Fas­ci­na­tors, PJS and high tea

Fans across the world gear up for Meghan and Harry’s big day

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - Entertainment -

Royal watch­ers around the globe are fas­ci­na­tor-ready to watch the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

He’s the spare to the heir, soon to be sixth in line for the throne, but Harry is for­ever the peo­ple’s prince to many in­side and out­side the Com­mon­wealth who once won­dered whether the bad boy of Wind­sor would ever tie the knot.

She, of TV Suits fame, has whipped up some big fan buzz, in­clud­ing those thrilled by her mixed race her­itage.

Their “woke” wed­ding (the Spice Girls are ex­pected) is May 19 at mid­day, Wind­sor Cas­tle time, or about 4 a.m. PT. View­ing party plans are in the works, as are pricey ho­tel pack­ages and bar meet-ups. The fren­zied have their own Face­book groups and some have ca­joled less-en­thused spouses to jet across the pond and watch the pomp in per­son from a spot on the car­riage route.

Julie Brill­hart, a hard­core royal en­thu­si­ast in Hur­ri­cane, W.VA. said she fired up her Harry and Meghan Face­book page to con­nect fans with par­ties back in Novem­ber. She and her twin sis­ter now have nearly 5,000 mem­bers.

“We are in love with Meghan Markle,’’ said Brill­hart, a former ca­reer lo­gis­tics spe­cial­ist in the Army. “For ev­ery lit­tle black girl who has ever wanted her very own princess who is a well-known, mod­ern princess, they now have one. Isn’t that won­der­ful? She will al­ways be our Amer­i­can princess.”

The group’s mem­bers share wed­ding up­dates and plans for gath­er­ings, and they live in 91 coun­tries on six of the seven con­ti­nents.

“We’re ac­tively look­ing for con­tacts in Antarc­tica,’’ Brill­hart said. “They had their own Women’s March so we thought wouldn’t it be great for them to have their own lit­tle get-to­gether for the wed­ding.”

Royal me­dia com­men­ta­tor Eloise Parker in New York said much of the U.S. hype is due to Markle’s sta­tus not only as an Amer­i­can but a di­vorced one.

As for Harry, Parker said, he likely will never be king but, “peo­ple have a soft spot for him as the royal bad boy.”

For 31-year-old Esha Dev, who is In­dian-amer­i­can, the fact that Markle is a fel­low woman of colour of­fers an added con­nec­tion. “There’s def­i­nitely that, see­ing that rep­re­sen­ta­tion join the royal fam­ily,’’ she said.

Dev will host a view­ing party, with mi­mosas, English tea and pas­tries. It will be come as you are, fas­ci­na­tors pro­vided.

“The Wil­liam and Kate wed­ding didn’t seem like such a big deal to me but this one has re­ally stirred me up.” she said.

Kristin Con­tino in Philadel­phia

will be mark­ing the oc­ca­sion in Wind­sor, fly­ing in for the wed­ding with her hus­band in tow.

“I grew up lov­ing the royal fam­ily,” she said. “I missed go­ing over for Wil­liam and Kate’s wed­ding so my hus­band said if Harry ever gets mar­ried we’ll go. He hon­estly thought Harry would never get mar­ried.’’

Gos­sip colum­nist Rob Shuter, a Brit, royal wed­ding pod­caster and former ex­ec­u­tive edi­tor of OK! Mag­a­zine, said, “I think this wed­ding is go­ing to be a way for all of us to es­cape .... Who doesn’t need that right now?”

(She’s) kind of all of us and we could use a good news story right now.

AP file

The royal nuptials will take place on May 19 at wind­sor Cas­tle, and fans are al­ready plan­ning their view­ing par­ties.

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