The store chain Woolworth's announcement of plans a few weeks ago to launch a Prince William and his girl-friend Kate Middleton wedding souvenir range of mugs, plates and towels with prices ranging from 49 p to £40 seems to have been somewhat of a curtain-raiser.
Rumours have gathered momentum that Prince William and Kate are to become engaged at Sandringham over Christmas. " A Christmas engagement … is the talk of the royal household," a source said.
A public announcement of their engagement will be made a few months later. William's father Charles too had made a private agreement with Camilla to announce their engagement near Christmas. William is apparently to follow his footsteps and make the private agreement which will be known only to the Royals.
The wedding of the future king will in all likelihood take place next summer. A royal correspondent when asked by HT said he did not want to be named, as yet, but "you take it from me that Kate is going to be the future Queen". She is most natural when conversing with the Queen and that is something very refreshing for the monarch. Also Kate has not taken up any career which too indicates that the wedding with William is on the cards.
Lending support to rumours is the fact that the Queen has been spending time meeting with Kate. The two were recently closeted together in the Queen's private apartments at Windsor castle, as if they had settled down for good old catch-up, said royal sleuths.
There are many more signs. The Queen has broken with convention to invite Kate to stay at Sandringham for the Christmas festivities. It is the first time an unmarried partner of a Royal has received such an invitation - emphasising the seriousness of her relationship with William.
To cap this all William and Kate, wreathed with broad grins were seen emerging from a Mayfair nightclub on Thursday. Jurnos said the couple could scarcely have looked happier.
The two couples spent several hours in the club before heading home at 2am, smiling for photographers as they left.
Will Tony Blair hold on until the summer to attend the royal wedding as prime minister? Another round of speculation, discomfiting for Gordon Brown, is on.