Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Nationalist neighbours in west Belfast get royal wedding party invitation

Contestants take part in a Prince William and Kate Middleton lookalike competition, organised by the airline easyJet in London
Contestants take part in a Prince William and Kate Middleton lookalike competition, organised by the airline easyJet in London
LONDON - JUNE 27: Kate Middleton attends the 46664 Concert In Celebration Of Nelson Mandela's Life held at Hyde Park on June 27, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 27: Kate Middleton (R) and guest attend during the 46664 concert in celebration of Nelson Mandela's life at Hyde Park on June 27, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Union Jack flag bunting decorates a shopping street in sight of Windsor Castle on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. Prince William will marry Catherine Middleton in seven days time at Westminster Abbey in London. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: The badge for a limited edition Royal Wedding celebration ale brewed by Fuller's on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The ale will go on sale next week to be served in the run-up to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 in Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: The badge for a limited edition Royal Wedding celebration ale brewed by Fuller's on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The ale will go on sale next week to be served in the run-up to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011 in Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A woman admires a cake featuring Prince William and Kate Middleton at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22-25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A woman admires a replica wedding cake for Prince Albert, Duke of York (King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother) at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22, 2011 to April 25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
A cake featuring figurines of Prince William and Kate Middleton is displayed at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A woman admires a cake featuring figurines of Prince William and Kate Middleton at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22-25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: General view of wedding cakes on display at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22-25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: A cake of Buckingham Palace is displayed at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22-25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Detail of a replica wedding cake for Prince Albert, Duke of York (King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mother) at an exhibition of Royal Wedding cakes on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The cake features in the 'Let Them Eat Cake' exhibition inside Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner and is open to the public over Easter from April 22, 2011 to April 25, 2011. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
UNDATED - UNITED KINGDOM: In this handout photograph provided by Woolworths, a souvenir plate is seen to mark the anticipated engagement of Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton. Beneath the portraits of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the message ?Celebrating the Royal marriage of William and Kate," with a space left for the date. The leading high street store has designed a range of memorabilia including traditional china plates, thimbles, mouse mats and Will and Kate shaped pick and mix sweets in anticipation of the event. (Photo by Woolworths via Getty Images)
UNDATED - UNITED KINGDOM: In this handout photograph provided by Woolworths, a souvenir mug is seen to mark the anticipated engagement of Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton. Beneath the portraits of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the message ?Celebrating the Royal marriage of William and Kate," with a space left for the date. The leading high street store has designed a range of memorabilia including traditional china plates, thimbles, mouse mats and Will and Kate shaped pick and mix sweets in anticipation of the event. (Photo by Woolworths via Getty Images)
LONDON - JUNE 27: Kate Middleton attends the 46664 concert in celebration of Nelson Mandela's life at Hyde Park on June 27, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Master Tailor Lance Sergeant Matthew Else inspects the uniforms of members of the Irish Guards during an inspection at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matthew Else;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: An Irish Guardsmen comes under close inspection at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matthew Else;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: An Irish Guardsmen is helped from the parade ground after feeling faint during an inspection at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: The 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: The 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: The 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: A detail of the 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON - APRIL 21: A detail of the 'Instrument of Consent', which is the Queen's historic formal consent to Prince William's forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords on April 21, 2011 in London, England. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, Queen Elizabeth signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed, in transcribed calligraphy, consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton". (Photo by Clive Gee/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guards ceremonial uniforms await collection in a stor room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guards ceremonial uniforms await collection form a store room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guardsman Bortnill St'Ange is measured for his ceremonial uniform by Master Tailor Lance Sergeant Matthew Else in the store room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bortnill St'Ange;
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guardsman Bortnill St'Ange tries on his ceremonial uniform in the store room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bortnill St'Ange;
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Irish Guardsman Bortnill St'Ange is fitted with his ceremonial uniform by Master Tailor Lance Sergeant Matthew Else in the store room at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in Windsor, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bortnill St'Ange;Matthew Else;
ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Kate Middleton smiles as she meets members of the public during a visit to the University of St Andrews on February 25, 2011 in St Andrews, Scotland. The couple returned to the university where they first met to launch a fundraising campaign for a new GBP 13 million scholarship and students support. The couple will marry in a much anticipated ceremony at Westminster Abbey on April 29th. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kate Middleton
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - MARCH 08: Kate Middleton arrives at City Hall on March 8, 2011 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Royal Couple are visiting Northern Ireland as part of a tour of the country that a couple of weeks ago took them to St Andrews University in Scotland and Anglesey in North Wales to launch a lifeboat. This day-long trip to Ireland has been kept top secret due to security issues. They will marry on the 29th April at Westminster Abbey in a much anticipated ceremony. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kate Middleton
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Herald Painter, Robert Parsons, sketches the new Coat of Arms for Catherine Middleton's family at the College of Arms in London on April 18, 2011 in London England. Catherine Middleton will use this Coat of Arms until her April 29th royal wedding to Britain's Prince William, when it will be merged with his Coat of Arms. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Herald Painter, Robert Parsons, sketches the new Coat of Arms for Catherine Middleton's family at the College of Arms in London on April 18, 2011 in London England. Catherine Middleton will use this Coat of Arms until her April 29th royal wedding to Britain's Prince William, when it will be merged with his Coat of Arms. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool / Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Robert Parsons;
TEMPLATE OUT LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Garter Principal King of Arms and Senior Herald in England, Thomas Woodcock, holds the new Coat of Arms of Catherine Middleton's family at the College of Arms in London on April 18, 2011 in London England. Catherine Middleton will use this Coat of Arms until her April 29th royal wedding to Britain's Prince William, when it will be merged with his Coat of Arms. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool / Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Thomas Woodcock;
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Clarence House handout photo, issued April 19, 2011, of the front (right) and back covers of the official souvenir wedding programme for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The wedding is due to take place on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Royal Household - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Bunting is reflected in a bus window on Regent Street on April 19, 2011 in London, England. Preparations are underway across the city as the Royal wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton draws nearer. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Members of the Scots Guards kick up dust during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on April 20, 2011 in London, England. Soldiers guard Queen Elizabeth II and other royals at Buckingham Palace in a 24 hour rotation with a ceremonial hand over at 11.30 in the morning. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: A member of the Scots Guards exhales in an attempt to cool himself during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on April 20, 2011 in London, England. Soldiers guard Queen Elizabeth II and other royals at Buckingham Palace in a 24 hour rotation with a ceremonial hand over at 11.30 in the morning. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: A member of the Scots Guards has his duties read to him during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on April 20, 2011 in London, England. Soldiers guard Queen Elizabeth II and other royals at Buckingham Palace in a 24 hour rotation with a ceremonial hand over at 11.30 in the morning. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: The Band of the Coldstream Guards form up around the main gate of Buckingham Palace during the Changing of the Guard ceremony on April 20, 2011 in London, England. Soldiers guard Queen Elizabeth II and other royals at Buckingham Palace in a 24 hour rotation with a ceremonial hand over at 11.30 in the morning. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: A media stand is erected outside Westminster Abbey on April 20, 2011 in London, England. With only 9 days until the Royal Wedding stands and media facilities have been created along the Royal Route. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: An Irish Guardsmen comes under close inspection at Victoria Barracks on April 21, 2011 in London, England. The Irish Guards returned from active duty in Afghanistan at the beginning of April, and are now preparing for ceremonial duties. Prince William is the Colonel of the Regiment and the Irish Guards will be on duty at the Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Matthew Else;

