London: Indian-origin couple, who run a shop in Kate Middleton’s village Bucklebury, are on the guest list for the royal wedding.
As the bride makes the transition from the Village of Bucklebury to the Buckingham Palace, she has extended the invite to the couple.

Hash and Chan Shingadia, who run the Spar franchise store in Bucklebury, know Kate since she was a child.

The couple are among the village commoners invited to the wedding, including the village postman, butcher and the pub landlord.

Pepped up for the event, Chan says she traveled to Rajkot to buy the sari she will wear at the wedding. Hash will wear a morning suit on the occasion.

Born in India, the couple say Kate "pops in two or three times a week" when she is in Bucklebury, sometimes accompanied by Prince William.

They are familiar with the tastes and choices of their royal customers.

42-year-old Chan Shingadia said, "We've really got to know Kate. She is really caring. She is like a human being, not a celebrity, and she is always a good customer. William is very down to earth."

Martin Fidler, the butcher, and his wife Sue have also known Kate since she was a child. Whenever Kate passes by his shop, Martin said she always puts her hand up and waves.

He added, "We're really looking forward to the day. We've known Kate's mother Carole for years, before she met Kate's father Mike. They've got on with their lives, built up a good business and all their children are a credit to them."

Ryan Naylor, the village postman, is also on the guest list, along with John Haley, landlord of the Old Boot Inn where the couple sometimes enjoy a quiet drink.

For the 1500 villagers who have not been invited, there will be a big party in the village with a huge wedding cake. In the Bucklebury parish church, a special 4-hour peal has been composed that will be run by a specially selected group of bell ringers.

Bucklebury has been catapulted to fame as journalists from all over the world make a beeline to report from the village from where the next royal member hails.

Such is the interest among journalists and tourists that local entrepreneurs have already started 'Kate Middleton Country Tour.'

The tour includes the local parish where Kate was baptised, the Church of England school she went to and the Old Boot Inn pub, where royal courtship took place over a pint.

The pub is now increasingly filled with journalists swooping on the village.

However, not every resident of Bucklebury is enjoying the media attention. Some are already looking forward to Saturday when calm will return to the sylvan countryside village after the royal wedding.

(Agencies)