World media swoops on London to cover royal wedding

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Prince William-Kate
London, April 26: Journalists from across the world have swooped on London to capture the pomp and pageantry of the royal wedding and cover the finale of the fairytale romance between Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton.

Every vantage point around Westminster Abbey has been taken up by television cameras and temporary studios, while an entire media village has sprung up near the Buckingham Palace.

On Friday, there will be blanket coverage from early morning on major global television channels, including the BBC, which has made arrangements for coverage on radio and online as well, apart from television.

The London-based Foreign Press Association (FPA) has provided a detailed 13-page ''Media Briefing Document'' on the event, setting out arrangements, timings, route, costs, as well as biographies of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

"The Royal Family, with a private contribution from the Middleton Family, will pay for all those aspects of the day that constitute the wedding (eg. the Abbey service, flowers, dresses, carriage procession, reception and dinner).

The Government and other bodies will pay for costs that are consequential to the wedding," the briefing says.

OB vans have been parked in designated areas, while broadcasters from outside the UK have spent at least 100,000 pounds each to cover the event that is expected to have a larger audience than any previous royal wedding.

American television channel NBC has set up a camp in Trafalgar Square as well as occupying studios outside Buckingham Palace and the Abbey.

Alongside half a dozen large US broadcasters, the channel will be catering for the royal wedding hysteria, said to be sweeping its way across America.

Peter Heaps, an engineer working at the multi-tiered media stands outside the wedding venue, said he could not predict how many foreign media outlets would be covering the event but said competition to get "the shot of the day" was fierce.

"The total accreditation is something more than seven- and-a-half thousand I think. Our stands are really for people who are sending over correspondents, who just want to do their ten minutes of fame with the Abbey in the background," he said.

Opposite Buckingham Palace, two temporary constructions have been erected which house 22 glass-fronted studios and a line of viewing stands for cameras.

The compound will provide broadcasters with an anchor point for on-screen coverage whilst the BBC will perch on the memorial in front of the main gates at the Palace.

Christopher Wyld, director of the Foreign Press Association said he had not seen such a "huge outside interest" in a British event for years.

"In terms of a planned event, there's more interest in this than there has been for years. It's effectively the best show on earth that day. You've got the best cast and best set so it plays beautifully in to the whole soap thing but goes beyond celebrity," Wyld said.

PTI

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