AN all-girl Royal Wearside Wedding proved a big hit as the countdown to this Friday’s celebrations continue.
St Gabriel’s Church in Millfield became Westminster Abbey for the day as its Rainbow and Brownie packs walked down the aisle – with girls playing both Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The mock-up service was part of celebrations taking place across Sunderland in the run-up to this week’s big event.
Rainbow leader Joanne MacDonald said: “There were 47 girls and they took on the boys’ roles as well.
“We had William and Kate, the Queen and other members of the Royal family, representatives from the armed forces, the Prime Minister and President Barak Obama.
“It’s quite funny because one of the quietest Brownies was chosen to be Kate, and all 15 Rainbows were bridesmaids.
“They all made their own costumes and they did very well.”
The spoof service was presided over by a Brownie playing the Archbishop of Canterbury, helped by a vicar from the church.
Mrs MacDonald said the service was part of the girls’ work towards the Guiding Association’s Royal Wedding Challenge badge.
“They’ve learned all sorts about the Royal family,” she said. “When they join, the girls have to make a promise to serve the Queen, and so we try to do that.”
She added: “The Royal Wedding is a happy occasion – it’s just such a lovely celebration for everyone.
“Not everyone can be in London, and events like this help bring it to everyone.”
The service at St Gabriel’s was just one of a number of events taking place across Wearside in preparation for the Royal Wedding and on the day itself.
Street parties, community celebrations and even couples choosing to tie the knot on the same day are among other events taking place.
Joanne added: “When you watch television and read the papers there have been comments about there not being many street parties, but I think we’re in a time now where children don’t really play out in the street as much.
“But there are a lot of other events, like ours, which don’t get commented about.
“A lot of schools are having parties and doing projects to do with the Royal Wedding, and there are other community things happening is as well. It’s not that people aren’t celebrating.”