Royal Roundup: Couple Reportedly Settles on Corfu for Honeymoon

The Daily Star claims Kate and William will spend their honeymoon on Corfu. Despite the paper’s initial description of the Greek island as “boozy” and “sex-filled,” Corfu also “oozes elegance and culture.” A “wedding source” said, “Prince William and Kate have hired a private villa in Corfu with a secluded, private beach. Their plan is to be as unnoticed as possible. They have chosen a secluded spot which can only be reached by boat or helicopter.” William’s grandfather, Prince Philip, was born on the island and the late Princess Margaret, the Queen’s younger sister, was also a frequent visitor.

In other royal-related news:

• April 29 will be a banner day for fans of live television news, with coverage of both the royal wedding and the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour. The wedding ceremony is set to begin at 11 am London time (6 am EST). The wedding festivities, including the kiss on the Buckingham Palace balcony, should be concluded by 2 pm London time (9 am EST). Add another hour to grab some food and toast the newlyweds. That leaves plenty of time to nap — or heaven forfend — do some work before the shuttle launch at 3:47 pm EST. The launch will also be filled with history and romance. It’s the last flight of the shuttle Endeavour and the penultimate flight of the entire program. The Endeavor’s commander is Capt. Mark Kelly, whose wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, survived an assassination attempt in early January and who may attend the launch. “Tell the royal family that in honor of the wedding, we’re lighting a giant Roman candle for them,” quipped NASA spokesman Kyle Herring to ABCNews.com.

• Incidentally, there’s plenty of room for Capt. Kelly to park his craft inside Westminster Abbey. The Abbey’s nave is  155 feet (L) x 74 feet (W) x 101 feet (H). By contrast, the shuttle is 122 feet (L) x 24 feet (W) x 57 feet (H). No word on whether Capt. Kelly and his crew plan to show.

• The Berkshire home Kate lived in until she was about 13 years old is up for sale, BBC News reports. The four-bedroom Victorian house is where Carole and Michael Middleton founded Party Pieces, the online party accessories firm that built the family’s fortune. The Middletons moved out of the house in 1995. The unidentified current owner is auctioning the house in June. The guide price is £495,000 ($803,500), although Bloomberg reports it could fetch as much as £550,000 ($893,000).

• Relations between the Catholic Church and the British monarchy have not exactly been smooth for nearly 480 years. In fact, because of the 1701 Act of Settlement, no Roman Catholic, or anyone married to a Roman Catholic, can hold the British crown. Nonetheless, England’s Catholic Church has issued a prayer for Kate and William, The Mirror reports. The prayer reads, “Heavenly Father, we ask your blessing upon his Royal Highness, Prince William and Catherine as they pledge their love for each other in marriage. May your love unite them through their lives. Grant them the strength to serve you, our country and the Commonwealth with integrity and faithfulness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

• For those who must have clothes identical to the ones Kate wears, the silk cream ruffled blouse she donned for her official engagement portrait is now for sale, StyleBistro.com reports. In a move that won plaudits for her thrift, Kate pulled the frill-fronted top from her closet, instead of buying something new for the occasion. This presented a dilemma for Whistles, the blouse’s retailer. The shirt was from their 2008 collection and was out of stock. Whistles is now selling the “Kate blouse” online for £125 ($203). The fact that the shirt’s price is 40 percent higher than it was three years ago is no doubt merely coincidental, and surely has absolutely nothing to do with its new-found fame.

• There’s nothing like some gin punch at about 9 am (EST).  Beefeater gin “mixologist” Dan Warner told People magazine he’s devised a special cocktail for Kate and William. For those who don’t mind gin well before noon, here’s the recipe. (Note: One suspects that any brand of gin can be used without spontaneous combustion.)

- 2 parts Beefeater London Dry Gin
- 1 part Dubonnet (This is a nod to Queen Elizabeth, who “was known to enjoy gin and Dubonnet as an aperitif,” notes Warner)
- 1 part pomegranate juice (“It represents marriage.”)
- 2 parts fresh lemonade (American style)
- Angostura bitters to taste

Serve in a large punch bowl (or a large, deep casserole dish) and garnish with wheels of lemon and lime, mint sprigs and pomegranate seeds. Chill the punch with lots of regular ice cubes or make your own fruit ice cubes by freezing orange and lemon slices with water in a plastic container (ice cream tub or similar).

Blogging in The Village Voice, Rosie Gray responded to Warner’s formula: “Sounds complex. Who has a punch bowl? Who makes their own fruit ice cubes? What is a Dubonnet? Here’s my take on the royal cocktail:

- A bunch of gin
- Some tonic
- A lime wedge, if you have it around

It’s called a gin and tonic.”