Hailing from Catherine Middleton's bucolic hometown of Bucklebury, England, a shopkeeper and his wife, a mailman, a pub landlord and a butcher now share something else in common; an invitation to the royal wedding.
The names of the locals who received gold-embossed invitations were leaked to the Daily Mail. Shopkeeper Chan Shingadia and wife Hash, who live above their shop, Peaches Stores, told the newspaper, "We're over the moon, absolutely thrilled. I have known Kate six years." But Shingadia notes being most impressed by the prince's interest in his daughter, saying, "Meera is only 11 but he also asks how she is getting on at school. It is incredible of him to do that and it shows he really cares and thinks about the people he meets."
Following Diana's lead as the "People's Princess," the couple have expressed a desire for theirs to be the "People's Wedding." Mrs. Shingadia has a pressing concern; what to wear. "My wife checked with Mr. Middleton whether it would be all right for her to wear her sari," her husband said. "She wanted to wear national dress and he said that's fine."
Mailman Ryan Naylor also received an invitation to the big day. He declined to comment when the Daily Mail approached him during his delivery route Sunday, only saying," I deliver to the Middleton family. Kate's a friendly, natural, lovely girl."
Another local, 55-year-old pub landlord John Haley of the Old Boot in Stanford Dingley, has known the family for 14 years.
Haley serves the couple regularly, explaining, "William and Kate have been to my pub about 10 times in the past year. They come in, sit quietly at the table, drink wine and are a lovely couple. They've been in to dine and are very natural, talking to the regulars."
But Haley was still astonished by his invitation, saying, "I was surprised to be invited. They have hundreds of guests and they included me. That's wonderful. I am thrilled."
Even for those not invited to the wedding itself, the British people all received a gift from the couple on their big day. April 29, a Friday, has been declared a bank holiday, giving the public two four-day holidays two weekends in a row.