Hello-Hello, and Happy Tuesday! Today your trusty scribe is gadding about so we are immensely grateful to our Royal Correspondent for stepping up to the plate with an in-depth look at party preps, on the off chance anyone might be planning a celebration to mark the upcoming nuptials (you know, *that wedding*).
A bit of background when seeing the suppliers’ names, the Bee selected them for specific reasons: Party Pieces is the company owned and operated by Kate Middleton’s parents, Duchy Originals was created in 1990 by Prince Charles, Althorp is the Spencer family estate where Princess Diana is buried and Highgrove is home for Prince Charles and Camilla, proceeds from the gift shop at Highgrove fund The Prince’s charities.
We’re coming down to the wire to THE wedding. I recently started to think about just what I would be doing on the day and had a minor epiphany; “I wonder if it would be possible to throw a tongue-in-cheek party using products that are sold and/or the official ____________ whatevers (you can fill in the blank, there seems to be an official everything with this) on the 29th”? Let me tell you, it’s all too easy to shape up most of your party from Party Pieces and the Duchy of Cornwall’s Line for Waitrose. Even to concede to the Spencer family, the Althorp Gift Shoppe appears on the List of THE Wedding Party Wares a la the Queen Bee.
Party Pieces Union Jack Lantern– On this side of the pond, we’re going to have to get up before even the newspaper kid starts his route, what better way to welcome your guests than a few of these brightly lining the drive?
Party Pieces 82 Foot-Long Union Jack Bunting– Why not strew a few doorways, tables, houseplants, chandeliers even, with this bunting (my personal favorite).
9×6 foot Union Jack Flag– Could be used as tablecloth, cape, draped over an armchair or (appropriately) hung with pride.
Party Poppers- You may be popping the champagne (see suggestions below) but the kiddies can take part in the very British merriment by popping these crackers.
Champagne Bubbles- You are having bubbles (again, see suggestions below for adult tipples) so why not the kiddies (and those who are children at heart) as the couple makes their way to Buckingham Palace?
I “Heart” GB Balloons– What better way to dress up your serving table, viewing room or even tie to your mailbox to further take on the air of jubilation.
Party Pieces Cake Stands– Though we will be using a platter also from bespoke website, this would be the perfect solution to serve all of those cucumber sandwiches for elevenses as the coverage starts to wind down.
Party Pieces Plates– The heritage and whimsy of English bone china is touched upon in these easy to dispose of paper plates- since who wants a big clean up if you’re going to start partying at 4 AM?
Party Pieces Party Cups– By far my favorite piece from the whole “British Vintage Street Party” Collection offered on Party Pieces. Will be great for everything from tea to champers.
Princess Carriage Party Food Hold-All– Maybe your guests are the type who care to balance cocktail plate, beverage and other miscellany as they celebrate. Since all the first-tier Windsors (by blood or by marriage) will be employing a carriage on April 29th, why not you? Though we should note, unless there is rain, you will be the only person with an enclosed carriage.
Party Pieces Union Jack Paper Napkins– Because it wouldn’t be very princessy to place our cups on the table without one.
Fairytale Princess Party Napkins– Tongue in cheek, QBS declares, “I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.”
Althorp Shoppe’s Chocolate Chip Biscuits– Wanted to make sure that the Spencer Family knew that they were included in our celebration (a very tongue-in-cheek har har here).
Duchy Originals Highland Shortbread– As the couple met in Scotland at St. Andrew’s University and is said to have a love for the Scottish Highlands, this is a fitting part of your spread.
Duchy Originals Oaten Biscuits– What good British spread wouldn’t include oat-cakes? Very lightly sweet, they’re great on their own or with cheese; I would recommend a good Stilton (layered cheddar and Roquefort- very British and one of the handful of cheeses that seldom touch these lips).
Duchy Originals Sandgringham Strawberry Preserves– We’re starting the day very early, maybe too early for extreme sweets, so a dollop of these preserves over toast might be a better way to ease into the celebrations. Could also use in a glaze for a roast or in a trifle.
