Falkland Islands declares public holiday and celebrates with a community party
AT least thirty bridal gowns will be paraded before guests at the Falkland Islands’ Friday community party to celebrate the Westminster wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, reports the Penguin News.
The dresses have been sourced from weddings held over the past six decades – and some have seen duty more than once. The earliest was first worn in 1958 but, although two of the original brides can still fit into their dresses, none will be wearing their own dresses on the day.
The “red carpet” parade of brides, grooms and page boys is just one of the many highlights lined up for the free ten-hour event, which kicks off at 10am at the FIDF Hall, and celebrates the biggest royal wedding since Charles and Diana’s on July 29 1981.
Organiser Trish Jamieson has been gathering a small army of supporters over recent weeks to ensure the Falklands celebrates the big day – declared a public holiday by government – in right royal style.
As well as dances, games and giveaways, the wedding itself will be beamed into the hall on a big screen TV. Guests are asked to bring their own food, drink… and confetti.
Raffle tickets also are selling well, and will be available for purchase at the party, with prizes drawn from 4pm onwards.
Meanwhile the soon-to-be royal couple –or at least life-size cardboard cut-outs of them – has been touring the Islands. Photographs from their novelty walkabout, together with the party’s guest list and full details of Friday’s event, will be compiled into a journal to be lodged with the Museum as a permanent record, unlike previous royal weddings where details of celebrations in the Falklands are virtually non-existent.
The Pod Gift Shop in Stanley has produced a range of wedding memorabilia, including mugs, cups, rulers and coasters, all priced at £5 or under, to be sold exclusively at the party, and Susan Knipe and her team at Jac’s Café are producing icing images of the Kate and William – who was born exactly seven days after Liberation Day in 1982 – to decorate some of the teaberry cup cakes from which Heather Smith will be fashioning a celebratory tower.
Commercial premises seem to have been slow to respond to the suggestion that they should make special displays for the wedding, with the notable exception of Kandy Kabin in Philomel Street, whose windows are gloriously decked out.
In the UK, the Falklands will be represented at the royal wedding by Assembly Member Sharon Halford and her husband John. Sharon said John raised his eyebrows at the price tag on the irst choice of hat, but a suitable, simple alternative was soon found to finish her three-piece cream suit with black accessories.
“The shops are full of it, as well as the TV, in the build up to the event,” said Sharon.
In the Colchester area where she has been spending time with family, there is a lot of dressing up and street parties being planned.
“Everyone is very excited,” she said.
Sharon and John are being picked up at 9am on Friday to be taken by coach to Westminster for the wedding ceremony, and afterwards will be transported to Lancaster House for a reception with Foreign Secretary William Hague.
For those looking for a more traditional weekend, the William and Kate cut-outs will be making the journey to North Arm on Friday, and will be welcomed at the club with much flag-waving before dancing gets underway.
The championship dog trials take place on Saturday morning, followed by a barbecue lunch and the Darwin Harbour Sports Association sweepstake draw at the Social Club, rounded off with a fancy dress dance.