Pinoys in UK await wedding
- James Mananghaya () - April 28, 2011 - 12:00am

LONDON — Filipinos in the United Kingdom are looking forward to what has been dubbed as the “wedding of the decade” this Friday when Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot.

Emmanuel Guzman, third secretary and vice consul of the Philippine embassy in London, said there would be individual celebrations by Filipino groups all over England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which compose the United Kingdom.

Filipino groups will be holding barbecue parties, not only to celebrate the royal wedding but also to have the chance to get together and enjoy another day off from work.

Guzman said the embassy would not lead any of the celebrations, although their office would be closed as the wedding day was declared a bank holiday to encourage people to watch the royal event.

Most Filipinos in the UK work as nurses and healthcare providers.

He said Charge d’Affairs Renato Catapang has been invited, although Guzman was uncertain if it was for the main wedding celebration or one of the receptions being hosted by the royal family.

Catapang could not be reached for comment.

The Daily Mirror reported yesterday that 2 billion people worldwide are expected to watch the wedding on television.

In Birmingham, considered England’s second city, the festive mood has started with shops decorated with royal wedding themes.

Commemorative items such as plates, mugs and key holders are also sold in local shops for the public to have a piece of the royal event.

Meanwhile, the British embassy in Manila announced that the royal wedding tomorrow would be a national holiday and day of celebration across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

The embassy said the 5.5 million British citizens who live overseas, including the estimated 15,000 who live in the Philippines, are expected to watch the wedding via live television broadcast from Westminster Abbey in London.

The British embassy’s annual Queen’s birthday party reception will coincide with the royal wedding and will be hosted by British Ambassador Stephen Lillie and his wife.

The event will be an opportunity to celebrate the friendship and strong relations between the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

During the reception guests will be able to watch live TV coverage of the royal wedding and the appearance of the bride and groom on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The royal couple hope that their wedding day will be an enjoyable day for as many people as possible, not only in the UK, but also in the Commonwealth realms and across the rest of the world.

From St. Andrews in Scotland to St. Albans in England and from Portrush in Northern Ireland to Port Talbot in Wales, families, friends and neighbors will celebrate the wedding at home and in pubs, as well as in colorful street parties.

Hundreds of thousands more will be in London, with tourists from around the world, to soak up the atmosphere and try and catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

The wedding will take place in the gothic splendor of Westminster Abbey, steeped in a thousand years of history and the venue of 14 royal weddings and 38 coronations, as well as the final resting place of 17 monarchs.

Following the ceremony, the royal couple and their close family will travel from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace in horse-drawn state carriages.

Mounted and marching military personnel in ceremonial uniform will escort them, while hundreds of others will line the route.

Finally, in true royal wedding tradition, the couple will greet the crowds outside from the balcony of the Palace.

The royal wedding, the embassy said, will mark the start of a tremendously exciting period for the UK, when the world will be watching and celebrating with them.

Year 2012 will be the Diamond Jubilee, the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.

In June, there will be celebrations across the country to mark her reign, the second longest in Britain’s history, after Queen Victoria’s 63-year reign.

In July, London will host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – the Greatest Show on Earth. Billions of people will be cheering on their athletes at home, while millions will visit to not only experience the Games first-hand, but also enjoy London’s famous hospitality, energy and cultural and geographical diversity. - With Pia Lee-Brago

AFFAIRS RENATO CATAPANG BRITISH AMBASSADOR STEPHEN LILLIE BUCKINGHAM PALACE DAILY MIRROR DIAMOND JUBILEE EMMANUEL GUZMAN ROYAL UNITED KINGDOM WEDDING WESTMINSTER ABBEY
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