Visitors gather at royal wedding venue

January 2, 2011 10:59:48 AM PST
Walking past Westminster Abbey today, it's hard to imagine a royal wedding will take place here in a little over four months. London is brimming with tourists and locals still scouring through after Christmas sales. The snow is gone, and the temperature during the day has hovered around 40. Taken as a whole, central London still feels like a place just cranking into gear for 2011.

So are there Kate Middleton and Prince William souvenirs everywhere you look? Not as much as one might expect. The generic and non-time sensitive "I Love London" shirts are far more ubiquitous.

I did wander into Westminster Abbey's gift shop, where I spotted the lone item with the royal couple's picture: a stack of post cards. Visiting on a Sunday meant no tours inside the Abbey, as church services are going on all day. But that didn't stop many people, including myself, from snapping a few photos.

To be sure, London is always a bustling city, royal wedding or not. The 2012 Olympics are just around the corner, and signs are already popping up, encouraging people to buy tickets.

I asked my good friend Azeemeh Zaheer, a Houstonian who recently relocated to London, what her thoughts are about the royal wedding and if people really cared.

"People are excited about it," she said. "You might not hear a lot of people talking about it. But they are. We are also told some commoners will be invited to the wedding, so that will be interesting."

Obviously, scoring an invite to what's already being billed as the "Wedding of the Century" would be the ultimate coup. How that can be accomplished if you're not a head of state or born with a royal title, remains to be seen.