Anglophiles across the United States are gearing up for the April 29 wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William. To celebrate, BBC America last night launched the first of its two-part special ‘Royally Mad’. Hosted by royal-insider Cat Deely, five lucky Americans get the royal wedding experience of a lifetime. Better yet, the show is even something of a Reality TV game-show as the five compete to win royal wedding challenges, earning royal wedding souvenirs. The one with the most at the end wins a special mystery grand prize!
Our five lucky contestants won the honor by submitting videos to BBC, proving that they are true fanatical fans of British royalty. They are Allison, Lori, Karen and Holly (who are old friends who haven′t seen each other in years), as well as one male, Rich. All five are truly obsessed with the British royalty! Just watch the video that Lori submitted below!
The group arrives in London and gathers at the Milestone Hotel where they get their very own butler, Terry, a genuine gentleman’s gentleman. After some champagne, the group meets Cat Deely who escorts them on a quick tour of London from a double-decker bus. First stop is Westminster Abbey, the location for Kate and William′s wedding. They meet royal-watcher Wesley Kerr, who gives them the low-down on the Abbey′s history and how the wedding will be organized. After which, it′s time for the first Royally Mad Challenge! Karen shouts out the answer first and wins a pair of silver teaspoons with portraits of Kate and William.
Next stop, and challenge is a polo lesson, using the exact same training horse that Prince William used! How cool is that? The object of this event is to bash a ball with a mallet and strike a small tree. Rich, being the only man, thinks he’ll do best, but his limp wrist barely moves the ball a yard! Karen wins again, being the only one to actually hit the tree, on and her first try at that! The prize is some ceramic thing. Not sure what it was but I′m sure it’s royally cool!
The last stop of the day is to the Philip Treacy hat shop, where all the royals buy their headwear. They meet with Allesandra Credo who guides them through favorite hats of the royals, as well as the more famous ones which Kate Middleton has worn. This sets up the last challenge of the day, selecting a hat to match their style and personalty. Rich chooses a purple ‘pimp’ hat that even Cat thinks is over the top. But Allison wins this round and gets a pair of large coat buttons with Kate and William portraits. As a prank, Cat abandons our crazy Yanks giving them only three maps of the London subway ‘tubes’ and tells them they have to find their way back to the hotel themselves. Ouch! But they have fun and record their adventure along the way.
The next morning, Terry wakes the group up, serving them a typical English breakfast of eggs and sausages. He even draws a bath for one of the ladies. Cat takes them to the Diana Memorial Fountain where they meet one of Princess Di’s actual friends, Lana Marks. She was to had been with Diana during her vacation in Europe when she tragically lost her life. Lana’s father had died of a heart attack and had to cancel, leaving Di alone with Dodi Fayad. After several cute insider stories, including how Di’s favorite meal was fish and chips, the group get a tour of Kensington Palace, Diana′s home.
Dr. Lucy Worsely, the curator, guides them about and shows them some of Diana′s more famous dresses. She also explains how the palace was very popular back in the Tudor Era, and how if you were not in the king′s favor, he would ‘rump’ you, showing you his bum instead of shaking your hand. That Henry VIII, what a character! Needless to say, we have another royal wedding challenge, which Holly wins. Her reward is a rather cheesy Kate and William key chain. I suspect one can buy all this stiff on Ebay!
Next stop on the tour is the dress shop of Elizabeth Emanuel, who designed Princess Diana′s wedding dress! How cool is that!!! She gives them Yanks the low-down on what it was like designing a royal wedding gown. Turns out that she actually made two dresses, in case one was somehow made public before the nuptials. This would have been a good time to show us the ′Dress That Never Was′, but they didn’t. You have to wonder where that garment is and what it looked like?
After a quick stop back at the hotel, Cat Deely took our Royally Mad Americans to one of Kate and William′s favorite night spots, a club called Mahika. But first, they must brave a group of paparazzi who stalk out the front entrance. Once inside, they indulged in Kate and William′s favorite cocktail, the Mahika Treasure Chest. The beverage is served in an actual treasure chest loaded with champagne, fruits, roman candles, and plenty of really long straws. They even get a dose of confetti for atmosphere.
Next week on the conclusion of BBC America′s ‘Royally Mad’, hostess Cat Deely takes our five lucky Americans to Buckingham Palace!!! Can you believe that!?!? The group also gets a royal make-over and is trained in royal etiquette. They then dine a royal dinner with a surprise guest! Who can it be? Watch next Tuesday at 10pm EDT to find out! By the way, needless to say, BBC America is running a whole bunch of special programing leading up to the April 29 wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. So if you do not get BBC America…DEMAND IT!!!! It is a royal proclamation!