While London preps up to host the biggest party of the year as Britain’s Prince William, 28, weds Kate Middleton, 29, in a few hours, Delhi isn’t far behind.
From hotels to private parties to even the British High Commission, everyone’s planning their own “We’re hosting a live screening of the ceremony today, and it will be followed by a very traditional British high tea with canapés and drinks. We wanted to ensure that the celebration is as British as any party in England,” says Dharmender Yadav of the official Union Jack Club — a club for British expats and all Delhi employees of the British High Commission. “I’m going to try and sneak out of work early and catch the ceremony online,” says Gabriella Rose Waff, a British expat working in Delhi.
City-based hotels and restaurants have also jumped onto the WillKat bandwagon. “Once the ceremony starts, we’ll have a live streaming of it along with high tea,” says a spokesperson for the Hyatt Hotel. “We have special happy hours offers during the ceremony,” says a spokesperson for restaurant Qba. Days of the Raj, a colonial India inspired restaurant, will have a special menu on offer for the live screening, plus a complimentary glass of wine as a toast to the wedding.
“I’ve had a lot of request for Brit canapés for at-home parties. And it’s not just the expats who’re hosting these,” says Maya Lisa Shankar of Erna’s Gourmet catering. “I have some girlfriends coming over for a little party. We can’t wait to see her (Kate’s) dress,” says Anukriti Bhan, a DU college student.
The stagg party
The residence of the British High Commissioner to India, Richard Stagg, will see a gala celebration with large screens, cakes and champagne. The party, to be attended by top politicians and businessmen, is being hosted by the British Deputy High Commissioner and BBC Entertainment. Entry by invite only.
Just like in England, some people in the city can’t seem to understand what the big deal is all about. “I read somewhere that six billion people will watch it. But why, you tell me!” says author William Dalrymple. “It’s just a wedding of two twenty-somethings. How it really matters besides some great souvenir pictures, is beyond me,” says Daniel Gregson, a British exchange student of Delhi University.