Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kenya, a possible honeymoon spot for royal weds

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As the celebrations for the nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton wind down, attention is now turning to where the newlyweds will honeymoon.

The royal newly-weds have left Buckingham Palace by helicopter, following a day and night of marriage celebrations.

The couple have decided not to go on honeymoon immediately and will spend the weekend in the UK before the duke returns to work next week.

Last night they celebrated their marriage with dinner and dancing at Buckingham Palace, along with about 300 friends and family.

The couple have said they want the world's media to respect their privacy during their honeymoon.
Celebrations also continued on the city streets, with up to one million well-wishers turning out to cheer on the newlyweds.

The streets are now largely empty but many carry evidence of the frenetic celebrations of the night before.
It is understood best man Prince Harry organised a recovery breakfast for Saturday morning (London time), to help the newlyweds recoup before they jet off to an exotic honeymoon destination.

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have called for privacy as they prepare for their honeymoon, the details of which have not been made public.

It is expected the honeymoon destination will be made known soon, but for now, all that is known is that William has taken two weeks' leave from his job as a Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot.

The second-in-line to the throne has a deep love of Africa and he proposed to Catherine in Kenya last year, so that has been mooted as a possible honeymoon spot.

Jordan has also been touted as a possibility and would have nostalgic appeal for Catherine, as her family lived in the kingdom for two years when she was a child.

But given the current upheaval in the Middle East, it would be considered a compromised choice.
A secluded Caribbean island would allow the couple to escape the prying eyes of the media.

Bequia and Necker Island all have the benefit of being easily secured, and Catherine's wealthy parents are frequent visitors to the ultra-exclusive Mustique.

Lizard Island, off the coast of Queensland, has also emerged as a contender.

Whatever the choice, the honeymoon is set to be the first test of the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's relationship with the British press.

Prince William is determined that after the couple shared their wedding with the world, he wants to have some private time with his new wife.

He is known to harbour deep resentment against the media after the death of his mother Diana, princess of Wales, killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 as she was being pursued by photographers.

A spokesman for the Duke, Paddy Harverson, says the couple expect the media to respect their wishes to be left alone.

"The most important things is they want some privacy," he said.

"We know there's an army of photographers out there looking to find out.

"But you know, if it was your own honeymoon, what would you want? You'd want peace and quiet, you wouldn't want photographs chasing you."

The royal family is believed to be prepared to take legal action to prevent any media outlet attempting to disrupt the honeymoon.

After their honeymoon, the couple will return to their rented cottage at Anglesey in north-western Wales and William will return to his job as a helicopter rescue pilot with the Royal Air Force.

They will then undertake their first overseas royal tour together, with a two-week visit to Canada starting in late June.

But William wants time for the couple to settle into married life - up to two years - before taking on their royal duties full-time, but it's unlikely the public interest in them will wane.

Night of celebrations
In a major public relations coup for the royals, the response to the wedding has been overwhelmingly positive.

Across the world millions celebrated at their own royal wedding parties and more than two billion people tuned in to watch the couple exchange vows on television.

The day started at Westminster Abbey with 1,900 invited guests inside, outside another one million people packed London's streets.

Half a million people then walked The Mall, to watch the newlyweds exchange two sweet kisses on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Accompanied by their immediate families and the bridal party, the couple shared a brief embrace before puckering up again for a more lingering kiss three minutes later - prompting a mighty roar from the crowd.
It continued the tradition started by Prince William's parents, Prince Charles and Diana, three decades ago.
The next time the crowd saw the couple was after the formal lunchtime reception for 650 dignitaries.

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drove out of the palace grounds for Clarence House in Charles's open-top Aston Martin Volante, specially decorated for the newlyweds by best man Prince Harry and friends.

The car was festooned with red, white and blue streamers tied to the bonnet, rosettes on the windscreen and an L plate on the front.

Trailing from the back were heart-shaped balloons while a yellow rear number plate had been added that read: JU5T WED.

They returned to Buckingham and changed out of their wedding outfits into evening wear, for the more intimate reception hosted by the Prince of Wales.

Starting at 7:00pm local time (4:00am AEST), it included speeches, dancing, a live performance by Ellie Goulding and the serving of two cakes - a traditional wedding cake and a chocolate cake specially requested by Prince William.

Prince Charles reportedly paid tribute to Catherine but still managed to poke fun at her new husband, his eldest son Prince William.

"William spoke very well but it was Charles who really gave high praise to his daughter-in-law," Catherine's former primary school headmaster Dr Robert Acheson, who is also a friend of the Middleton family, said as he left the palace.

"He said they were really lucky to have a daughter like her."

Another guest, Middleton family friend Susie Lea, said Charles lightened the mood with talking about his son's hairline.

"The Prince of Wales made a few jokes about his bald patch and his son's bald patch, saying it must be hereditary," she said.

"He was stood slightly up on a small stand so he was looking down on William to his left.
"William smiled, he was amused. Kate looked amused as well."

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