Royal wedding fever lands at RFBI Hawkins Masonic Village

There was pomp, flair and plenty of giggles at an Edgeworth retirement village on Wednesday as residents and staff took part in a mock royal wedding.

In the lead up to Saturday’s highly anticipated wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, RFBI Hawkins Masonic Village hosted their own version of events – complete with a Queen and Duke.

“This can be the benchmark,” activities officer Amanda Linsley, who assumed the role of Ms Markle in Wednesday’s pantomime, joked. “The real wedding can only improve from this.”

No detail was overlooked in the fun afternoon skit.

Residents, wearing tiaras and armed with flags, lined the aisle.

Activity officer Kimberley Horne, in the role as matron of honour, walked down the aisle first, followed by Ms Linsley who wore a black-haired wig and real wedding dress.

Ms Linsley was accompanied down the aisle by village resident Tamy Young, playing Ms Markle’s grandfather, and volunteer Helen Hall, in the role of mother of the bride.

It was Mrs Hall’s dress and veil, the same ones she wore to her own, real, wedding 42 years ago, that was used in the skit.

Ms Linsley was met at the alter by activity officer Mathew Parr – the day’s Prince Harry. The best man, Prince William, was played by Eric Makey.

True to the real royal wedding ceremony, Ms Linsley bowed to the Queen and Duke – played by residents Gladys Colquhoun and Ted Ebert – before swapping vows with Mr Parr.

“It took a lot of research, but I think it came off quite well,” Mr Parr said.

It was Mr Parr who sparked the idea for the mock wedding. He had been putting together a quiz on the royal wedding for residents when he thought “why don’t we do an actual wedding?”

“It was amazing to watch the residents and staff come together to organise it,” Mr Parr said.

“It had a wonderful effect on the entire village. A lot of people joined in and helped prepare the wedding.

“It helps bring back a lot of memories for residents about their own wedding day.”

Once the ceremony was done, complete with a poem, a minor objection when the civil celebrant, played by activities coordinator Lama Cooper, asked if there were any, a kiss on the hand and some photos, the reception kicked in and everyone enjoyed cake.