Royal wedding watch: Jelly beans, rings and German cars

  • 17 April 2011
  • From the section Magazine

With the big day nearing for Prince William and Kate Middleton, the internet is abuzz with royal wedding stories. As a confessed wedding obsessive, I'll be keeping up with what's being talked about. This week's round-up includes Kate's face in an unlikely place, an engagement ring that doesn't quite fit, and the royal family's fondness for German cars.

With only two weeks until the couple says "I will", the royal wedding craze has reached an unprecedented level of hysteria.

Kate Middleton joins the ranks of Elvis Presley and the Virgin Mary - a silhouette of her face has been spotted in the most unlikely place, says the Daily Telegraph.

"An image of Catherine Middleton has been found on a jelly bean in Taunton. It is mango-flavoured. The law in this matter is that only the most famous are seen. So, in this jelly-bean moment, Prince William's fiancée has reached a new level of fame."

And so have "jelly bean-watchers" Wesley Hosie and Jessica White, who plan to sell their rare find on eBay for £500. Hosie describes the moment of discovery to the Telegraph:

"She [Kate Middleton] was literally lying there staring back at me."

The bride-to-be has also been to the jewellers to get her iconic engagement ring resized, says the Sun.

"Willowy Kate is having the ring made smaller because she is terrified it will fall off as she marries William. Kate, who seems to be slimming for her big day, has reluctantly accepted the dazzling sapphire and diamond band is too big for her size H finger.

"She has asked Crown jewellers G Collins and Sons to attach two tiny platinum beads, dubbed 'speed bumps', to the inside of the bottom of the ring. That will make it a size I, one notch up from Kate's finger width to ensure it remains comfortable."

Could it be just as comfortable as the future princess's silver Audi A3?

The Times speculates that Audi's head of public relations Jon Zammet has received an invitation to the nuptials because "the entire royal family appears to be obsessed by the purveyors of Vorsprung Durch Technik [Audi]". It's a preference that, like a sapphire ring encircled with diamonds, dates back to the days of Diana.

"Since 1994, when Princess Diana first ran around Chelsea in a turquoise Audi cabriolet, the German car company has become a favourite of the British establishment."

As well as Kate's Audi, the Prince of Wales owns a flotilla of the luxury German cars. Prince Harry has one. So does Prince William. Even the Queen owns one.

"The Royal Family is understood to benefit from a favourable VIP leasing arrangement that, according to some, could give them as much as 60% discount. Perhaps it is because Audi has spent tens of thousands of pounds getting close to the Royals. The company makes 'considerable donations' to the Princes' charitable foundations, including hosting the annual Audi Polo Challenge, the proceeds of which go to charities chosen by Prince William."

But the cars are not freebies - that would be too sensitive, marketing experts tell the Times.

"A Clarence House source said that 'of course' Charles paid for their cars, but would not discuss the terms."

Prince Charles does, of course, own two Jaguars used for state occasions. One of which will ferry Kate Middleton to Westminster Abbey in just two short weeks. Can't. Wait.