Pub plans for royal affair

Valley residents don’t have to travel to Westminister Abbey to see Catherine “Kate” Middleton and Prince William walk down the aisle.

The Indian School Road and Central Avenue stop of the Metro Light Rail is steps from George and Dragon, an English pub and restaurant where the royal wedding will be celebrated regally Thursday night and early Friday morning.

The dark, warm old-fashioned pub, already thoroughly adorned with Union Jacks on stone-lined walls, will be specially decorated for the all-night global affair, general manager Keith Jackson said.

“We’re the only place in the Valley showing the wedding all night,” he said.

The pub will open at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, the day before the wedding. Channel 10 will broadcast to the Valley as Anglophiles and expats decorate the pub in preparation for all-night festivities.

Drinks, including one beer of choice in the U.K., Guinness, will be served until 2 a.m. on Friday and the wedding will broadcast at 3 a.m. An English breakfast will be offered as well.

With more than 16,000 expats living in the Valley, Jackson said the celebration will be merry.

“It’s home away from home for them,” Jackson said. “Many get off British Airways and come straight here on the light rail.”

The English pub has served all English-style, homemade food since 1994, when owner David Wimberley moved from the other side of the pond —  Ramsgate, England.

Bartender Liz Michelson fancies the pub’s environment and her stream of regular patrons, she said.

“I love the people,” she said.

Though she didn’t receive a royal invite like David Beckham or Elton John, she’s excited for the event many are calling “the people’s wedding.”

“It’s been 30 years since the last one,” Michelson said.

The highly anticipated and wildly publicized wedding is significant for England not only because it’s been three decades since the last, but because it marks a change in British royal marriages.

English junior Mary Sprain said the wedding is significant because it departs from tradition: The prince is marrying a commoner.

“They’re in love and that’s great,” she said. “The wedding is a good thing.”

Billions of people from around the globe are expected to watch the wedding broadcast on April 29 as Middleton becomes England’s next princess.

Valley citizens and expats will be at George and Dragon, cheering her on.

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