The National, Monday, May 2, 2011
THE royal wedding was watched by an estimated two billion people in 180 countries around the world.
Check out how some of the big numbers stacked up for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In the UK, initial viewing figures from industry body Barb suggest that more than 24 million people were tuned in to the BBC or ITV at the high point in the ceremony.
The national grid said its figures showed a huge surge in demand for power after the service – equivalent to one million kettles being boiled – when the royal couple returned to Buckingham Palace.
Over the course of the day, power use rose and fell during key moments – with the biggest drop in demand when the couple made their balcony appearance and people stopped what they were doing and turned back to their televisions.
Out on the streets of London, the metropolitan police estimated one million people turned out to try to catch a glimpse of the wedding parade. There were 5,000 police officers keeping order and, 24 hours after the wedding, 55 arrests had been reported.
Westminster council was in charge of clearing the streets of the procession and deployed 130 road sweepers – 100 more than usual. They moved an estimated 140 tonnes of rubbish – a spokesman for Westminster council said horse manure was the “biggest issue”.
The bride’s dress was probably the best-kept secret of the day.
The ivory lace and silk gown had a 2.7m train – considerably shorter than Princess Diana’s 8m train. Each lace motif was attached with a tiny stitch and workers had to wash their hands regularly to keep the lace and threads absolutely spotless.
Around the country, there were thousands of street parties with people taking advantage of the extra bank holiday. There were 5,500 official applications for road closures – with people in Hertfordshire making the highest number of requests at 298.
Tesco said it had sold 120 miles of bunting, enough to wrap round Westminster Abbey 100 times.
Its sales of champagne and sparkling wine were significantly up while Marks and Spencer claimed sales of chicken drumsticks had doubled in a week to one million and sales of sausage rolls reached two million.
Celebrations at Buckingham Palace continued all day. The formal lunch reception was attended by 650 guests, who consumed 10,000 canapes, prepared by a team of 21 chefs.
Later, 300 close friends and families were invited to an evening do where guests were offered a choice of two wedding cakes.
The traditional fruit cake was made up of 17 individual cakes, eight tiers high and it was decorated with some 900 sugar-paste flowers. A less traditional chocolate biscuit cake, requested by Prince William, contained 1,700 Rich Tea biscuits and 17 kilos of chocolate. – BBC