Stags and screens: Bri­tain braced for wedding rev­elry

China Daily - - WORLD -

LON­DON — Street par­ties, open-air screen­ings and hip­ster bars are all of­fer­ing Bri­tons a chance to join in cel­e­bra­tions of the Wind­sor Cas­tle wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Satur­day.

Here are five ways Bri­tons are cel­e­brat­ing — or be­moan­ing — the royal nup­tials:

Hen and stag

A pre-wedding night out — known as a stag-do for the groom and a hen night for the bride — is a well-ob­served tra­di­tion in Bri­tain, re­gard­less of your no­bil­ity.

So while Harry cel­e­brates with his brother and best man Prince William at a five-star ho­tel near Wind­sor, and brideto-be Markle en­joys the com­forts of a nearby coun­try es­tate with her mother, Lon­don nightspots are en­cour­ag­ing par­ty­ing in their honor.

In Shored­itch, a venue housed in a pop-up mall of ship­ping con­tain­ers will stage its own ver­sion of Harry’s stagdo. It will fea­ture royal wedding DJ hope­ful Je­vanni, who slipped the prince his busi­ness card dur­ing the cou­ple’s visit to a ra­dio sta­tion in Brix­ton, south Lon­don.

Street par­ties

Eng­land and Wales have a proud his­tory of stag­ing street par­ties, which started as “peace teas” fol­low­ing World War I as a treat for chil­dren in days of hard­ship, and have evolved into a tra­di­tion on na­tional days of celebration.

Hot spots in­clude Rich­mond in south­west Lon­don, which is host­ing 93 par­ties over the wedding week­end.

Scots ap­pear less en­thused by the oc­ca­sion, with just one re­ported street party tak­ing place, in the town of El­gin in the north­east.

Boozy day

Al­co­hol and Bri­tish royal wed­dings ap­pear to go handin-hand, and this year — which co­in­cides with Eng­land’s FA Cup soc­cer fi­nal — will likely be no ex­cep­tion.

In a bid to gen­er­ate some en­thu­si­asm for, and eco­nomic ben­e­fit from, the big day the gov­ern­ment ex­tended pub open­ing hours, with the in­dus­try set for a 10 mil­lion pound ($13.5 mil­lion) boost.

Gi­ant screens

Or­ga­niz­ers are stag­ing view­ing ar­eas along the pro­ces­sion route in Wind­sor and else­where in the town, while churches and other groups are also plan­ning to screen the nup­tials in var­i­ous vil­lages, towns and cities.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple are ex­pected in Kens­ing­ton Gar­dens, just next to where the cou­ple will live in Kens­ing­ton Palace, at an open-air screen­ing.

Repub­li­can con­ven­tion?

For those who find the royal wedding does not sit well with their pol­i­tics, anti-monar­chy cam­paign group Repub­lic are hold­ing their an­nual con­ven­tion — an al­liance of Euro­pean repub­li­can move­ments — on Satur­day in Lon­don’s fi­nan­cial district.

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