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William & Kate: How Americans plan to celebrate, for fun and profit

Some American Anglophiles are swooning over William & Kate with the rest of the world, while others just see a convenient theme for dinner, dancing, or dollar-making.

By Staff writer / April 23, 2011

People look at souvenirs of Prince William and Kate Middleton on display at a street stall in London. The couple are to marry at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29.

Sang Tan/AP

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Los Angeles

The Royal Wedding in Britain is drawing closer, and the pulse of the global swoon over the newest generation of royals is quickening.

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But while plenty of Americans are indulging a latent strain of Anglophilia, far more denizens of the former British colony are riding the wave of nuptial bliss for their own fun, financial, or often quite personal reasons.

The fairytale union of Prince William and his commoner bride Kate Middleton is almost too perfect a Cinderella story for modern times, says Joan Allen, a personal advice author based in Baltimore.

Kate Middleton and Prince William: How well do you know them? A quiz.

“It gives everyone everywhere a reason to be optimistic that their own dreams might come true,” she says with a laugh. But Ms. Allen says the moment is also a good opportunity for single women to reaffirm their worth, even without that perfect Prince Charming ending.

Never married (though she says she has turned down five marriage proposals) Allen says it’s important not to get swept up in the image of someone else’s idea of perfection. “I am single and satisfied,” says the author of “Celebrating Single and Getting Love Right: From Stalemate to Soulmate.”

At the same time, the writer, who is also a professional caterer, intends to throw a formal, 10-person high tea on the eve of next week’s wedding, complete with “exquisite finger sandwiches and my own scones,” she says.

“I think I will invite my 10 best girlfriends over and have some fun.”

Wedding workout

Taking a decidedly different approach to the impending event is ballet dancer Stas Kmiec, who decided to use the wedding fervor as a way to lure the exercise-phobic back into the gym with the “Royal Wedding Dance Workout” at New York Sports Club in Manhattan.

Based on what he said are inside tips from Arlene Phillips, the British dancer who is choreographing William and Kate’s first dance, Mr. Kmiec has created a mélange of old and new dance moves, including everything from the foxtrot, ChaCha, and the waltz to the Hustle, the Macarena, and its British knockoff, the Agadoo.

“I’ve been told that Kate wants an 80’s theme for the fun reception,” he says, noting that there are two – the other thrown by Prince Charles. “And she is a huge fan of Abba,” he says, so that gave him all kinds of great music to play with and get people “up off their seats and moving.”

Kmiec says he was inspired by Michelle Obama’s push to get ordinary people to get some exercise from everyday sorts of activity.

“Many people just don’t want to go to the gym and lift weight,” he says. “It’s just not fun. So, I thought I would find a more simple way to sneak some high-level cardio into people’s lives.”

He adds with a laugh, “You know, dancing at a wedding can really work up a sweat.”

Dinner theater

Restaurants from coast to coast are offering special British-themed menus and parties – but with an American independence.

“We’ve been getting all sorts of calls from our American clients asking what we are doing,” says Liverpudlian Tony Moogan, owner of the Cock and Bull British pub in Santa Monica, Calif. “But most of them want to come in during the day and watch it on their own schedule.”

So, while a number of British eateries are offering the wee-hours-o’-the morning viewing, Mr. Moogan will open at a reasonable 10:00 a.m. on April 29 and allow patrons to dine on a classic British wedding breakfast while they watch a rerun of the actual wedding on a 135-inch flat screen.

“Most people have to work that day, sometime at least,” he says, “and frankly, it wouldn’t do much for us to stay open all night because we can’t sell drinks and most people don’t really want to eat at that time.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William: How well do you know them? A quiz.

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