By Anna Fitzpatrick, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton will be taking place this Friday, April 29th at 11AM BST (7AM in Rio). Around the world two billion people are expected to be watching the union take place at Westminster Abbey in London. Now the furor has died down about who will be attending and who has been looked over on the invite list: The Beckhams and Elton John in; Barack and Michelle Obama out.
If your invitation has not yet arrived, or you are unable to get away from Brazil for the event, there are still options for celebrating the union over the weekend here in Rio and São Paulo.
The British and Commonwealth Society of Rio de Janeiro (BCS Rio) is holding an event on Friday at the British School of Rio to celebrate the marriage.
Jack Woodall, Editor of The Umbrella magazine in Rio, explains: “The Royal Wedding is significant for British citizens in Rio because it begins a new era of pride in the Royal family and of positive images of the monarchy.”
BCS will be showing a recording of the wedding on the night of the wedding at 7:30PM and offer a toast to the couple. The ceremony is scheduled to take just over an hour. The British School of Rio will provide free sandwiches and there will be a cash bar. Entrance is free for BCS members, or R$10 for others, and everyone is welcome.
In São Paulo the Consul General John Doddrell and President of the SP British Commonwealth Community Council, Carolina Dupont-Liot are hosting an informal celebration at the British Centre in Pinheiros to celebrate the wedding. Starting at 6PM the ceremony will be screened from 6:30PM and a cash bar will available throughout the evening.
Organizer of a private Royal Wedding party in São Paulo is Emilia Sharples, an ethical fashion and branding consultant, explains why she decided to host a party: “We want to feel part of the event even though we are far from home, plus it is an excuse to share the party with our Brazilian friends – celebrating all things Great and British. Just because we are not at home doesn’t mean we can’t throw up the bunting with the best of them”.
However, this is not necessarily the attitude back in the UK. Compared to the last Royal Wedding, that of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981, the number of street parties being held in celebration is significantly less, though some 5,500 are still expected to take place.
With an extra bank holiday in the UK on Friday many Brits are expected to take advantage of the extra time off work. Brazilian newspaper Estadao is reporting that many Britons will be leaving the country – holiday bookings are up by two thirds on last year.
Speculation about what Kate Middleton will wear has been growing as the wedding approaches. Brazilian designer Danielle Helayel, whose label Issa is a firm favorite of Kate Middleton, has been ruled out of the speculation over who will design the dress.
Middleton wore an Issa dress to announce her engagement to the Prince in November. However, it is expected that a British designer will be favored for such a momentous occasion. Details about the designer will not be released until Kate Middleton has appeared in public en route to Westminster Abbey, such is the secrecy about her gown.