Thunderous threat to royal wedding
The royal wedding could be hit by rumblings of thunder, forecasters have warned.
A day after weather experts highlighted the risk of heavy rain falling on Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day, current predictions show thunder and brisk north-easterly winds could be added to the mix across southern Britain.
Plans are in place to ensure Friday's event goes without a hitch, whatever the weather, and the couple will leave Westminster Abbey in a Glass Coach, rather than the open-top 1902 State Landau, if the heavens open.
Aisling Creevey, a forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It is looking at the moment that there are going to be quite brisk north-easterly winds, showers and possibly a few rumblings of thunder - that's sneaking into the charts at the moment.
"We wouldn't rule out the odd lightning strike as well. At the moment we're waiting to see how much sunshine is going to come off that day. If there's more sunshine there's more of a risk of heavier showers."
Although temperatures are likely to be around 18 degrees Celsius, higher than average for April, the north-easterly winds mean a chill in the air, she added. The outlook may change as the day approaches, however.
Meanwhile, one of the most seasoned royal fans in Britain has staked out his place in front of the Abbey for the wedding.
John Loughrey, 56, from Wandsworth, south west London, was the first to arrive on Monday night with only a sleeping bag and two carrier bags at the start of a week-long vigil to ensure a prime position for the event. He was dressed in a Kate and William T-shirt, emblazoned with the words "Diana Would Be Proud" with the images of Kate and William tied round his waist and a Union Flag hat.
"I have always been loyal to the Royal Family," he said. "I think they are good for Britain and good for tourism. We have had them for more than 1,000 years and they make a great contribution to the life of this country."
Mr Loughrey said he had attended every hearing of the inquest into the death of Diana, camping for three days outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London. He became so well-known at the inquest - with "Diana" and later "Dodi" painted on his face - that he was even given a special mention by the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker.