Churchill Museum to host royal wedding event in Fulton

Friday, April 8, 2011 | 7:38 p.m. CDT; updated 10:18 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FULTON — Anglophiles and royal wedding junkies can have their cupcake and eat it, too, at an event celebrating the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The Mid-Missouri Friends of the National Churchill Museum is hosting a royal wedding celebration at the museum at Westminster College on April 29, with a reception where attendees can watch the ceremony and take carriage rides.

The celebration will begin with a church service at 4:30 p.m. in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, where the museum is housed. Music will be provided by the North Callaway High School Choir and soloist Marlene Railton with organist Julia Matthews as the accompanist, Westminster spokesman Rob Crouse said.

Following the service, attendees may sip champagne, coffee and tea and nosh on sandwiches, hors d’oeuvres and white, carrot and chocolate wedding cupcakes, said Friends member Mary Harrison. Attendees will be able to watch recordings of the wedding ceremony on big-screen televisions in one of the gallery spaces.

Kit Freudenberg, the museum’s director of development, said the Friends hosted a similar celebration in 1981 when Charles and Diana wed. Afterward, they sent the royal couple a wedding gift: a cookbook and guest book from the local event.

This year, the Friends are trying to raise money to replace the lighting outside the church, which Harrison said will cost more than $10,000. The reception will be free, but donations will be welcome. Carriage rides will cost $5.

Harrison said the Friends thought it was important to do something as a celebration for the wedding of the royal couple. She said the group is hoping about 200 people attend. No advance registration is required.

Harrison said women are encouraged to wear hats to the event.

“Anytime you see any of the functions in London, the ladies are always in hats,” Harrison said. “We’ve seen Kate in many, many hats since she’s been in the public eye.”

Harrison has hers picked out: an all-gray hat with large flowers, feathers and netting that drops in front of the face that she purchased at Dillard’s.

“I’m a hat person anyway,” Harrison said. “I always hear ladies say, ‘I don’t look good in hats,' but you just got to put them on and go. It's a mindset."

Harrison said she hopes the event turns out to be a relaxed evening at which people will be able to see the wedding — perhaps for the second time if they tuned in that morning. She said there is an interest in the royal family that mimics the way people felt about the Kennedys.

“People enjoy weddings and the glamour, and I think the couple themselves are just such a unique couple,” Harrison said. "Of course with Diana and people seeing her first son marry, that’s all part of the fascination. People saw him as a small boy and we’ve grown up with him.”

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