The ‘Royal Wedding’ outshone the Queen of England’s birthday at the British Deputy High Commission on the eve of Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding on Thursday night. Nearly 870 dignitaries and distinguished guests attended the affair, only wishing they could have been there for the real deal.
After manoeuvring past the intense security, fairy lights and a royally red-carpet welcomed politicians, designers, artists, sheikhs and businessmen, who gathered to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 85th birthday and 59 years of reign. In the centre of the lawn hung a florally framed engagement poster of William and Kate with a four-tier marble cake in the foreground. Before the guests entered, they were invited to give a message to the royal couple on their big day. “Everybody loves a good romance and when the romance is as dreamy and grand as that of the royal family it inspires people all over the world,” chimed fashion designer Maheen Khan. For her the occasion is a global affair. And true to her calling, she was extremely curious about Kate’s wedding gown, “I wonder what she is wearing tomorrow. Though I have heard she has had her dress designed by a British designer which means she is promoting her country’s designers,” she remarked.
Photographer Tapu Javeri, who turned up in a smart black shalwar kameez, shared that his grandparents were British. “Of course, there is an everlasting relationship between Pakistan and the UK and let’s just say the relations are diplomatic, to be on the safe side,” he laughed. Like everyone else waltzing across the red carpet, Tapu also wished the couple the best of luck for a future filled with love and a successful marriage.
A miniature bride and groom stood hand in hand on the top tier of the royal cake. The cake’s maker was ecstatic that she received the privileged order to create the four-tier white fantasy. “This only makes me think back to Princess Diana’s wedding,” she said, tearing up. “I only hope that Catherine can make as wonderful a princess as her mother-in-law.”
Francis Campbell, the director for Trade and Investment, British High Commissioner Adam Thomson and guest of honour Nisar Khuhro welcomed the guests.
“When I grow old I can tell my kids I attended King William’s wedding,” quipped one of the ladies while chatting with her dignitary friends. Ahsan, another guest, showed off his Scottish socks to two friends, saying that’s all he found in his wardrobe to relate to the occasion.
German Consul General Dr Christian Brecht said that despite having shared a bitter history with the British, even people in Germany want to be associated with a family that is above politics and to whom everyone could relate.
Shaheen Salahuddin said that the new princess was going to be a new hope for the entire world, just as Princess Diana was in her time. “It was a great people’s monarchy,” she said. “The occasion is a great advertisement for the British.”
Named after the royal family, on the menu, were specialties such as the Prince William beef pie with vegetables and mushrooms, Prince Charles salmon cakes, Kate Fish and Chips, Prince William’s favourite lamb chops with rosemary and mint, and royal rice pilaf.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2011.