The Americans Are Coming! 'Kate Middleton Country' in Demand

Bus tours head to Kate Middleton's quiet village, where apprehension awaits.

ByABC News
January 12, 2011, 10:30 AM

LONDON, Jan. 12, 2011 — -- The Americans are coming, the Americas are coming!

And please forgive the small English village of Bucklebury for its apprehension as Kate Middleton's hometown adjusts to the loss of anonymity, courtesy of the princess-to-be.

Starting Sunday, a U.K. company will be sending bus tours to Bucklebury, or "Kate Middleton Country," 55 miles west of London.

Tour operator Adrian Morton said he hopes visitors will flock to see the home of a likely future queen of England. What is more, he added, Americans will make up the bulk of his groups.

"I've been contacted by an American tour operator about possible tours," he told the Associated Press. "You can see the places where she went to school and where she was christened. And locals are interested, too."

The bus tours will begin on a small scale but will grow as the April 29 wedding nears. "There seems to be more interest in the States than in our own country," he said.

Prince William's future bride grew up in Bucklebury, in West Berkshire, where her family still live.

"It's just wonderful what's happened," Martin Fidler, who owns Bucklebury's Bladebone Butchery, told ABC News.

The village is quiet and quaint with a scattering of houses, a village green, one pub, a butcher shop and an interior design shop. The civil parish has a population of 2,066.

"People haven't come out here to visit," Fidler said. "Life just carries on as normal."

But when news broke that a local girl was to marry the second in line to the throne, things weren't so calm in Bucklebury.

"For two days we couldn't move; it was just jam-packed all the way up the avenue," Fidler said, adding that he lost business because his customers couldn't make their way through camera crews to get to his shop. "Where they [Middleton's parents] live, it was just swamped, absolutely swamped."

Tour buses are likely to mean good business for local pubs and shops but at noticeable inconvenience for the village.

"I'm probably going to make sure I'm not around on the wedding day," Stephanie Kennedy, 20, who grew up in Bucklebury and works at the Bladebone Inn, said.