A street party fit for a king is to be thrown as St Andrews falls under the worldwide spotlight on the day of the royal wedding.
There are plans for a celebration of regal proportions in the hours before Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot. As the St Andrews University graduates are preparing for their nuptials, people in the town where they studied and met will be enjoying a shindig which is expected to be beamed across the globe by the BBC.
The St Andrews Wedding Breakfast is being organised by St Andrews Community Council with support from the university, Fife Council, St Andrews University Students’ Association, St Andrews Partnership and other local organisations.
Although the BBC is yet to finalise its coverage plans, organisers anticipate that live footage from the town will be broadcast throughout the morning as part of the television build-up to the marriage of the prince.
There is immense pride among St Andreans that the romance of William and Kate began in the Fife town. Community councillor Kyffin Roberts, who is chairing the committee planning the party, said, “The St Andrews Wedding Breakfast will provide a unique opportunity to bring our community together and raise money for the happy couple’s favoured charities, whilst also projecting a positive image of St Andrews to an estimated viewing audience of over one billion people.”
The festivities will be in St Salvator’s Quadrangle, which has been provided for the event by the university, kicking off at 8am and running for five hours. It is likely that coverage by a major BBC outside broadcast operation will be shown throughout the morning, while a large screen in the quad will transmit the BBC’s London coverage back to the St Andrews revellers.ChallengeMr Roberts described putting on such a major, volunteer-run public event with only a few weeks’ notice as an enormous challenge for the town and called for the community to rally round.
He said, “We have a huge task ahead of us in the next nine weeks, and so over the coming days we will be calling on the good will of everyone in St Andrews to support us. Absolutely everyone schools, churches, clubs, businesses, tradesmen and the community at large will have the chance to get involved, whether as participants, volunteers or spectators.
“This is both a fantastic opportunity and a real test for St Andrews, but we are confident that the town can pull together to produce an occasion of which we can all be proud.”
Arrangements for the party on Friday, April 29, are still being made but, given the potentially huge interest, organisers anticipate it may be a ticket-only event. However, it is intended to make the event as accessible to as many locals as possible, with no admission fee charged.
More details are likely to be announced following a planning meeting in the town a week today. Anyone wishing to offer ideas or assistance is invited to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The BBC was unable to confirm that it would be filming in St Andrews, as coverage for the day is still being planned, but it indicated that it was looking to feature celebrations around the country, including St Andrews.
The news comes as businesses around the town are preparing to make the most of St Andrews’ starring role in the royal romance. Many plan products, promotions and events for Kate and William’s big day.CatwalkFairmont St Andrews, the hotel which hosted the fashion show where Kate caught William’s eye from the catwalk, will provide TV coverage of the nuptials. It is inviting guests to enjoy the royal wedding by taking up its two-night royal package, including a treatment at the spa, of which William was a member.
The Old Course Hotel will hold a jazz brunch in its Road Hole Bar and will also show the wedding on big screens around the bar.
A spokesman said, “We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this very special day, as we know that jazz music is a passion of the prince’s.”
Fisher & Donaldson plans to sell cakes bearing their image and the Rule Bar, a haunt of the pair while they were students, will also mark the big day.
Gift shop Bonkers, where William is thought to have bought a Valentine’s card for Kate, will celebrate its royal link with commemorative mugs. Owner Lindsay Adam said, “We will be getting the bunting out and having some fun round about the royal wedding.”
Fine gifts and collectables shop James Pirie already has some William and Kate items in stock and more products are arriving. Managing director Louise Edward said there was already a lot of demand.
Merchants’ Association chairwoman Jude Innes, who runs stationery shop J&G Innes, said many shops were awaiting delivery of keepsakes and hoped the event would boost the town.
She said, “Everyone is quite excited about it, even though it’s still quite a bit away.”