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Five Ways to Royally Celebrate the Royal Wedding
~ second in a three-part America’s Princess series
by Sonja Rouillard
author, Romance Readers Guide to Historic London
Even though the wedding is just two weeks away, it’s not too late to plan something fun so that you can feel part of this unique moment in history. It’s not every day a new princess is made and this time she’s one of ours!
The most obvious choice is holding a viewing party, but here’s the rub—the wedding takes place at 12:00 noon London time. For us Yanks, that’s 7 AM on the East Coast and 4 AM on the West Coast. Ouch! And you’ll want to start watching at least two hours earlier to see all those fancy people show up in their fancy garb. Coverage starts at 4:30 AM EST. Of course, you can always tape it and watch it the next day. So, the first thing you need to do is get together some friends and together decide whether to stay up all night or watch it taped the next day.
And, here are five ways you can celebrate along with the Royals:
Royal Pampering! ~ The American princess is going to be quaffed, gussied, and powdered (well not powdered—wrong century). But Meghan will want to look her best. Wouldn’t you, if 80 million people (via tv or streamed live) were going to be staring at you? Even though we’ll be celebrating in private, there’s no reason we shouldn’t also look our best. So, grab a couple besties and go out on Friday to get a mani-pedi or pick up a funny hat to wear. Burlington Coat Factory is great for that. For an inexpensive tiara, a certain big box store (starts with a w), carries them for about $10 and they’re pretty. This gorgeous tiara belonged to eldest daughter of King Louis XVI, Marie-Thérèse, (circa 1819).
Viewing Parties ~ Celebration activity number one, pampering—done. On to number two—how to watch the wedding in style?
Host an Afternoon Tea but in the middle of the night! There are tons of ideas online, but don’t forget to offer a prize for the best fascinator. Fancy it up with a request for Sunday-best attire and top hats, and invite your friends with beautiful wedding-style invitations.
Or try a Cream Tea or High Tea. Since it’s the middle of the night, offer lighter fare with a Cream Tea (doesn’t mean cream in the drink, but rather just scones and desserts) or go for a full, beefy meal with a High Tea (which refers to the height of the table, not the royal-ness of the event).
Or offer a traditional English Breakfast, especially apropos for the US east coast.
Next Day Parties yield lots of flexibility. You can do an Afternoon Tea that’s actually in the afternoon, a black-tie evening reception, or even just a pizza party (try making individual pizzas in the shape of crown).
A Princess Bachelorette Party would be perfect if there’s a friend getting married in the near future. You can do it as a RW watch party and or just go with the American Princess theme and give all the attendees a tiara (although in the UK, traditionally only married ladies can wear one).
Royally Romantic Night ~ You can make this an uberly romantic celebration with your special someone. Go to bed early, get up in the middle the night, and just lay in bed together watching the wedding. Do it up right and have your favorite fancy treats and champagne or, better yet, stay overnight in a nice hotel with a beautiful city or water view and watch from there. Why not? Usually, we waste our nice hotel stays…sleeping. We can do that back in our humdrum bedroom the next day.
Royal Fundraiser ~ Says Kensington Palace, the couple is “incredibly grateful for the goodwill shown to them since the announcement of their engagement and are keen that as many people as possible benefit from this generosity of spirit.” Prince Harry and future Princess Meghan have politely requested that well-wishers wanting to offer gifts, make a donation to one of their seven charities, which range from the Children’s HIV Association to one that empowers women in Mumbai’s slums. You can make donating a part of any event you host or do a bake-sale or other activity to raise monies. See the full charity list here. When Kate and Wills married they did the same thing and $1.7 million was raised for charity.
Hotel and Restaurant Parties ~ From pubs to fancy hotels, there are ready-made parties around the world where you can celebrate with other royal wedding fans. Here’s just a few:
London’s exclusive Devonshire Club is allowing non-members to attend their Afternoon Tea complete with a mini Royal Wedding Cake (£32).
Boston’s Fairmont Copley offers an RW Viewing Party ($75-$750).
In Chicago check out this RW Reception at The Drake Hotel, featuring the “Queen of Cabaret” singer Denise Tomasello and her 17-piece orchestra.
Or near Atlanta in Marietta, the British-American Business Council is holding a fancy-dress Indian Hills Country Club RW Watch Party ($55 members; $65 non-members).
In San Francisco, check out this fancy rebroadcast party by Crown & Crumpet at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel ($95-125pp)—fancy dress and fascinators encouraged!
Live in Meghan’s old stomping ground in LA? You can go to a Royal Slumber Party at the Cat and Fiddle pub ($25pp). I bet just about every British Pub in the U.S. will be open for business, so you might find the perfect party in your neck of the woods.
And, lastly, my favorite (admittedly self-serving) suggestion for celebrating is to join our Royal Wedding Facebook Hop and celebrate along with 25 best-selling historical romance authors who’ll be giving away prizes all weekend. There will even be live posts from Windsor Castle the week before, author-made insider videos of the castle and the church, and live author chats during the wedding.
Whatever you choose, it’s going to be a fun weekend. And, if you want to know more about the places that are important to Meghan and Harry, such as Kensington Palace or Windsor Castle, consider getting yourself a copy of my Romance Readers Guide to Historic London, and you can read my previous article, American Royalty — 5 Americans Who’ve Married Up for more information on Meghan and Harry’s relationship.
Photos in the public domain. Painting by Thomas Sutherland, 1819.
©2018 Sonja Rouillard. All rights reserved.Romance Readers Guides, Inc., P.O. Box 564, Alviso, CA 95002e-mail: Info@RomanceReadersGuides.com