Residents of Orillia kicked off royal wedding celebrations with a royal wedding shower tea party Saturday.
“We’re all so excited about Harry and Meghan getting married,” said Peg Kennedy, of Orillia. “We’re going to the wedding celebrations at Leacock (Museum) next weekend. And who doesn’t like tea and crumpets?”
She and her friend Wendy Morgan were at the library with about a dozen others attending the event, which included trivia and a fascinator-crafting table.
“I like that there’s someone who is crashing the royals,” said Kennedy, referring to Meghan Markle’s lack of royal blood. “She’s not royalty herself, but it shows that anyone can be a princess.”
The fairytale wedding aspect is one reason people seem to be fascinated by the royal wedding. But it’s not just that, said Jayne Turvey, community services coordinator, Orillia Public Library.
“King Edward had to abdicate the throne because he wanted to marry a divorced American actress,” she said. “That’s why, eventually, Elizabeth (the second) became queen when she did.”
The fact that Markle is being apparently welcomed into the royal family so openly, said Turvey, indicates how much progress has been made since the days of Kind Edward.
“This is a good move for her (the Queen) and for the monarchy,” she said. “People are excited about the progress being made.”
The fact that the royals are being inclusive is impressive to the younger generation of Canadians, too.
It’s come up in schoolroom discussions, said Mackenzie Bonner, of Orillia.
“We’ve talked about it in class,” said the 17-year-old. “I don’t think you have to come from a royal family to marry him.”
For others attending the afternoon celebrations, it was just a chance to dress up and have some British nibbles, said Cathy Askett, of Bayshore Village.
She was attending with her daughter-in-law, Yvonne Gravel, and the two, along with all others, had an assortment of goodies, such as scones, cookies and cake, to enjoy throughout the afternoon.
The two worked their craft skills, creating fascinators, which Turvey said was a big attraction for people who registered for the event.
“The kinds of fascinators that came out last wedding have everyone guessing what crazy stuff is coming up in this wedding,” she said, referring to the extravagant fascinator worn by Princess Eugenie at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
Turvey also thought the big pull for Canadians is the celebrity factor associated with the wedding, seeing as how Markle is an actress.
“And we like to offer different kinds of programs at the library,” said Turvey, adding the shower was done so it wouldn’t create conflict with the several other events happening around Orillia on May 19.