As William and Kate’s big day approaches, we decided to celebrate by taking a slightly different perspective on some of the sites they’ll pass during their horse-drawn trip from the Abbey to the Palace.
Pigeons love medieval churches, particularly the soaring cathedrals with their towers and spires, wide ledges and cosy crevices. However, the birds aren’t particularly welcome on ecclesiastical property, either inside or out, despite making a number of appearances in the Bible.
In the thousand years since Westminster’s construction, pigeons have faced an increasing range of deterrents including rows of anti-roosting spikes, acres of netting, and a variety of Bird Scarers.
Whilst weddings are traditionally accompanied by symbols of good luck, measures will be taken to ensure that pigeons won’t be able to deposit their own sign of best wishes on the bride and groom.
Larry might be the latest and Humphrey the most well-known, but they’re simply some of the latest in a distinguished line of cats appointed as government pest controllers. The first Treasury mouser documented in history was owned by Cardinal Wolsey, who kept it by his side as Lord Chancellor, during the reign of Henry VIII.
As the wedding procession passes the focal point of national remembrance for fallen British servicemen, it’s good to recall that not all pigeons are thought of as pests. In fact, over 30 have been awarded the Dickin Medal for displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in support of military forces.
Horse Guards Parade
This royal parade ground is no stranger to spectator events, hosting the Trouping of the Colour, displays in honour of the Queen’s birthday and, in 2012, it’ll be transformed into an Olympic volley ball arena. But according to Westminster City Council pest control experts, the number of rats watching events is down on previous years.
Steve Harrison, Westminster’s director of premises management, recently said: “We pride ourselves on acting quickly and will continue our work to limit the number of rats and other vermin in the city.”
Tight security at the royal residence hasn’t kept uninvited guests out of the royal kitchens. With pantries and larders groaning under enough goodies to serve up to 600 people at one sitting, it’s no surprise that rats and mice want a slice of Windsor pudding, pie, cake or even just a plain cracker.
A royal Rodent Problem occurred as recently as October last year. However, the only teeth nibbling at the delicacies of William and Kate’s wedding breakfast will be those of their chosen guests.
The rest of us will have to make do with street party fare, bank holiday barbecues or whatever else comes our way.
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