, Prince William and his bride will return to Buckingham Palace in the glass coach that took the late Princess Diana, the bridegroom's mother, to her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

If the weather stays fine, the couple will leave in the 1902 State Landau, an open-topped, horse-drawn carriage.

Temperatures are expected to reach 18C on the day but, whatever the weather, it will make little difference to John Loughrey, who secured his spot outside the abbey on Monday, planning to spend the next four nights in a sleeping bag on the pavement to be sure of getting a good view.

Dressed in a T-shirt bearing the logo 'Diana Would be Proud', Mr Loughrey, a former assistant chef from Wandsworth, in south-west London, told Sky News yesterday: "I'll never see anything like this in my lifetime. I'm 56. I may never see William as king, so this is the most extraordinary opportunity for me."

Mr Loughrey says he is not bothered by the prospect of rain on the big day, pointing out that he has come armed with an umbrella.

It is, of course, in the colours of the Union Jack.

dsapsted@thenational.ae