Royal newlyweds toasted in Fairfield with fancy hats and a spot of tea
Updated 3:16 pm, Saturday, April 30, 2011
They may not have been able to jet across the pond to witness firsthand the royal nuptials, but a group of women -- and a few gentlemen as well -- donned their finest hats and gloves to fete Britain's Prince William and his new bride, Catherine Middleton, at a Friday afternoon tea at the Fairfield Public Library.
Before they got down to business sipping tea and nibbling cookies, the roomful of chapeaued women got a crash course in the history of royal weddings starting with Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold, as recounted by Mona Garcia, a reference librarian and something of an English history expert.
The history lesson sketched the royal legacy to Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and Garcia explained the difference between the three types of queens as defined by British noble protocol. There's the queen regnant, who like Elizabeth II, is a queen who reigns in her own right; a queen consort, or the wife of a king, as William's wife may be some day, and a queen dowager -- also known as a queen mother -- who is the widow of a king.
Garcia admitted she got up early Friday to watch all the pomp and circumstance of the wedding live.
"I saw the wedding dress," she said. "It thought it was beautiful," she said of Middleton's elegant white gown with a touch of lace. "I'll probably have to watch the highlights later."
Library Director Karen Ronald, decked out in a large, bright pink hat, tested the audience on how closely they followed the morning's ceremony, posing questions like, "What is Prince William's full name" and in what nation had Kate and William met. Those who got the questions right got their choice of English tea or coffee. (For the record, the answer to question one is William Arthur Philip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor and the second is Scotland).
After the presentation on British royalty, the crowd was treated to a screening of highlights of the royal nuptials as they enjoyed the trappings of English tea time.
Eliz Kakas of Fairfield was one of those who arose early to watching the wedding live. "Oh yes," she said. "I think she looked very darling, very, very elegant. It was nice to see."
Olga Voros admitted to watching the ceremonies, but not as they unfolded. "I watched it later," she said. "I loved every minute of it. I'm just a wedding person."