If you didn’t get a wedding invite from Meghan and Harry, don’t fret.
Celebrate the matrimony of the former party boy and American actress from the comfort of your couch, local movie theater or British-themed pub. Or join the throng of people happily ignoring the whole thing.
The ceremony at Windsor Castle begins at noon London time, which is 4 a.m. Pacific Time. The hoopla starts hours earlier. Many TV networks, including HBO, will begin live coverage around 1:30 a.m. our time, when guests start arriving at the church wearing those zany hats. After the nuptials, festivities continue. There’s a showy horse-drawn carriage procession. The reception at St. George’s Hall. The party at Frogmore House.
The wedding across the pond is making a ripple around the Puget Sound region. Phyllis Carlton, owner of Treasures & Teas in Edmonds, created a special wedding-inspired loose leaf house blend. The shop also has Harney & Sons Royal Wedding tea, a white tea with pink rosebuds in a collector tin.
National divisions remain, at least in good-natured form. “Us Irish aren’t supposed to like the British,” joked Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill & Irish Pub namesake owner, whose Everett bar isn’t cashing in on the royal wedding action. “Who cares about the British?”
For those who do care, a commercial-free replay of the wedding will be shown at 10 a.m. Saturday on the big screen at Regal Alderwood Stadium 7 in Lynnwood.
Meanwhile, a variety of products are available online: Cardboard cutouts of the couple, British flags, “When Harry met Meghan” T-shirts, mugs, coloring books, bathing suits with garish screen-printed faces of the bride and groom. One company is selling souvenir condoms in a music box that plays “God Save the Queen” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The Funko store in Everett has Pop! figures for $15 of Prince Harry, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Duchess Kate, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth II (in her famous pink outfit with one of her Pembroke Welsh Corgis). But not Meghan.
All of the fuss is for a prince some royal watchers thought might never settle down and a biracial Californian divorcee who is the offspring of a social worker/yoga instructor mom and lighting-director dad. There’s quite the scuttlebutt this week about her father not attending the wedding. Markle, 36, became famous in her own right in the TV series “Suits” and movies “Horrible Bosses” and “Remember Me.” She quit Hollywood when she got engaged to Harry, 33, whose real name is Henry.
For UK native Geoff Wall, 77, owner of Piccadilly Circus Pub in downtown Snohomish, the timing of the wedding is a royal pain.
He planned to be busy early Saturday preparing for soccer’s FA Cup final, which starts mid-morning. “It is like the American Super Bowl. You don’t have a wedding when the Super Bowl is on, do you?” he said.
People can come watch the wedding at his pub at 4 a.m. That’s his usual time getting there to prepare for the day.
For wedding and sports fans, he’ll serve a full breakfast — as they say in the UK — bangers (sausage), bacon, mushrooms, fried tomatoes, blood pudding and baked beans. Coffee with Crown Royal whiskey will be available starting at 6 a.m.
“I’ve seen lots of weddings. I was in England when the queen got married. After that, then Charles got married to Diana. And Fergie got married,” Wall said. “You see so many royal weddings and think, ‘Oh boy, not another one.’ The horse and cart going down the road. It gets a little old after a while. For people who haven’t seen it before, it’s something nice to watch.”
A poll by anti-monarchist pressure group Republic found that 66 percent of Britons are not interested in the event, with 60 percent of Britons planning to have a normal weekend.
“In England, people are getting a little frustrated,” Wall said. “For all the royals, everything is paid for. And all the people over there are working their butt off. The royals are always on vacation.”
Among his English pals, “about 50-50” are interested in the wedding, he said. “I suppose it would be like if you got a big wedding here, if Trump’s daughter gets married, how some would be excited and others would say, ‘To hell with it.’ ”
Erin Rodenbiker and Kelsie Job Rodenbiker, husband and wife from Seattle now living in Durham, England, well north of the wedding venue, said they are more excited than their British peers. They’ll be at a watch party with other expats.
“Honestly, none of the Brits we know seem to care, but the Americans love it,” he said. “To me, it’s the presidential election meets the Oscars. Glamour and national pride play out on live TV. Again, none of my British co-workers talk about it, but I talk to my mom in North Dakota and she is always asking about Meghan Markle, like we see her walking around Northern England.”
A lot of the spectacle’s commercialization ends up at thrift stores, she said.
“Commemorative plates, mugs, spoons, etc., are made for royal events like this, and they often end up cluttering the shelves of charity shops,” she said.
No need to send a gift to the couple, who asked instead for donations to selected causes including women’s empowerment, homelessness and the environment.
Just toast them like any other newlyweds: to health, happiness and a happy ever after (in a palace).