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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

British royal wedding etiquette

(England Twitter)— In some of Britain's Caribbean territories and former colonies, judges wear thick wigs of white curls in the tropical heat, sports fans follow cricket religiously, and Queen Elizabeth II is the titular head of state. That doesn't mean people here will be breaking out the tea and crumpets to watch this week's royal wedding.

Friday's nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton is breaking down along generational lines in the ethnically diverse British Caribbean. It elicits excitement in some middle-age and older people who see the British royal family as a symbol of stability, and yawns from a younger generation more captivated by the latest dancehall reggae stars.

Caribbean grandmothers and mothers will stay glued to their television sets in much the same way people did during the 1981 marriage of William's parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

Dozens of wedding-watching parties are planned on British-influenced islands in the Caribbean. Some restaurants are promising "royal" goodies such as raspberry scones, crustless cucumber sandwiches and aromatic teas in honor of the couple. A few hotels are readying royal-themed music including "God Save the Queen" and "Rule Britannia.

UK officials expect several million Britons will head abroad, thanks to the timing of the wedding day — a holiday for most — between the Easter weekend and the May Day public holiday.

Wedding-watchers in the Caribbean said the TV broadcast will allow them a glimpse of the formal, pomp-filled world of the British monarchy that they only know from books and films.

In the former British colony of Guyana, 47-year-old hotel manager Liz Rahaman said she plans to spend the entire day watching royal wedding coverage at home. For Rahaman, following the wedding will be her way of paying homage to the late Princess Diana, who died at age 36 in a 1997 Paris car crash.
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