Py­jama party for late-night nup­tials

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - PAULA HULBURT

The bunting will be hung with pride, flags will be waved and cream teas im­bibed as royal wedding fans get set to cel­e­brate in style in Marl­bor­ough.

Prince Harry and fi­ancee Meghan Markle will tie the knot to­day as roy­al­ists across the world get ready to watch the pair say ‘‘I do.’’

And res­i­dents at a Blen­heim rest home are more ex­cited than most as they pre­pare to mark the pres­ti­gious oc­ca­sion in their py­ja­mas.

Ash­wood Park Re­tire­ment Vil­lage will hold a spe­cial py­jama party al­low­ing res­i­dents to mark the his­toric mo­ment in style, but also be ready for bed should tired­ness take over.

Ac­tiv­i­ties co-or­di­na­tor Sharon Ea­land says there are a num­ber of Bri­tish res­i­dents at Ash­wood Park, es­pe­cially among the women, who are par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to watch­ing the oc­ca­sion un­fold.

‘‘They have been very ex­cited as many are very pa­tri­otic and love the royal fam­ily.

‘‘The pomp and cer­e­mony of the oc­ca­sion is im­por­tant to them so we thought we’d mark it. There will be spe­cial food and wine and prob­a­bly scones,’’ she says.

‘‘It’s brought back a lot of mem­o­ries of when Queen El­iz­a­beth got mar­ried and her coro­na­tion. There’s been a lot of rem­i­nisc­ing go­ing on; it’s re­ally trans­ported some res­i­dents back in time,’’ she says.

Prince Harry and ac­tress Meghan Markle an­nounced their en­gage­ment on Novem­ber 29 last year, spark­ing wedding fever among fans. The cou­ple will get mar­ried at St Ge­orge’s Chapel in the grounds of Wind­sor Cas­tle with around 800 guests.

The ser­vice, con­ducted by the Dean of Wind­sor, The Rt Revd David Con­ner, will be­gin at 11pm New Zealand time.

Ea­land says she in­tends to wear her py­ja­mas too for the wedding which, she says, con­tin­ues to be a hot topic of con­ver­sa­tion.

‘‘All the con­tro­versy over her dad has got them talk­ing. Will he show up? Will Prince William walk her down the aisle? There’s been lots to talk about,’’ she says.

New Zealand has gifted $5000 on the cou­ple’s be­half to NZ char­ity Pil­lars, which helps sup­port chil­dren of pris­on­ers, as a wedding gift.

The royal cou­ple an­nounced they wanted peo­ple to give to char­ity rather than send them any presents in per­son.

But it is not the presents the res­i­dents of the rest home wing are in­ter­ested in, they are more ex­cited about the dressses Markle and Queen El­iz­a­beth will wear for the big day.

‘‘She’s been part of their lives for a long time,’’ says Ea­land.

Joan Tin­kler, left, and and May Har­ris will cel­e­brate the royal wedding at Ash­wood Park Re­tire­ment Vil­lage.

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