Following in the royal footsteps
Abbey or Station: it's all about location
BRITAIN'S Prince William and Kate Middleton put an end to eight years of 'will they, won't they' speculation when they announced their engagement this week.
But no sooner was the big question out of the way than a raft of others swiftly followed. Which date would they choose? Who would design the bride's dress? And most importantly, where would they celebrate their big day?
Photos of Kate emerging from Westminster Abbey on Wednesday night, published in a tabloid newspaper yesterday morning, seemed to confirm that the couple would follow in the footsteps of other members of the royal family, including William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and his uncle Prince Andrew, by tying the knot in the 1,000-year-old cathedral.
But in the absence of any official confirmation from the couple, feverish speculation continues apace. And if the UK property professionals get their way, high-flying Irish property developer Johnny Ronan could play host to the royal wedding.
Ronan's Battersea Power Station attracted more votes than many of London's more well-known sites in a poll conducted by the Estates Gazette property website, www.egi.co.uk.
The station, where Ronan plans a €5bn project, attracted as many as 75pc of the votes from the property professionals who use it to keep abreast of breaking property news.
The Battersea property proved more popular than other London locations including the Olympic stadium and Earl's Court, which came in second place with 10.7pc of the votes.
After Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement this week, London Mayor Boris Johnson jokingly offered City Hall, and the Estates Gazette site asked subscribers for their suggestions for the reception.
A spokesman for Ronan's company Real Estate Opportunities (REO) welcomed the votes. Director Rob Tincknell quipped: "If the couple are interested in hiring the power station then I can guarantee they will definitely get the charity rate." The wedding would not be the first posh or fun event at the site. Earlier this year REO started to drum up much-needed funds by attracting fun events and hosting private parties in a marquee at the Boiler House on the site.
The British Tory Party also launched its election manifesto there during the summer. REO teamed up with events management company Industri and have permission to use the space as a venue for three years catering for up to 600 seated banquet guests and up to 1,000 standing.
But whatever the speculation, it seems likely that the couple will stick with tradition and plump for Westminster. As a teenage boy, the the young prince walked behind the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales as it was taken to the ancient place of worship in September 1997. But if the William and his fiancee choose the abbey as the venue where they will exchange vows, his feelings associated with the building may change.
Many royal weddings have been held at the abbey. Just after the Second World War the monarch, then Princess Elizabeth, married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, later the Duke of Edinburgh, on November 20 1947. More recently, the Duke of York walked down the aisle with Sarah, the Duchess of York, when they were married in July 1986.