Other Non-Royally Produced Suggestions- As mentioned earlier, tea sandwiches ranging from finger to cucumber would be a lovely savory item to serve your guests. While a bit early for strawberries to be in-season, strawberries and cream is very British and would make for the perfect breakfast treat.
Union Jack Chocolate Cake Kit- Serve this as the Wedding cake along with the Bride and Groom toppers as seen below.
Cake Kits’ Golden Sponge Cake Mix– Prince William’s new brother-in-law, James Middleton, peddles cake making kits (on his parents website, amongst others), so we’re incorporating more family into our celebration. Perhaps bake and slice to use in a trifle, as he noted Kate once did after improperly cooking him a birthday cake? Revenge is sweet and you can use the Duchy Originals’ Strawberry Preserves in the cake to meld Windsor and Middleton families. Serve in lieu of Groom’s Cake.
Party Pieces Cake Platter– Surely this is what the Windsors will be serving up the cake on, non?
Blonde Groom Cake Topper– Though Prince William will be in Dress Uniform instead of morning coat and top hat.
Brunette Bride Cake Topper– Though I believe Kate will wear her luscious locks up, not down, as to further set off whatever tiara she does wear that day.
Union Jack Cake Candles– Surely at some point Kate blew out a candle with the wish to marry Prince William, why not let your guests make castles-in-the-sky wishes too on the day of a wild-beyond-wild dream coming true?
Tattigner Champagne– May we suggest the only Champagne to have QEII’s insignia (and therefore official approval) to toast the newlyweds as they walk out of Westminster Abbey as man and wife and proceed in carriage to Buckingham Palace?
Laurent-Perrier– This is the Champagne that has Prince Charles’ insignia proudly stamped on it. Possibly to save to pop after we’ve seen all the royals on the balcony at Buckingham Palace and are now hunkering down to read all of the blogs and watch re-play of the coverage?
Hereford Reserve Dry Cider– After we’ve all but exhausted our bubbles, we bring out the swill, Prince Charles’ Highgrove brand cider. Very British to do so, this is what shows up when reveling has gone on into the wee hours, even the first wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral highlights this practice.
Highgrove Shop’s Engagement Jigsaw Puzzle– To date, I am unsure if the coverage will be wholly uninterrupted, but in the event of commercials or nonsensical morning news anchors unintelligibly babbling, what better way to kill the time than putting together this jigsaw puzzle until the cultural eye-candy is back on the air?
For the record on how I plan on commemorating the day: Pigs in a blanket, a few bottles of Veuve Cliquot, fresh strawberries and as many of those little Union Jack flag toothpicks as we can get our little paws on. I’m between my tiara or red fascinator to pair with my pajamas.
Party Pieces Union Jack Flag Face Paint Kit– The couple might wear their hearts on their sleeves, but you can wear your pride on your face as we watch one of the biggest weddings of the century.
Princess Party Tiaras– In the event that unlike QBS, you do not own a tiara AND fascinator, you simply must pick up some of these so your guests are able to be properly adorned; one wouldn’t think of even attending this wedding without some kind of a headpiece.
A tad more on how QBS will celebrate the day: The Lord Chamberlain did not recognize the Royal House of QBS, so she is without invitation to Westminster, much less the luncheon and dinner celebrations at Buckingham Palace later in the day. QBS and sister, at present, are planning on sleeping over at their parents’ house, waking up earlier than they did to see what Santa left them for Christmas 1989. We will then commence the merrymaking, much to our parents’ chagrin, but when you buy a larger than large flatscreen,wall-mounted television for the sunroom, how do you say no to your two little darlings 😉 Bottles of good bubbles, including Laurent Perrier are already chilling, QBS has some Union Jack toothpicks that will surely grace the mini pigs in a blanket that we have decided on. Our mother will certainly insist upon petit-fours, as those are “daintily regal.” As the celebration starts at four AM (an ungodly hour, even for this gal who is used to 5 AM practices), the dress code will be relaxed enough to wear pajamas and tiaras (or my fascinator, I’m not sure yet).
A quick postscript for any philatelists, The Royal Mail has released images of the official stamps, for a quick peek click here.