Wedding breakfast at dawn as Manhattan soaks up the big day
View from New York
Saturday 30 April 2011
They were spoiled for choice in New York when it came to soaking up some vicarious nuptials fun.
Nancy Lawlor, 75, had been planning for months, even if wearing a bathrobe to the $150 wedding breakfast at the Palace Hotel was a last-minute decision. Varinda Missett, 45, on the other hand, never guessed that popping a fascinator on her pooch for its morning walk would land her on live TV in the middle of Times Square.
For those who just had to be awake to catch it as it happened – the reruns began across the cable galaxy within seconds of the live coverage ending – few will have done it in more style than Ms Lawlor who invited two daughters and one granddaughter from Connecticut to stay overnight at the Palace. All they had to do at 5.30am was stumble across the hall to the lifts, smile at the pianist serenading arriving guests in the lobby and find their table in the hotel's ballroom. What to wear in New York was as important as where to go. (Bathrobes had been encouraged by the Palace, which also supplied slippers and pillows at the breakfast.) Jodi Applegate, a news anchor who finished her late shift at 1am and was due in front of the cameras before lunch yesterday, took her seat at the nearby Plaza Hotel wearing the veil from her own wedding – in February – and custom-made silk gloves.
For Ms Applegate the breakfast – scrambled eggs with chopped chives and sausages, followed by wedding cake – was more about being silly with her girlfriends than expressing undying devotion to the Windsors. (In New York, at least, girls seemed altogether more interested in events in far-away London than boys.) "It's just fun and a chance to fly the girlie flag for a day," she said, texting friends on her pink iPhone.
Among the few men who did stir from their beds before dawn, Tim Blaquiere, 32, strove to offer a more orthodox explanation for the fascination so many Americans share for the British monarchy. "I support them because we don't have anything like them here. In a way they are our adopted royals and lots of Americans actually do feel a closeness to them." He said all this while digesting black pudding and eggs served at Lyon, a restaurant in the West Village that on any other day specialises in French fare. Champagne was served only at 9am, which was going to make Mr Blaquiere late for work. Ms Missett lives just off Times Square, where she walks Pixie, her pup, every day. The fascinator was a give-away and she was unaware the square would be packed before rush-hour. Crowds were gazing at the wedding live on jumbo screens or watching presenters of TLC, a cable channel, anchoring a wedding special under the slowly brightening sky (and who had earlier inveigled her to show off Pixie and headgear before the cameras in a pause in proceedings in London).
For some in New York, the wedding was a chance for a giggle – other events included an all-day Brit binge under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn; a block party in West Village with music from the NYPD brass band; and a black-tie ball for Anglos and their admirers in Midtown. For others, the chime of commerce rang louder than the bells. Sponsors looking for attention ranged from BBC America to Bulldog gin and the FT.
Back at the Palace Hotel, the Queen was already waving from the Buck House balcony, Piers Morgan was running out of things to say on CNN and the waiters were preparing to serve slices from the six-tier wedding cake, studded with crystal jewellery valued at $35,000, provided by another eager sponsor, Swarosvki. This clearly was the swellest wedding party in town. Carrie and the other Sex and the City girls had apparently overslept and were still upstairs. Assuming Mr Big had got them tickets.
Around The World
Millions tuned in to the extensive live television coverage, where the last emperor abdicated a century ago. On the internet the royal wedding was the fifth most popular topic on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.
Widespread coverage of the wedding saw the Indian Express carry a picture of Kate Middleton on the front page and a story on page 12 pointing out that her marriage vows did not include the commitment to obey her husband.
...and beyond the world
Three astronauts on the International Space Station recorded a video message of congratulations while orbiting 220 miles above London. They said they would be following coverage of the wedding "down on planet Earth".
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