The big day has arrived. With wedding bells soon to toll on the grounds of Windsor Palace, alarm clocks are chiming across the ocean as bleary-eyed Canadians rise at the crack of dawn to ring in the royal nuptials of Prince Harry and American-born actress Meghan Markle.
After months of royal wedding fever, Canucks are flocking to their nearest television screen to watch Markle walk down the aisle with her Canadian ties on full display as she’s accompanied by Ben and Jessica Mulroney’s three children among the bridesmaids and pageboys.
Some wedding watchers are donning formal wear to partake in public celebrations being held across country, while others are staying in their pyjamas to enjoy the spectacle from home.
In Markle’s former adopted home of Toronto, where she lived while filming the legal television drama “Suits,” local arts impresario David Mirvish is hosting a free viewing party at the Princess of Wales Theatre, which is named for Harry’s late mother Diana.
A spokesperson for Mirvish Productions says all 2,000 tickets to the event — which will feature trivia contests, celebrity guests and a royal costume party — were claimed five minutes after the box office opened earlier this week.
At the downtown Duke of Cornwall Public House, revellers are encouraged to break out their finest headgear, including top hats, bowlers and fascinators, to watch the wedding over a traditional English breakfast, while the Windsor Arms Hotel will be screening the ceremony in its opulent Courtyard Ballroom.
A hotel in Halifax is holding an early-morning royal breakfast buffet featuring an array of British delights including traditional bangers, Scotch eggs and Branston pickles, and will also serve mimosas for a toast to the happy the couple.
In Montreal, the Burgundy Lion Pub will be offering guests of a choice of breakfast or the sweet tray from the British-themed pub’s high tea service.
At the Union Club of British Columbia in Victoria, royal watchers will be waking up — or perhaps staying up — for a 3 a.m. royal bash with guests being asked to wear appropriate wedding attire.
The union of Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, and Markle has been hailed as a breath of fresh air by many Canadians who look forward to this younger generation of royals shaking up the largely ceremonial institution.