The Royal wedding celebrations are coming to the nationalist heartland of west Belfast, with residents planning a ground-breaking cross-community street party in honour of William and Kate.

Union Jack bunting and flags will adorn the streets of Andersonstown as part of an effort to bring local people together to celebrate the big day.

The party, organised by the Suffolk-Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG), aims to attract well-wishers from both sides of the community and is the first of its kind in the predominantly nationalist area.

While the wedding service itself will not be shown on a big screen, residents have been invited to watch a football match between Suffolk FC and St Oliver Plunkett FC from Lenadoon.

Tea and scones, bingo, a teenagers’ disco and live music from the Upper Falls Protestant Boys’ flute band will also take place on the day.

Invitations to the Royal wedding event have been handed out in the Lenadoon estate and organisers say they are hopeful that |locals will attend.

Community worker Joe Hamill said the street party represented the “next step” for the troubled interface.

“This is very much testing the waters for us.

“It’s the first time an event connected to the Royals has been organised on a cross-community basis,” he added.

“If you’re picking an event to bridge boundaries between Protestants and Catholics, this is probably one of the most difficult.

“Young people in Lenadoon have indicated to me that they will at least come along and see what it is like.”

Bernard Conlon of SLIG said he thought it might be a stage too far to screen the wedding ceremony live on Friday morning. “It’s a tentative first step — I don’t know how many people from Lenadoon will be coming along to celebrate,” he said.

“We will be having things like bunting, flags and Union Jack plates. It’s not about trying to sanitise our traditions, but helping others to accept it.”

The neighbouring Suffolk and Lenadoon estates have become an important focus for cross-community work after years of sectarian violence during the Troubles.

Relationships between locals have been tense for decades, with a number of clashes between young people along the Stewartstown Road.

Sinn Fein MLA Sue Ramsey said holding a Royal wedding event at the interface was a positive move. She added: “Personally, I’ve no interest in the Royal wedding, but I think we should encourage this kind of cross-community party.”

Background

The Suffolk-Lenadoon interface in outer west Belfast has been blighted by sectarian violence since the early years of the Troubles.

Suffolk, a small Protestant community in a predominantly Catholic area, has around 800 residents and high levels of economic and social deprivation.

The bordering Lenadoon |estate is much larger, with around 10,000 residents, two-thirds of whom are under the age of 40.

When community leaders |finally met in 1996, there had been no contact between the two estates for more than 20 years.

The Suffolk-Lenadoon Interface Group (SLIG) is owned by the two community organisations in the Andersonstown area — Lenadoon Community Forum and Suffolk Community Forum.

Fountain to make a big splash

By Teresa McGowan

Community centres in Londonderry are planning to ring in William and Kate's wedding in right Royal fashion tomorrow.

Thanks to a £1,000 grant from Derry City Council, Cathedral Youth Club in the Fountain Estate will be turned into Westminster Abbey from 8.30am tomorrow with the matrimonial ceremony being screened over a ‘Royal breakfast’ and watched by people in full Royal wedding attire.

The cross-community event will also be attended by women from the nationalist side of the community.

Organiser Jeanette Warke said the invite to come and have fun was open to all.

She said women from the nationalist community had said they would attend to check out what the bride and guests would be wearing.

“This is just a bit of fun. The girls will be watching it just to see the style,” Jeanette said.

“I have invited all the women from our community education classes and everyone of all creeds and colours to come along and watch on a big screen.”

A family fun day will follow and 100 balloons will be released from the west bank estate after the newlyweds tie the knot.

Jeanette, who is also project director of the youth club, said: “We are really looking forward to it.

“It will be a fantastic day in the Fountain with outdoor activities and two limos to take our very own bride and groom lookalikes of Katie and Wills through the area.”

Making it a truly festive occasion, there will be a competition for best-dressed guest, best hat and best little prince and princess for the children. There will also be a bouncy castle and face-painting. Other celebrations will be staged in the Waterside area of the city, including Newbuildings and Irish Street, where a street party is being organised by the East Bank Protestant Boys Band.

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