Cana­dian ex­pats in Lon­don cel­e­brate royal wed­ding

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - WORLD - BY CASSANDRA SZKLARSKI

Although Joanna New­man hasn’t lived in Canada for nearly 20 years, the English ex­pat says she’ll be celebrating Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wed­ding with home­grown pride.

“I’m se­cretly pleased that so many Toron­to­ni­ans kept the se­cret that they were dat­ing for ages, be­cause that’s just awe­some,” she says from her adopted home, a vil­lage near Stone­henge.

“My feel­ing is that it couldn’t have hap­pened in the (United) States, some­body would have papped them.”

New­man will be among the many Canuck trans­plants point­ing out Cana­dian trivia to U.K. friends and fam­ily who gather to watch the nup­tials on Satur­day.

Her plan is to get to­gether with sev­eral other Cana­dian ex­pats at an all-day cel­e­bra­tion at nearby Sal­is­bury Cathe­dral, about two hours by car from Lon­don and 90 min­utes from the wed­ding site at Wind­sor Cas­tle.

The for­mer Toron­to­nian says the lo­cal party, hosted by the BBC, is set to fea­ture live mu­sic per­for­mances, chil­dren’s crafts and a live broad­cast of the cer­e­mony on a big screen in the cathe­dral grounds.

It’s just one of sev­eral pub­lic events across the United King­dom that will her­ald the much­hyped union of the peo­ple’s prince and the for­mer Cal­i­for­nia ac­tress, who spent re­cent years in Toronto shoot­ing a seven-sea­son run on the T.V. se­ries “Suits.”

Pubs were ex­pected to be packed Satur­day but not just with royal watch­ers: also charg­ing street chat­ter Thurs­day was the up­com­ing FA Cup fi­nal fol­low­ing the wed­ding cer­e­mony Satur­day af­ter­noon, in which soc­cer fans will gather to watch Chelsea vs. Manch­ester United, tak­ing place at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium.

That game held far more ap­peal for for­mer On­tar­ian Wade McEl­wain, who’s been in Lon­don for 12 years.

He’s skip­ping the wed­ding broad­cast and was mak­ing plans Thurs­day to host a post­footie bar­be­cue with other Canuck ex­pats at his north Lon­don home.

Ottawa-born Judy Wil­liamson says the royal nup­tials of­fer a rare op­por­tu­nity for Bri­tish pa­tri­o­tism to un­furl un­abashed.

“It’s def­i­nitely one thing they do very, very well — that whole pomp and cer­e­mony. It was quite ex­cit­ing, def­i­nitely,” the 41-year-old says, re­call­ing “this out­pour­ing of colour.”

End­ing days of spec­u­la­tion, Meghan Markle said Thurs­day that her fa­ther will not be able to at­tend her wed­ding to Prince Harry due to health prob­lems. The news came as Bri­tish mil­i­tary per­son­nel re­hearsed for a gala pro­ces­sion through Wind­sor that will fol­low Satur­day’s cer­e­mony, which will be tele­vised live around the world.

“Sadly, my fa­ther will not be at­tend­ing our wed­ding,” Markle said in a state­ment re­leased by Kens­ing­ton Palace.

“I have al­ways cared for my fa­ther and hope he can be given the space he needs to fo­cus on his health.”

The palace has not re­vealed any de­tails about Thomas Markle’s health issues, but the celebrity web­site TMZ says the 73-year-old re­tired Hol­ly­wood cin­e­matog­ra­pher is hos­pi­tal­ized in Cal­i­for­nia af­ter un­der­go­ing a pro­ce­dure to clear blocked coro­nary ar­ter­ies.

He re­port­edly told the web­site he was OK af­ter three stents had been inserted, but needed to rest.

Thomas Markle had been sched­uled to walk his daugh­ter down the aisle when she weds her prince Satur­day in St. Ge­orge’s Chapel at Wind­sor Cas­tle.

It’s pos­si­ble that Do­ria Ragland, the bride’s mother, could fill that role in­stead. No re­place­ment has been of­fi­cially named.

Meghan Markle may also choose to walk down the aisle by her­self.

Harry and Markle, who had re­mained out of the pub­lic eye in re­cent days, were spot­ted be­ing driven onto the grounds of Wind­sor Cas­tle on Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Bri­tain’s Press As­so­ci­a­tion in­di­cated they are ex­pected to have tea with Queen El­iz­a­beth II and may be joined by Ragland.

No de­tails about the meet­ing were of­fi­cially re­leased.

AP PHOTO

A car­riage pro­ces­sion drives along The Long Walk dur­ing a re­hearsal for The Royal Wed­ding in Wind­sor, Eng­land, Thurs­day.

AP PHOTO

Claire Ptak, owner of Vi­o­let Bak­ery watched by head baker Izaak Adams adds the fin­ish­ing touches to one tier of the cake for the wed­ding of Bri­tain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in the kitchens at Buck­ing­ham Palace in Lon­don Thurs­day.

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