Whether you are Windsor-wild or royally over the royal wedding, news about the nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was seemingly inescapable. However, for even the most monarchy-mad among us, there are plenty of interesting tidbits you may not have heard. From how the wedding ticked off a child to why it made a street vendors extra happy, here are 18 random and sometimes hilarious facts about the royal wedding.
1. According to Nikon, Britons were expected to take over 327 million photographs throughout the day with one in six of those pictures being posted to a social networking website.
2. A disgruntled nine-year-old wrote an angry letter to the Queen complaining that the wedding was overshadowing her grandfather’s birthday. Unfortunately, for her, the date was not changed, but little Bowen Pella-McDyre was informed that Her Majesty was “interested to learn” her grandfather, Ray McDyre, would be turning 78 on her grandson’s wedding day.
3. According to a poll by ICM Research, just over a third of Britons were interested in the royal wedding. However, the same poll shows nearly half were excited to have an extra day off from work.
4. Although statistics were not taken, it is safe to assume that at least a few dozen inmates were especially excited for the royal wedding. Inmates who were eligible for release on April 29 were let out a day early due to the bank holiday.
5. The first person to line up for a prime viewing position was self-proclaimed Princess Diana super fan John Loughrey, 56. Loughrey set up his tent outside Westminster Abbey on Monday, a full four days before the scheduled event.
6. Oddsmakers put bets on everything from whether Harry would drop the ring (100/1 he’d pass it off safely) to what type of tiara Kate would wear [an unnamed gambling man bet £6,000 (nearly $10,000) that Kate Middleton would wear a Russian fringe tiara borrowed from the Queen]. However, the most popular bet, according to William Hill, an online betting site, was in regards to whether or not the Duke of Edinburgh would fall asleep during the service. He was given 8/1 odds and delivered for those who bet in his favor.
7. The Alexandra Hotel in Derby marketed itself as a wedding-free respite, banning the use of the words “royal” and “wedding” on premises. Anyone who dared to speak the forbidden words was forced to put a donation into a ‘swear box.’
8. According to research, one in five adults in the UK will purchase a Royal Wedding collectable, spending an average of £17 (around $28). Seven out of 10 of them, however, won’t admit it out of fear of being mocked by loved ones.
9. According to the British newspaper the Telegraph, more than 5.8 million bags of trash, totaling 4,000 tons, were expected to result from tea parties and get-togethers in honor of the day.
10. About 150,000 souvenir programs were sold along the processional route.
11. New Holland, a tractor manufacturer, offered free Union Jack flag paint jobs to farmers who bought their products during the month of April.
12. The red carpet wasn’t only rolled out for VIPs. More than 500 yards of red carpet was rolled out in Heathrow Airport’s arrivals halls, so all visitors could be greeted with a welcome fit for a king and queen. Visitors were also treated to free cups of Twinings White Earl Grey tea free of charge.
13. Cheese artist Justin Tunstall created two royal cheddars, which he sold in his shop in Lyme Regis, Dorset. Likely, not surprising by now, “Sod the Wedding – It’s a Day Off” sold eight times faster than “Congratulations Wills and Kate.”
14. Another artist, American George Vlosic, created his own rather unusual tribute to the couple: A detailed portrait – completed via Etch a Sketch.
15. At their breakfast reception, the couple was toasted with an inexpensive £30 (around $50) bottle of non-vintage Pol Roger champagne.
16. According to a ComRes poll for ITV news, one in three Britons tried to avoid seeing the Royal Wedding while only slightly more, 38 percent, said they would watch it live.
17. That same poll stated that 75 percent of Britons thought the wedding would help Britain’s reputation.
18. The first knock-off of Kate’s Sarah Burton dress was sold by Alexandria, Virginia-based dress designer Angel Le. Le’s design went on sale at her store, Le Star, at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday April 30, 2011 – just 26 hours after the original was first seen by the viewing world.