Royal wedding the star attraction for Greystones locals

Whale Theatre hosts ‘magical’ Harry and Meghan celebration to mark the occasion

At the Whale Theatre Greystones: Catherine Donnolly; Dorothy Fitzpatrick; Frances Burke; Marie Molloy; Jo O’Farrell; Catherine Boland and Sally Watson. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

At the Whale Theatre Greystones: Catherine Donnolly; Dorothy Fitzpatrick; Frances Burke; Marie Molloy; Jo O’Farrell; Catherine Boland and Sally Watson. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was  watched worldwide today and the Whale Theatre in Greystones must have ranked among the most enjoyable  of venues to take in the occasion.

Guests arrived at the event in their finery with elaborate dresses and extravagant hats were the order of the day. They enjoyed a continental breakfast, prosecco and wedding cake during the ceremony which was watched on a big screen.

A royal occasion: Jamie Lyon; Mathilde Murray; Amy O’Connor and Vivienne White. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
A royal occasion: Jamie Lyon; Mathilde Murray; Amy O’Connor and Vivienne White. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Sally Watson and Catherine Boland. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Sally Watson and Catherine Boland. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Revellers and wellwishers paid €15 per person and numbers were limited to 75. Tickets sold out in a matter of days.

Some might wonder why you would pay to watch the wedding in a theatre when you could watch it for free in your own living room, but attendees were keen to make a day out of the occasion.

The wedding is viewed with more than a little interest live on the big screen at the Whale Theatre, Greystones, Wicklow. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
The wedding is viewed with more than a little interest live on the big screen at the Whale Theatre, Greystones, Wicklow. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
A hat for the occasion. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
A hat for the occasion. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

“There’s big interest in the fashion and celebrity aspect of it rather than the political side. It’s a fun day. We put a lot of effort into our events to make them as magical as possible,” said Ross McPharland, proprietor of the theatre.

“We all recall Prince Harry walking behind his mother’s coffin. We shared that sorrow with him so I’m just really happy for him. It’s about being happy for a young couple,” said Deirdre Fox.

Deirde Vandeweert said she came to the event “to enjoy the celebrations of a real life fairytale romance”. Vivienne White said it was “an excuse for a day out with the girls”.

Sarah McIlroy (8) couldn’t wait to see “Meghan in her dress and the guests in their fancy outfits and hats”. Her sister Lizzy (10) was “excited to see the Queen”.

“I enjoy the pageant, the service and the music. It’s wonderful,” said David Proger, who is originally from Britain.

Settling in for the wedding at the Whale Theatre in Greystones. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Settling in for the wedding at the Whale Theatre in Greystones. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

American Bishop Michael Curry’s exuberant speech had the entire room laughing while the newlywed’s first kiss prompted a collective swoon and clapping.

“It was a perfect ceremony for a perfect couple. The dress was stunning and the royals were in good form,” said Colleen Despaquale.

Michelle Bolger said the Bishop “was great and very funny” and that he “added entertainment to it”.

Sight of the bride’s dress was eagerly anticipated, but the gown divided opinion when finally seen.

Ashling Doyle said it was “stunning, classic, simple, elegant and timeless”, while others felt it was a little too boring for the amount of money it would have cost.

An organisation called Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland had erected posters around the theatre several days ago in protest of the viewing party. The posters read: Greystones Against Royal Parasites. Smash British Normalisation.

The group said anyone who watched the royal wedding “should be ashamed of themselves” but it did not show up to protest at the viewing party this morning.