Pull those hats and tiaras out of the closet — Ottawa’s official royal wedding viewing party is being set up just like an English country wedding.
“You bring out all the bling,” said Matthew Rowe, spokesman for the Ottawa chapter of the Monarchist League of Canada. “People will be dressing up in their Sunday best.”
The event will take place in Zoe’s Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier — the famed room where high tea is served. About 100 people are expected at the sold-out event, and there’s a waiting list.
Rowe said he’ll be sporting his Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal and a red rose boutonniere.
While tiaras are generally a fashion ‘don’t’ before noon, he said this wedding is the exception.
“It’s just going to be a lot of fun,” Rowe said.
And preparations are underway to transform the space into a room fit for royalty.
“We’re going to bring in beautiful linens and some chair covers,” said the hotel’s public relations director, Deneen Perrin, who has been moonlighting as a wedding planner.
For the big day, the room is being decorated to look like a wedding reception hall, complete with banquet tables and chairs.
“Simple and elegant” flowers will be added for ambiance, and other changes are still in the works.
“The bar is going to be turned into a gorgeous afternoon tea buffet,” she said.
The menu includes platters of fresh fruit, homemade scones, Devonshire cream, strawberry preserves, and mini scrambled eggs.
“It’s exciting, orchestrating all of the small details,” said Perrin. “It’s going to be a really fun event.”
Fun but dry, because alcohol won’t be served.
Three billion people are expected to watch the royal nuptials on TV. And the viewing party is a taste of things to come this summer, when Prince William and Kate are set to visit for nine days.
“They’ll be spending Canada Day in Ottawa so this will be a nice warmup to that,” said Rowe.
The party runs from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Friday. Rowe isn’t sure if he’s going to pull an all-nighter Thursday.
“I’ll probably have to be up at about 3 a.m.,” he said.
Rowe has booked the day off work for the occasion.
“I believe it should’ve been a national holiday,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”