Love was most definitely in the air this weekend as Prince William walked down the steps of Westminster Abbey with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, marking the climax of what has been a feverish buildup to ‘the wedding of the century.’
As the world watched, the couple exchanged vows and rings, and the man who will more than likely become King of England in the future beamed with pride alongside his new bride.
The ceremony was full of pomp and circumstance, and the whole day displayed some of the strange but wonderful traditions associated with the British monarchy and large scale events such as this.
Although a long way from home, Qatar’s British community enjoyed the opportunity to share the occasion by attending a number of special events at hotels, private parties or simply in the comfort of their own homes.
Hotels including the Ramada Plaza, the Grand Hyatt, Sheraton, Four Seasons and the W hotel all hosted events to mark the occasion, welcoming guests to enjoy the atmosphere with other community members, who applauded, sang cheered, and at time shed tears throughout the joyous morning and afternoon.And the excitement was not limited to British expatriates, as people of all nationalities took the opportunity to watch and take part in what was a major global event.
Gulf Times spoke to a number of onlookers to get an idea of their response to the day’s events, the ceremony as a whole, and of course, ‘the dress.’
British teenager, Stephanie enjoyed the event at a hotel brunch, saying: “I thought Kate looked stunning, gorgeous and amazing!”
“It was a really entertaining and emotional event and a great moment in history. Even though we are in Qatar everyone has got together to join in and celebrate this special occasion,” she added.
Her sister, Natalie also enjoyed the day, describing Kate’s dress as “beautiful,” and saying “I hope I look half as good on my wedding day!” “I got tingles when they stepped out of the church as a married couple,” she added. While some were looking forward to the wedding, others found themselves pleasantly surprised watching the event having lacked excitement beforehand.
Brit, Robert was one of those, noting: “Although cynical given the hype surrounding the event, I was surprised by the level of patriotic fervour instilled within me.”
“I thought the grandeur of the ceremony was communicated really well, and I thoroughly enjoyed the day,” he added.
Fellow British expat, Gregory commented: “It was a wonderful occasion and I will always remember where I was on the day -- I’m already looking forward to the next one!”
“It was particularly thrilling when Kate finally emerged from the car, and the hush that descended on the room as she revealed her magisterial beauty was one of the defining moments of the day,” he said.
Long term resident Catherine, who arranged a party to mark the occasion, explained that she felt the need to celebrate the important day and share the tradition associated with the event with her international friends.
“It was great to show what can be done when the British really pull out all the stops,” she said, adding “nobody does pomp and circumstance, pageantry and tradition like the British.”
“They genuinely looked like a young couple in love, and I think it was a really good event for the British psyche in these days of doom,” she added.
Celebrating the day with family and friends, Julia chose to attend a special brunch at a local hotel, and she expressed her happiness at marking the event in such a way. “It’s great to feel part of everything that’s going on,” she said, adding “I thought Kate looked very elegant and her sister looking striking.”
“I think it’s really good for the people in the UK to have something to celebrate at the moment. It really was a brilliant day,” she added.
General consensus suggested that ‘the dress’ was perfect for Kate, who appeared at ease in her new role. Elegant and stylish, many suggested that the outfit reflected her future as a global style icon, tastefully combining tradition and modernity with the lace design adorning the graceful dress.
Everyone queried expressed their sense of enjoyment and happiness following the ceremony, and the event displayed how people from all over the world love to celebrate such important and fairytale-like romances.
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