Taylor Swift fever sweeps London, reaches royal family


LONDON — Pop superstar Taylor Swift snapped a selfie with William, Prince of Wales, and two of his children, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, as the singer kicked off concerts in the British capital as part of her record-shattering Eras Tour.

The photo, which showed Britain’s young royals beaming alongside Swift and their father, was taken on William’s 42nd birthday on Friday.

“Thank you @taylorswift for a great evening,” read a message posted to the official Instagram account of the prince and princess of Wales on Saturday. Swift wished the future king a happy birthday on X on Saturday.

“Happy Bday M8! London shows are off to a splendid start,” Swift tweeted along with a photo of her, the three royals and her partner, Travis Kelce.

The image swiftly sent fans and the British tabloids into a frenzy. “Royalty all around,” wrote the Daily Mail, as it appealed to readers to get in touch if they had spotted the heir to the British throne at Friday’s show.

Video footage shared to social media Saturday, appeared to show William dancing to the star’s hit song “Shake It Off,” much to the delight of fans who declared him “a Swiftie.”

British media reported that Catherine, Princess of Wales, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, remained at home with the couple’s youngest child, 6-year-old Prince Louis.

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The prince and Swift have known each other for more than 10 years, the BBC reported.

Swift mania swept the capital ahead of Swift’s London shows, running Friday through Sunday, as part of the star’s Eras Tour.

Steps at Wembley Stadium, where the star will perform again Saturday and Sunday, were painted with a Swift mural and temporarily renamed “Swiftie steps.” Almost 90,000 fans attended Swift’s first concert at Wembley on Friday.

On Friday, guards outside Buckingham Palace performed a version of her hit song “Shake It Off.” A video, titled “Changing of the Guard, (Taylor’s Version),” was shared to the royal family’s X account.

The city’s underground tube map also received a Swift-inspired makeover. The redesign took 11 of London’s tube lines and renamed them for Swift’s 11 studio albums, while the underground stations were named after songs by the star.

“With more nights here than any other city — London welcomes Taylor Swift & Swifties from around the world with celebrations across our capital including a special Tube map,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted.

Khan said Friday that visitors attending Swift’s London gigs are set to boost the capital’s economy by “an incredible” 300 million pounds ($379 million).

Swift has frequently made reference to London, its culture and its pubs through her lyrics and song titles. “They say home is where the heart is, but God, I love the English,” go the lyrics to her 2019 song “London Boy.”

This year, as part of her album “The Tortured Poets Department,” the star released a song titled “So Long, London,” placing it at No. 5on the song list. Swifties noticed. They’ve said that track fives released by the star tend to be the heaviest, most personal songs on her albums.

Another song, “The Black Dog,” which Swift performed in London on Friday, is believed to be a reference to a pub with the same name.

“And so I watch as you walk — into some bar called the Black Dog — and pierce new holes in my heart” go the lyrics to the song, which prompted fans to swarm the pub in south London earlier this year. Responding to the spike in interest, the venue offered Swift-themed burgers and cocktails.

It’s not just London that has a love story with Swift. Fans made headlines in Edinburgh last week, where seismologists picked up earthquake readings during three of Swift’s recent concerts in the Scottish capital. Swifties caused the most seismic activity as Swift performed “ … Ready for It?” — which produced as much power as 6,000 car batteries make, experts said.

Swift, who began the Eras Tour in March 2023, is due to return to London in August to play another five shows. So far, the star has sold out eight shows in the city.

After playing Europe, Swift will return to the United States and Canada. The last date set for the tour is Dec. 8 in Vancouver.



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