I didn’t think it was possible to write a post about the royal wedding on a bicycling blog.
But there was this from today’s Christian Science Monitor: “Glenn Gratton is bicycling frantically around London today, chasing down Kate Middleton and the crew during the royal wedding ceremonies.”
The bicycle, it seems, was the favored mode of transport for Gratton and other paparazzi covering the nuptials between Prince William, heir to the British throne, and commoner Kate Middleton.
Gratton is the founder of the London-based paparazzi agency Matrix pictures, which had photographers stationed at eight points along the wedding couple’s route between Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. They presumably were equipped with two-wheeled transport.
“We don’t have our guys aggressively follow cars,” Gratton said of the paparazzi’s sensitivities toward the British royals after the death of Princess Diana. Diana, mother of Princes William and Harry, died Aug. 31, 1997, in an auto accident in Paris as her car was being pursued by paparazzi.
“We are sensitive to that. I mean, not only because of what happened, but because there might be kids there, and we don’t want to be held responsible for any harm coming to anyone. And we understand the princess would be wary of us. You would be, too.”
Because of street closures in central London during and before the royal wedding procession, bicycles became a convenient way to get around, not only for photographers.
The writer of a blog called I Bike London wrote this week: “The combination of road closures around St. James’s Park and the Mall, quiet bank holiday traffic and glorious unseasonably warm sunshine meant that tourists and locals alike were taking to two wheels to check out the buzz. The parks were beset by picnicking Pashley riders, whilst visitors on hire bikes cruised past the Abbey. Getting about by bike was the way to go this past weekend. … It’s Royal Wedding cycle chic!”
London Mayor Boris Johnson, an avid cyclist who has implemented a bicycle-sharing program for the British capital, took to a stage in Trafalgar Square where thousands had gathered to watch the royal wedding on a giant screen, proposed a toast, cut a cake and unveiled a custom-built bicycle to be presented to William and Kate on behalf of the people of London.
“I look forward to seeing the newlyweds on tandem wheels as they start their new life in Anglesey,” the mayor said.