EMOTIONS soared, flags flew and national spirit ran high as Wearside celebrated the wedding of William and Kate.
The drizzle and grey skies didn’t stop Sunderland or County Durham coming alive with street parties, community celebrations and even couples choosing to tie the knot on the same day as the Rpual couple.
Shoppers came to a standstill at the Bridges to watch the moment William wed Kate.
The centre has two giant screens for crowds to watch the wedding live.
Dan Johnson, 21, of Pallion, wore his Union Jack T-shirt.
“I came here specially to watch it and it’s been really good. It’s a really nice dress that Kate’s wearing and she looks really nice today.”
June Stothard, 70, of East Herrington, and pal Phyllis Jones, 77, of Millfield, were delighted to discover the Bridges was showing the wedding.
Mrs Jones said: “We meet every Friday, no matter what so we thought we were going to miss it. To see it here is great and the wedding has been really nice.”
Mrs Stothard added: “Kate looks absolutely beautiful and her and Prince William seem like a really down-to-earth couple. I wish them all the best.”
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Lynn Jones was over the moon to stumble across the screening after fiance Hilton Rowland, of High Barnes, refused to watch it.
Lynn, 40, who is marrying Hilton, 52, in July, said: “It’s lovely and she looks absolutely stunning. I think Diana would have been happy as well.”
Bernadette Hubbard, 25, and Christopher Rice, 32, walked down the aisle just hours after Prince William and Kate Middleton said “I will”.
The couple, from Sheppard Terrace, Castletown, booked their wedding on April 29 before learning they would share their anniversary with the Royals.
“It will be great to look back in years to come and remember that our special day was so important to so many people,” said Bernadette.
Hundreds in Wearside and East Durham shrugged of spells of less-than-clement weather to celebrate with traditional street parties.
Rose Newell, co-organiser of the celebration at Hawthorne Terrace and Laburnum Terrace, Shotton Colliery, said: “We’ve had a bit of a hassle having to put up gazebos and things because of the rain, but everyone’s enjoying themselves.
“We all enjoyed watching the ceremony, it was wonderful.”
Residents at Winslow Close, Witherwack, also transform their street into a party.
Amantha Anderson, 32, was the driving force behind the event, which included food, music, games and a bouncy castle.“It’s nice for us to all get together,” she said. “Even the rain wasn’t going to stop us celebrating.
“I love the Royals and I’m about the same age as Prince William so I’ve kind of grown up with him.”
Maxine Charlton, 32, added: “We’ve never had a street party here before but it’s been great and we’ll definitely be doing it next year.
“The kids have really enjoyed themselves and it’s been a great day.”