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Royal wedding fever creeps into Malta

Prime Ministers and heads of state not invited - but parties still being organised

Updated on Friday at 9am

Hype about the royal wedding in the UK on Saturday has been totally eclipsed by whether Megan Markle’s father will turn up to walk her down the aisle, but that hasn’t stopped wedding fever creeping into Malta.

Heads of state have not been invited to Windsor Castle – meaning neither Joseph Muscat, British Prime Minister Theresa May, nor US President Donald Trump are going – but the occasion will be marked around the world by various pockets of diehard royal-watchers.

And Malta is no exception. The MSPCA Charity Shop in Sliema has entered the spirit and has produced a wedding themed window in Gorg Borg Oliver Street in Sliema.

The MSPCA shop in Sliema.The MSPCA shop in Sliema.

And expatriates in Malta are also planning their own celebrations: “I have invited about 20 ladies to my house for prosecco, to follow the wedding on television,” one woman told the Times of Malta.

“Posh frocks are optional, although people do seem to be getting dressed up. And they will definitely need to wear hats or fascinators!”

The house is going to be strewn with bunting and flags and the menu will include wedding staples like sausage rolls, coronation chicken, and – of course – Royal Wedding cup cakes.

The host chuckled as she admitted that the guest list included at least eight different nationalities , not all from the Commonwealth, but said that they were all “getting into the spirit”.

“We are celebrating the day an American divorcee finally gets to infiltrate the British Royal family!” she laughed.

British tourists who will be in Malta this weekend will also find plenty of venues to follow the proceedings. Susan Tahir told the Times of Malta that she and six friends will be out and about on Friday, wearing Harry and Meghan T-shirts.

Clare Agius and her guests on TV.Clare Agius and her guests on TV.

"Tomorrow we are dressing for the wedding fascinators included and heading off for a right Royal Party at the British Legion in Valletta," she said.

Of course, the royal family has local fans too. TV personality Clare Agius is also a fan of the royal family, "most probably because I have a soft spot for the two princes more than anything", she laughed.

"Harry in particular as he's a red head like my husband who is British but I happen to be a bigger fan of the royals than he..." she admitted.

She will be dedicating a section of her programme Lsien on Thursday to the wedding, with scones and sandwiches, and a proper tea tier tray. And on Saturday she is planning to make an English breakfast for the family followed by all-day sandwiches for friends popping in.

"I’m not much of a cook so don't expect much but I'm sure sandwiches will do just fine," she said.

Meghan Markle's great-great-grandmother Mary was born in Malta in 1862. She visited the islands in 2015 for a photo shoot for a magazine, and said she had "really loved it".

Are you doing anything to celebrate the royal wedding? Tell us about it on mynews@timesofmalta.com

WHAT'S HAPPENING

Britain's Prince Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle will marry on Saturday in a ceremony that brings together royalty and Hollywood glamour.

Queen Elizabeth's grandson Harry and Markle, who starred in the TV drama "Suits", will tie the knot at St George's Chapel at Windsor castle, the oldest and largest inhabited fortress in the world.

Here are brief details about the wedding:

FRIDAY EVENING

- Markle and her mother Doria Ragland will travel to Cliveden House Hotel near Windsor where they will spend the night before the wedding.

Harry and his elder brother and best man, Prince William, will stay at the Coworth Park hotel.

SATURDAY

10am

The 1,200 members of the public invited to the grounds of the castle for the wedding will begin to arrive.

10.30am - 12pm

The 600 guests for the ceremony will arrive by coach at the castle's Round Tower. They will walk to the chapel and enter via the South Door.

12.20pm

Members of the royal family will begin to arrive and will enter the chapel via the Galilee Porch. Some will be on foot and some will arrive by car.

At about this time, Markle and her mother will leave their hotel by car, travelling along the Long Walk promenade that runs up to the castle to allow spectators catch a glimpse of the bride on the way to the ceremony.

12.30pm

Harry and William will arrive at the chapel, most likely on foot, and will enter by the chapel's West Steps, having greeted some of the public and charity representatives invited to be in the grounds. Queen Elizabeth will be the last of the royals to arrive.

The car carrying Markle and her mother will stop at the chapel where Ragland will head inside. Markle is due to be joined by her father at this point, although his presence is now in doubt, along with some of the bridesmaids and page boys. She will continue to the West Steps where she will enter the chapel.

1pm

The service begins. David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, will conduct the service and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, will officiate for the exchanging of vows.

Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, will give the address.

2pm

The service ends. The newlyweds will process out of the chapel and then acknowledge the 200 specially-invited charity representatives gathered in the Cloister outside.

Family members will gather on the West Steps while other members of the congregation will file out to wave off the couple as they begin a procession in an Ascot Landau carriage. The procession which will take the couple through Windsor before returning to the castle up the Long Walk is due to last about 25 minutes.

2.25pm

Guests at the chapel will walk to the reception at St George's Hall, a huge, grand banqueting room in the State Apartments. The couple will join them having completed the carriage procession

8pm

The bride and groom will leave the castle to attend an evening reception at nearby Frogmore House which will be attended by 200 guests.

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