The Brits showed they know just how to celebrate a wedding at home and in Bahrain as families and friends joined together to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding day.
British ambassador Simon Martin his wife, Sophie, were guests of honour at the British Club in Um Al Hassam which was adorned with red, white and blue bunting with a decorated marquee on the lawn.
All eyes were glued on a big screen to watch an emotional ceremony that captivated the world as the prince and his bride exchanged vows and rings before the Queen and 600 guests at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Only last weekend Simon and Sophie, were in the same town for the Royal Windsor Horse Show celebrating Bahrain’s own royal Shaikh Nasser storming to victory in an endurance race in front of Her Majesty The Queen and his father, His Majesty King Hamad.
The Martins said the town was buzzing even then and picked up some mementoes including Harry and Meghan masks, below, they sportingly wore at the Brit Club before passing them on to others in the crowd for the obligatory selfies.
The American TV star wore a white boat-neck dress by British designer Clare Waight Keller and Prince Harry was given special permission from the Queen to keep his short beard while wearing the frockcoat uniform of his former regiment, the Blues and Royals.
As Meghan walked down the aisle a spontaneous round of applause erupted as refreshments named ‘When Harry Met Meghan’, ‘Blushing Bride’ and Suits you Sir’ were placed carefully on the Brit Club’s trestle tables between the mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef & horse radish and creamy chicken vol-au-vents.
Kiwi expat Tanja McKeown said: “Beautiful, gorgeous and so elegant.” And those sentiments were echoed around the room with words like ‘simple, classy and stunning’.
The wedding service combined British tradition with modernity and the bride’s African-American heritage.
The next round of applause greeted the end of the address by the excitable The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, president of the US Episcopal Church. Blunt holidaymaking Yorkshire pensioner Brian Moore told his elder brother, David: “He went on a bit.”
But the biggest roar came with the kiss on the chapel steps as the newlyweds - now to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – showed the world that love has everything to do with it.
The bride’s dress was not the only one to capture the crowd’s imagination. Teacher Grace Blair, 27, won a ‘best dress’ competition and a BD50 prize, after wearing a stunning blue number she wore at her own wedding reception three year earlier. The mother of 15-month old, Ivory, said the royal wedding gave her the determination to fit back into the gown for the first time since motherhood.
Stanley Louis Szecowka
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