Royal Wedding: Thousands across the Black Country and Staffordshire celebrate – with PICTURES and VIDEO
Royal fever gripped our region as Prince Harry sealed his fairytale romance to Meghan Markle yesterday.
From village green get-togethers in the Staffordshire sun to an afternoon tea party at a Black Country care home, people from all over took part in the celebrations.
Among those involved with the Royal Wedding celebrations was Naomi Williams, of Wednesbury, whose fiancée, Gary Harding, was on duty in Windsor with the Irish Guards at the wedding.
Ms Williams was back home enjoying a street party in William Green Road in Wednesbury where residents and friends met up to celebrate – waving flags and toasting the happy couples special day.
Living Water cafe and community hub in Willenhall sold out of spaces for its afternoon tea and lunch to mark the day.
The Bell pub, also in Willenhall, held a special tea party with cakes and a cardboard cut-out of the Queen, while Wolverhampton’s Berrybrook Primary School held their own mock wedding between Head Boy and Head Girl.
The people of Hixon, near Stafford, were facing a potential bill of over £3,000 to hire a big LED screen to show ahead of the wedding.
So the novel idea of creating a four metre by two and a half metre screen to show the event was put into action – costing just £140 – and dubbed a huge success by village volunteers.
In Darlaston, Walsall, residents of Bush Home enjoyed the royal couple’s special day – including 90-year-old Olga Groves.
Abbey Lodge care home in Wolverhampton saw 100-year-old Doris Sully and Jean Spencer, aged 94, enjoy the occasion.
Senior carer Ikbal Rattu, 51, from Wolverhampton, said: “It was a lovely day and the weather was lovely as well.
“We had two screens on and all the residents were enjoying it –they had their flags out and we had a big buffet.
“They were all so excited to see Meghan in her dress and said how beautiful they both looked.”
Almost 100 people also turned up to a street party organised by David Austwick, aged 67, and his wife Valerie in Fancourt Avenue, Penn, Wolverhampton, on Saturday.
The party saw Fancourt Avenue residents Rose and Peter Gartside posing with their life-size Harry and Meghan cardboard cut-out and Piper Ash, five, out waving her Union Jack flag.
Mr Austwick said: “It was a great community spirit. This is a lovely area to live in and Fancourt Avenue is a lovely street to live in because people are just so friendly.
“It was a great day and the weather was perfect and the turnout was wonderful. I have been too busy to watch the wedding but I will be watching the highlights.
“We were getting people to meet who do not always get the chance to meet.
“It was really a friendly, gentle and relaxed situation. It was that opportunity to meet each other and to get to know each other.”
Watch residents of William Green Road in Wednesbury celebrate the royal wedding
Elsewhere in Wolverhampton residents and families from Akron Drive joined in force to celebrate the Royal Wedding with a street party and people flocked to the West End Working Men’s Club on Merridale Street West to join in with the special day.
PICTURES from the Akron Drive celebrations
In Windsor, die-hard royalists – many of whom had camped outside for days to get the best seat in the house – screamed and applauded as the bride and groom arrived.
Schoolboy Darram Kooner, from Wolverhampton, was among privileged guests allowed into the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The 15-year-old campaigner was specially invited in recognition of his work with the Wolverhampton Youth Council and took his mother Jas along.
Darram, from Whitmore Reans, said: “It was great to have been there and part of the celebrations. It was a real privilege.
“I was there from the beginning and saw the arrival of the Queen, Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle herself. The atmosphere was great.
“I’ve never seen the Queen and Prince William up close, it’s all from TV, so when they were there I felt frozen in the moment. I was shocked but in a good way.
“I was just outside St George’s Chapel, about 20 to 30m from the entrance. They looked lovely together.
“Mum had a great time. She has never seen the royals before.”
Also in attendance at the Royal Wedding in Windsor was photographer John Kennett, from Tipton.
John, who works as a volunteer photographer for West Midlands Fire Service, caught some stunning shots of Meghan and Harry as they made their way through the crowds after the service.