It's the Royal Wedding Weekend!
Royal fever has beset Britain! And London is no exception
Now, as British subjects (that’s right - we’re “subjects”, not citizens) we have a firm duty to celebrate the Royal Wedding of Ginger Windsor and Sparkly Meg with either total elation or fiery ambivalence. For every jubilant, union-flag-bedecked suburban street party, you can be safely assured that there will be an equivalent drunken meeting of po-faced republicans grumbling about the injustice of their tax dollars funding an exercise in monarchical millinery. So whichever camp you fall into, here are a few ideas for how to get into the spirit(s) of things.
As Marina Hyde put it so well on Twitter, a Royal Wedding is like an early morning holiday flight: it’s an excuse to start drinking at the earliest possible convenience. So do expect to see a fair amount of rabble-rousing through the streets of the Big Smoke tomorrow as champagne-soaked confetti is trampled under the feet of both the Red Trouser and Red Flag brigades. Many pubs will be opening their doors early (and all will be closing them an hour later than normal on both Friday and Saturday, an enjoyable royal recognition of the fondness for a tipple common to all social classes) in order to live-stream the hours of build-up and then the ceremony itself from midday. Little Nan’s in Deptford, The Water Poet in Shoreditch and The Old Queen’s Head in Islington are just a few among many where the buck’s fizz will be flowing in torrents from AM to PM. In order to make the lengthy hours of pre-ceremony dross more bearable, propose to your fellow subjects a twee drinking game, taking a hit every time the camera pans to the queen looking dour, Megan giggling or at any point when a trivial fact only laterally connected with the proceedings is brandished.
If you’re looking for something a little more genteel then there are plenty of well-heeled festivities to choose from. Iconic department store Fortnum and Mason, famously patronised by members of ‘er Maj’s family, will be hosting a “Right Royal Celebration” which includes a screening of the nuptials, a glass of champagne and an afternoon of cream teas on their Piccadilly site. Elsewhere, The Royal Wedding Party has taken over the Grade-I listed Marylebone Church for a day of merrymaking (marrymaking?) with plenty of arts and crafts to balance out the drinking. Expect workshops on how to create beautiful corsages and bouquets and let off steam with some croquet, all while raffishly holding a perpetually full gin&tonic. And for those who want to embrace the party atmosphere without spending their entire inheritance, head down to the Southbank Centre for songs, dancing, story-telling and videos. Wear your best royal costume and enjoy the convivial atmosphere without the snide anti-moanarchists or the drunken toffs ruining the fun. And it’s all for free!
Elsewhere, Madame Tussaud’s is hosting a late-night event with queue jump for ticket holders. Peruse the hero and villains of British history, ending with the new waxworks of the Royal Family (decide for yourself which bunch they belong to) and toast their grandeur with a complimentary glass of bubbly. And if your aesthetic taste somehow surpasses wax models, head over to the community-run Deptford Cinema where the royal wedding is being celebrated through a retrospective of 100 years of subversive republican cinema - the perfect sobering antidote to the Windsorian frivolities.
And don’t forget: there is a far more important event taking place on Saturday 19th May. One which will inspire more hope and bring about more jubilation than any simultaneous royal wedding, coronation and funeral ever could. It’s the FA Cup Final! The first football match ever to be shown on television; the oldest competition in the world, dating back over 140 years of sporting history, this year pitting Mourinho’s Manchester United against his arch-nemesis Pep Guardiola and former club Chelsea. Check out our list of places to watch the big match for some sporting relief from the crown. Up the Reds.