Viewing parties are as simple as rising early to watch the wedding ceremony at home, or dropping by Houston businesses opening early to commemorate the occasion. Guy Streatfeild is with the British Isles import shop on Rice Boulevard, opening at four in the morning for a viewing party.
“People want somewhere to focus and somewhere to have a party. But there are lots of other parties going on, and that’s been surprising to me. I mean the number of people who are getting up at four o’clock in the morning and wearing their nighties and their tiaras — and just generally being enthusiastic about the whole thing — has been amazing.”
Ed: “How is it shown itself in the store, I mean, are people picking up souvenirs?”
“Yes, they are. They’re picking up souvenirs. A lot of Americans are having parties, so they’re picking up things for their parties — food and napkins and things like that. But they’re also interested in the commemorative items.”
The Red Lion pub on South Shepherd has its English breakfast viewing party. The pub’s Craig Mallinson is not surprised at the public interest in William and Catherine.
“No, not really. You don’t have a Royal Family here. But you do look to your cousins to the east. And I think in some regards, some respects, you kind of envy that. And it is a nice feeling having people that are — for want of a better word, they’re very privileged — but they’re a beautiful couple. And most women, most girls I know always dream of becoming a princess, so it is rather dreamlike. And it’s good for people’s morale, and in this day and age, with so much going on in the world, to concentrate on something which draws people together, makes people feel good, then that is certainly an uplifting thing.”
The British Consulate on Louisiana has been filling a book of well-wishes from Houstonians. The consulate’s Mitch Jeffries says it includes an entry from Mayor Annise Parker.
“It’s a simple book of congratulations that’s available to the public to sign and send their best wishes to the Royal Couple. We’ll send it to Buckingham Palace. It’s really pretty exciting. We’ve had kids come in and paste in drawing they’ve made of Buckingham Palace. There’s an incredible link between the City of Houston and Texas, and the U.K. — very powerful commercial and cultural and personal links that bring us together.”
Missing the live event in London doesn’t mean missing out. Several Houston-area restaurants plan to replay the ceremony throughout the day, including Sherlock’s Baker Street Pub and Watson’s House of Ales. Both Alamo Drafthouses are replaying the coverage while serving an English brunch.