Royal Wedding ignites Victoria’s spirit

Jenni Hopkyns and Vivienne Phillips found it was just as easy deciding what to wear to the royal wedding as it was deciding to go to the event.

They’ll be decked out in red and white top hats and shirts, complete with temporary maple leaf tattoos on their cheeks, and will be proudly waving Canada flags among the thousands of people lining London streets from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

“Jenni is the queen of dresser-uppers. She’s always dressing up and having fun,” laughed Phillips, a Victoria resident.

“You know when you go to Las Vegas, what goes on there stays there. Well, we can get away with it in London because we don’t know anybody.”

The two friends are originally from the United Kingdom – Hopkyns was born in England and Phillips is from South Wales – and decided their vacation abroad should coincide with the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

“We think somebody should represent Canada,” said Hopkyns, an Oak Bay resident, noting that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen, while invited, can’t attend due to the election.

“So we’re taking one for the team.”

The women plan to get as close as possible to either Westminster Abbey, where the wedding takes place on Friday, or Buckingham Palace.

“I can’t imagine being in that crowd,” Phillips said excitedly. “But I think when you’re in it, it’s such a positive, vibrant experience you get caught up in it.”

Middleton will be driven in a Rolls Royce from the palace to the abbey for her wedding, and afterward, the newly married couple will return to the palace via carriage. In keeping with tradition, William and Kate will greet the crowd from the palace balcony.

“In this climate, I think people need a princess,” said Hopkyns. “It’s a feel-good story.”

emccracken@vicnews.com

Royal watchers set alarm clocks early

Alarm clocks in homes around Victoria will be going off in the wee morning hours on Friday (April 29) as residents rise to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton say ‘I do’ on television at 3 a.m. B.C. time.

For those who enjoy a good night’s sleep, TV reruns of the nuptials will have to do, but more than 360 people, many in their pyjamas, will watch the celebration unfold live on TV during the Fairmont Empress’s sold out Rise & Shine with the Royals breakfast.

The public is also invited to wear their best hats, spread out a blanket on the hotel’s front lawns and enjoy tea to go on Friday from noon to 4 p.m. The event includes a best-dressed dog competition, beginning around 12:30 p.m, and a Queen Elizabeth II impersonator will arrive around 1:30 p.m.

Nearby the bells will ring out from the 62-bell Netherlands Centennial Carillon tower, beginning at noon on Friday. Provincial carillonneur Rosemary Laing will perform a half-hour recital of traditional English hymns.

St. Mark’s Traditional Anglican Church is hosting a by-donation royal wedding lawn party for Fernwood residents on Friday.

A prayer service for the royal bride and groom starts at 11:30 a.m., followed by a tea at noon. The church is at 1620 Fernwood Rd. To reserve a place, please call 250-383-8562.