Watch­ing royal wed­ding in style

Cana­di­ans will wake early for royal wed­ding par­ties

The Hamilton Spectator - - Canada & World - DIRK MEISS­NER

BRENT­WOOD BAY, B.C. — Donna Otto hasn’t de­cided on wear­ing a fas­ci­na­tor or a new hat on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wed­ding day, but she knows where she’ll be at 4 a.m. on Satur­day when the royal cou­ple say their ‘I dos.’

Otto, like most Cana­di­ans, is thou­sands of kilo­me­tres and many time zones away from the cer­e­mony at St. Ge­orge’s Chapel at Wind­sor Cas­tle, but she says she’ll be up early in Vic­to­ria to toast the new­ly­weds.

The­atres, cathe­drals, li­braries, ho­tels and ban­quet halls across Canada are booked for morn­ing wed­ding cel­e­bra­tion par­ties, with the hearty souls on the West Coast rising be­fore dawn for the noon-hour cer­e­mony in Great Bri­tain.

“I’m go­ing to en­joy ev­ery bit of it,” says Otto, a mem­ber of the Royal Com­mon­wealth So­ci­ety’s Van­cou­ver Is­land branch. “Em­brace it. My dress is a work in progress. I’m sure I’ll have ei­ther a fas­ci­na­tor or I’m se­ri­ously think­ing of get­ting a brand new hat.”

Guests are in­vited to ar­rive at 3 a.m. They should be dressed in ap­pro­pri­ate wed­ding at­tire, where they’ll watch a live tele­vi­sion broad­cast of the wed­ding.

“I call it fun, friv­o­lous and fool­ish,” says Otto. “Why not? Some­times life is too se­ri­ous and we just need to ... in­ter­ject some­thing that’s re­ally fun to do. It’s an op­por­tu­nity to fo­cus on some­thing very pos­i­tive and that part of it is won­der­ful be­cause there is such neg­a­tive news in the world all the time.”

Wendy Hart says she’s ex­cited

about the wed­ding, but stag­ing a view­ing party at 6 a.m. in Winnipeg wasn’t gen­er­at­ing much buzz.

In­stead, the Man­i­toba wings of the Monar­chist League, United Em­pire Loy­al­ists and Royal Com­mon­wealth So­ci­ety will gather at noon Cen­tral time for a cham­pagne lun­cheon to view the wed­ding on tape de­lay at the castle­like Univer­sity of Winnipeg Club, she says.

“Peo­ple were not that keen to get up that early in the morn­ing,” says Hart. “It’s go­ing to be so pleas­ant to watch it at a rea­son­able time of day.”

She says Prince Harry and Meghan have cap­ti­vated mil­lions around the world with their love story and the bonds they cre­ated.

“It’s not just a royal wed­ding,” Hart says. “It’s a union in­volv­ing North Amer­ica and the United King­dom. We’re cross­ing the

ocean on this one.”

In Toronto, where Harry and Meghan’s ro­mance blos­somed, a 7 a.m. view­ing party is be­ing held at the Duke of Corn­wall pub, which has room for about 160 peo­ple.

Par­tic­i­pants will watch the cer­e­mony on tele­vi­sion, feast on English-style break­fasts and par­tic­i­pate in a royal trivia quiz.

U.K. ex­pat Paulo An­tunes, who op­er­ates the Toronto on­line site Typ­i­cally Bri­tish, says he ex­pects long­time royal en­thu­si­asts and younger Harry and Meghan fans to gather for the cel­e­bra­tion.

“Our event is a mixed bag,” he says. “We’re get­ting older peo­ple who have been fol­low­ing all the ma­jor royal events for years and there’s these young peo­ple who are ex­cited for Harry and they’re ex­cited for Meghan who lived 20 min­utes down the street.”

Markle resided in Toronto for

sev­eral years while film­ing the tele­vi­sion se­ries “Suits.”

An­tunes says the pub will serve royal-flavoured non-al­co­holic drinks, in­clud­ing Gin­ger and Tonic, Long Is­land High Tea, Harry Wall­banger and Bloody Meghan.

David Spence, a re­tired United Church min­is­ter, says he’s go­ing to be wear­ing his McDuff tar­tan kilt to the break­fast wed­ding cer­e­mony at Vic­to­ria’s Union Club.

Spence, who per­formed the wed­ding cer­e­mony for Par­a­lympian and ac­tivist Rick Hansen and Amanda Reid, says he’s be­come en­am­oured with Harry and Meghan and what they rep­re­sent to the world.

“Peo­ple are in­fat­u­ated with a young cou­ple who re­flects the di­ver­sity of what the mod­ern Com­mon­wealth is all about,” says Spence.

JACK TAY­LOR GETTY IMAGES

Po­lice of­fi­cers pa­trol ahead of a dress re­hearsal of the wed­ding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle out­side Wind­sor Cas­tle.

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