Royal wedding watch: Stag party, slimming and sick bags

By Brigitt Hauck
BBC News


With the big day nearing for Prince William and Kate Middleton, the internet is abuzz with royal wedding stories. As a confessed wedding obsessive, I'll be keeping up with what's being talked about. Today's round up includes stag parties, slimming contests and sick bags.

Will the future king's final evening as a single man be a bit blurry?

After it was formally announced Prince Harry will be his brother's best man, the focus shifted to the stag do.

As best man, tradition holds it's incumbent on Harry to arrange this farewell to bachelorhood.

Cue much speculation - for that is all it is - about what might be in store. "[Can Harry] be trusted to stage-manage that iconic British institution, the stag night, without embarrassing the royal family?" asks the Telegraph.

"Harry has form as a party animal and, when party animals are invited to be best men, it is like a bugle to a warhorse. In the lifetime of the two Princes, the traditional eve-of-wedding stag which bequeathed no more than a mild hangover, treatable by Alka-Seltzer, has metamorphosed into the stag weekend, or even stag week, a rolling programme of events."

But before imaginations are allowed to run riot, the Daily Mail signals Prince William has put a cork in any debauchery.

"Suggestions for William's stag night had ranged from a saucy burlesque act to exclusive use of close friend Guy Pelly's club Public, a regular celebrity haunt. But William, 28, is thought to have insisted on a 'private' and 'more mature' long weekend outside the capital."

Though William and friends won't be enjoying too many pints, it doesn't mean others can't host a proper celebration on his behalf. Castle Rock Brewery in Nottingham has created a special ale appropriately named "Kiss Me Kate" to commemorate the royal wedding, says the Nottingham Post.

"Castle Rock folks' description of the regal tipple makes it sound appropriate enough for a royal wedding. It is, they say, elegant and full of British ingredients, which means the hops and barley aren't imported."

But while the good folk of Nottingham may be swaying with delight in the name of the royal couple, across the Pond Kate and William are inspiring some Texans to stay off the grog. NBC Dallas-Fort Worth has tracked down a group of slimmers who have set the wedding day - 29 April - as the target date for being svelte enough to slip back into their wedding dresses.

Reporter Julie Tam says one participant at least is well on the way to her target weight:

"Alma Hall is taking on the Royal Wedding Challenge. After her wedding, she gained more than 70 pounds but has since put aside her old pants. She's now within about 15 pounds of her wedding weight."

Kate herself hasn't officially enrolled in the challenge, but she has already lost two dress sizes, says the Sun.

Meanwhile, and as predicted by our very own royal expert Peter Hunt, Canada has been named as the destination for the royal couple's first official overseas engagement.

Let's hope they're not put off by a cursory glance at the The Globe and Mail's Ottawa Notebook. It openly wonders whether the pair will visit the Calgary Stampede on their trip.

Rest easy. This is not an open invitation for the Canadian public to turn up and mob the couple. It's an annual rodeo. Which explains why Matthew Rowe, a spokesman for the Monarchist League of Canada, asks:

"What's more Canadian than seeing our future king and queen in cowboy hats?"

Given his title, it's probably fair to assume Mr Rowe isn't royally sick of all the hoopla around Kate, William and the wedding. But even those who are, can avail themselves of a souvenir opportunity.

British artist Lydia Leith has designed royal wedding sick bags titled "Throne Up", says the fashion news website Styleite.

"Leith, you see, wants you to know that it's OK to be disgusted to the point of losing your lunch over this whole ordeal. Had too much of the many scribblings there are on the Internet about who Kate Middleton will pick as her dress designer? Just vomit."

Surely there's no need to be sick. It is, after all, a bank holiday.