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Roll up for London's royal wedding magical mystery tour

Visitors are flocking to tours that tell the highs and lows of Prince William and Kate Middleton's story – from the clothing store where she worked to royal shoemakers.

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The questions come fast and furious. “Do you know anything about the cake details?” ask David and Adele Bywaters, from Cornwall – who plan to bake a cake on the wedding day and have a party themselves. “Why did William break up with Kate over the phone?” the concerned Australian asks.

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“Where is Kate now?” the Greek couple demand. “I really don’t know her itinerary,” admits Umezawa meekly.

The tour winds through the parks, alongside the royal homes and the royal shoemakers, and ends, finally, at Westminster Abbey, first built in the 11th century by the Anglo-Saxon King Edward the Confessor, and famed place of royal coronations, burials, and weddings. On Friday at 11 a.m., Kate will step out of a Rolls Royce in her wedding dress, for the whole world to see, and step into this church to become a princess.

Outside the abbey, the very first of the diehard royal enthusiasts are beginning to pitch their tents and lay down sleeping bags, so as to get the best view on the day. Mr. Savant, intrigued, strikes up a chat with John Loughrey, a former assistant chef dressed in a T-shirt stating, “Diana would be proud.”

A PR woman from a mattress company comes up with an inflatable mattress and a pump – a gift. That’s it – Savant is sold. He will stay right here, he tells Mr. Loughrey, and seats himself between him and Guen Murray, a mother of four who has arrived with a suitcase and a large ball of wool so she can knit as she waits out the week.

She was also there 30 years ago, says Ms. Murray, camping outside Buckingham Palace for the wedding of Diana to Prince Charles. She would not miss this one for the world. “Me neither,” exclaims Savant, happy to find a likeminded soul, and sharing his granola bar with his new friends. “This is history. This is the modern day fairy tale.”

[Editor's note: The original version of this story misstated the age of Westminster Abbey.]

Related: Royal wedding: Five traditions of royal nuptials

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