A GANG of royal fans set off from Wearside for London to be part of celebrations for the wedding of the year.
The group of friends decked their coach out in bunting and rosettes to get into the party spirit, as they travelled nearly 300 miles in a bid to catch a glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton on their big day.
Margaret Raine, from Fulwell, went to the capital to see Charles and Diana tie the knot, and was expecting today to be just as good.
“I think it’s going to be great, absolutely the same as it was 30 years ago,” she said. “The atmosphere was brilliant and we made friends from all over the place. People had travelled from abroad to come and see the Royal Wedding.”
She added: “I think that William and Kate are fab.
He is a gent and she will make the country proud.”
Jean Potts was set to fly her flag as the Sunderland group took their places in central London, after being ferried south by Hendon-based Stratton coaches.
“It will be great,” she said. “I know the atmosphere down there will be really nice.”
The travel consultant, from Whitburn, added: “We’ve got plenty of bubbly for the trip down and we’ll be singing songs.
“I’m sure the older members will be getting the old songs going.
“Some of them are going to have flashing lights on – we’re going to be a funny-looking crowd.”
Susan Pringle arranged the trip for the 37-strong party, including 25 who made the journey to the capital for the last major Royal wedding 30 years ago.
“We went down on a coach for Charles and Diana in 1981,” said the 53-year-old, from Cleadon. “It’s just like a family tradition.
“They remember what it was like last time and were keen to go this time, especially with Kate having North East connections.
“I’ve read about the history, people quite like that.”
The clan will be going all out for the occasion to show their support for the happy couple, who will say their vows in front of an audience of millions.
Susan said: “Everyone is dressing up as if they are going to a wedding – they are all nuts.
“We’re are all big fans of the royals and I think they do bring in more money than they use.”
Susan is also a supporter of the blushing bride, whose great-grandfather hailed from Hetton.
“I think Kate is very dignified and personable, and she will make a good escort for William.
“We just want someone who will make us proud.”