Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Town thrilled with new William link

Prince William has become the Baron of Carrickfergus

A seaside town famed for welcoming one royal William to Ireland is now looking forward to the arrival of another.

But the residents of Carrickfergus hope the future king comes ashore in rather less dramatic circumstances than his namesake William of Orange did more than three centuries ago in the midst of the Glorious Revolution.

The announcement that Prince William has become the Baron of Carrickfergus added to the excitement of a town already caught up in royal wedding fever.

In the shadow of the striking Norman castle that looks out on Belfast Lough, town mayor Jim McClurg reflected on the unexpected news.

"It's an extreme thrill for the people of Carrickfergus to have this honour bestowed on them," he said.

"It's taken us completely by surprise. We certainly hope this means we can expect a special royal visitor in the near future."

Perhaps to acknowledge the Co Antrim town's new status, the Union flag was raised above the castle ramparts an hour before the wedding got under way.

Around a mile from the waterfront street party preparations were in full swing in the quiet neighbourhood around Albany Drive.

As children tired themselves out on a bouncy castle, the chatter among the parents was again about the prince's new title as they set up tables for the afternoon festivities.

Jacqueline Dorrian, who decided to arrange the party a fortnight ago as a way to bring neighbours together, said: "Everybody chipped in and everybody's come out to put up the bunting and do the face painting for the kids. It's good for the community and the whole area to get everyone together on a day like this."

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