MEDICINE HAT, AB – The biggest wedding of the year may have happened thousands of kilometres away, but Medicine Hat residents got the chance to take in the ‘Royal Wedding’ on Saturday.
A few dozen locals dressed up and wore their most stylish hats to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot at the Medicine Hat Library.
Madeline Fischer is part of the Prairie Gems of the Hat club and said it was a unique ceremony that fit the couple perfectly.
“I thought it was very interesting,” said Fischer. “Not as ‘pompy’ as other ones, but I think very suitable for the young couple that were taking part. And, I love seeing the little boys and girls be part of it.”
She was joined by Elaine Pfeifer on Saturday mornign, who has watched the royal family for decades during the rule of Queen Elizabeth II.
Seeing Prince Harry grow up before her eyes, she said it was a bittersweet day knowing the late Princess Diana wouldn’t be able to watch her son’s nuptuals.
“It’s nice to have seen them grown up,” said Pfeifer. “I just feel so sorry that their mom wasn’t there. She would have been so proud, she would have been just beaming.”
Diana was 36 years old when she passed away in a car crash in Paris in 1997, when Harry was 12 at the time.
Fischer said it’s been fascinating to see how the royal lineage has evolved over the years in Great Britain, even though the monarchy is merely symbolic these days.
“Just to see the protocols that they have to know how to use,” said Fischer. “How to be friendly, but keep this royal image going.”
Locals were able to watch the entire ceremony in the library’s theatre, which opened back in November after receiving substantial renovations.
Chief Librarian Ken Feser said they wanted to host something for the community to join together and watch history in their facility.
“For us, we’re really driven by the public desire for it,” said Feser. “If it is going to be popular, that’s really our main interest, to really pay attention to the community and give people what they want.”
Following the wedding, attendees wandered over to a nearby meeting room to enjoy high tea, scones, and take part in other British traditions.
“It’s great, thanks to the library or whoever organized it,” said Pfeifer. “It was wonderful to see it on a big screen, it was like being there.”
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