Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Royal wedding parties in full swing

A couple wearing Prince William and Kate Middleton masks enjoy royal wedding celebrations in Manchester

Revellers have been celebrating the royal wedding at parties and gatherings all over the country.

Streets, squares, pubs and churches were hosting a variety of events to help people enjoy the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Several hundred people gathered in the sun in Manchester city centre, turning an open-air event into a blaze of colour as the wedding was shown on a big screen. Well-wishers, young and old, were decked out in red, white and blue, shouting and waving Union flags as events unfolded.

Elaine Lowe, 22, from Manchester, who came with a group of friends to watch the event in the city, said: "The rain has held off, the sun is out and we are all having a great day. Kate looks stunning and her wedding dress is fabulous. What's not to like about today?"

In Portsmouth, about 300 people turned out to watch the wedding on a big screen in Guildhall Square, including Andrea Grainger, 38, and her four-year-old son Jake. Mrs Grainger said: "We thought it would be nice to come and celebrate with everyone else. It makes it more of an occasion to watch it on the big screen rather than being stuck indoors."

In Plymouth, Devon, celebrations centred on Armada Way, where an estimated 1,000 people watched the ceremony on a giant screen. Hundreds of people had gathered by 9am, sitting at picnic tables and in camping chairs.

Gavin Sheppard and Debbie Kay, owners of the Devonshire Tea Company, were the first on the scene providing early risers with a cuppa. Ms Kay said: "It was lovely they were allowed to make a lot of their own choices. One man came to our stand saying 'there will be a run on garden centres this summer, everyone will want trees in church for their own wedding now'."

Hundreds of revellers gathered across the East Midlands, where the ceremony was shown live on screens in Derby, Leicester and Mansfield. In Derby's Market Place, which was decorated with bunting and trestle tables decked out in red, white and blue, a loud cheer went up from the crowd as the bride and groom both said "I will".

York's aptly named Westminster Road staged an afternoon of celebrations including fancy dress competitions and a high tea. Hundreds flocked to the centre of Marple in Cheshire to enjoy a sun-kissed day by the River Goyt, while revellers in Belfast, Northern Ireland, watched the ceremony on a portable television outside the Shankill Road's Rex Bar.

And contrary to reports, Hull residents were joining in the celebrations as well. The city hit the headlines a few weeks ago when the local council confirmed no-one had applied for permission to close a street for a party. But Hull City Council has since said it has approved six street party applications.

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