Taylor Swift poses with Prince William at 'splendid' London concert
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Taylor Swift poses with Prince William at 'splendid' London concert

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
A photo posted on Kensington Palace's X social media feed on Saturday with the caption "Thank you @taylorswift13 for a great evening!" (Photo: @KensingtonRoyal X account)
A photo posted on Kensington Palace's X social media feed on Saturday with the caption "Thank you @taylorswift13 for a great evening!" (Photo: @KensingtonRoyal X account)

LONDON: Britain's Prince William posed for a photo with US music star Taylor Swift and two of his children, Charlotte and George, at the first night of Swift's Eras tour in London on Friday.

A photo posted on Kensington Palace's X social media feed with the caption "Thank you @taylorswift13 for a great evening!" showed William smiling as Swift took a selfie with him and the children. William celebrated his 42nd birthday on Friday.

Swift also posted a different photo of her with the royals and her partner Travis Kelce with the message: "Happy Bday M8! London shows are off to a splendid start".

Swift is due to perform eight shows at London's Wembley stadium, with the first on Friday, attracting nearly 700,000 fans in total, the mayor's office said in a statement.

Aside from spending on tickets and travel, her fans, known as 'Swifties,' splash out on glittery outfits and accessories to depict different musical eras of the 34-year-old's discography.

Swift's billion-dollar tour has helped local economies since its US start last year, although economists are generally sceptical that concert tours or big sporting events give more than a small boost to a country's economy.

Transport for London published a special version of its distinctive London Underground map to mark the occasion.

"Taylor’s Version" of the map, a nod to her decision re-record some of her work after losing control of the master recordings, replaced names of train stops with her song titles, with "Westminster" renamed "Gorgeous" and "Piccadilly Circus" becoming "Wildest Dreams".

The star herself has spent time in the city in the past when she was dating British actor Joe Alwyn, even namechecking popular London spots in her music.

London's mayor Sadiq Khan posted a picture of himself on X, standing outside Wembley Stadium revealing a mural of Swift's face capturing the singer's blue eyes and signature red lips.

The royal family even got in on the act, releasing a video on social media of the traditional 'Changing of the Guard' ceremony at Buckingham Palace playing one of her songs with the caption: "Can't stop, won't stop groovin'".

Khan's office said Swift's concerts would generate £300 million (14 billion baht) for London's economy - an estimate based on average tourist spending, and one which assumed almost none of the concert-goers were from the capital.

However, this total overstates the boost that Swift's concerts provide to Britain's overall economy, as most fans would have spent the money on other goods and services - if not this month, then sooner or later. 

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