Red-hot puppies, high tea and nap parties: LA’s royalists prepare for the royal uniting

The royalists of Los Angeles, where Meghan Markle was born and elevated, are as invested in the wedding as any British monarchist

There is a hot dog called in honor of the big daylight. There are cot greenbacks on fascinators, Windsor Castle and how to fold cloths. There are last-minute preparations for slumber defendants with bunting, scones, cucumber sandwiches and gin and tonic slush puppies.

The royalists of Los Angeles are ready for Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry on Saturday.

It will happen 5,000 miles and eight duration zones away, but these Californians feel as invested as any British monarchist.

The wedding, after all, feels in some respects like a Hollywood production.

The bride is a born and bred Angeleno who grew up around film sets and discovered success on screen before falling for a monarch, opening a modern, biracial sequel to Grace Kelly’s move to Monaco more than half a century ago.

Hollywood continues imperial mystique with season dramas, Disney ladies and, quite recently, Netflix’s The Crown. The personality website TMZ, headquartered near the Pacific Ocean, produces the media pack with imperial scoops, chitchat and tidbits , not least the tale over whether Markle’s father, who lives 150 miles down the coast in Mexico, will move his daughter down the aisle.

For all its English solemnity many here feel the ceremony in St George’s chapel could carry a” manufactured in LA” sticker.

” They say she’s their princess, that it’s history in the making ,” said Dympna Madeley, administrator of Ye Olde King’s Head, a British-themed gift shop in Santa Monica which has repeatedly sold out of Harry and Meghan layers, beakers, sweaters and other merchandise.

The frenzy outruns the fuss for Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011, said Madeley.” There’s much more interest now. We’ve had to reorder stock five times. We didn’t realise how many people would be drew into it .”

Shoppers included Redgie De Guzman, 35, a bookseller, who loaded up on union jack decorations for an all-night party at a friend’s live which will culminate when Markle says” I do” shortly before dawn local period.” We’ll watch it live. Go large-hearted or go home ,” said De Guzman.” The next wed will be, what, Prince George in 20 times ?”

Redgie De Guzman stocks up on wedding memorabilia for a viewing party in Los Angeles. Photograph: Rory Carroll for the Guardian

The only wedding fever dissenter when the Guardian saw the storage was Paul Bailey, 50, a British expat who was stocking up on Toffee Crisps.” I don’t feel it has anything to do with my life .”

Americans were far more excited than LA’s British transplants, said Madeley, the manager.” We think it’s because Markle is American and mixed-race. They don’t care if we tell them she’ll be a duchess , not a princess .”

Lisa Powers, who coped a neighbouring British-themed pub, said tickets for its bridal views sold out days ago.” It’s insane. A totally different buzz compared to William and Kate .”

At least three cinemas in LA will host screenings.

Pink’s Hot dog, a fast-food landmark, will volunteer a “Royal Dog”- two hot dogs and two bacon slices in a bun filled with mustard, cheese, onions, pickle bask and chili, wrapped in a packet praising Markle and Prince Harry.

Echoes of Markle’s past life in LA contribute frisson to the celebrations.

The Cat& Fiddle, a Hollywood pub and restaurant, offered to host a” royal slumber party” with fascinators, pyjamas, quiz trivia, sausage rolls and scones- and recollections about the bride, who visited about seven years ago with her then partner, Trevor Engelson, said co-owner Ashley Gardner.” He had a party for one of our reciprocal friends .”

The Rose Tree Cottage, an English tea room in the outskirt of Pasadena, channelled Pygmalion when Markle called last year apparently for etiquette tips-off, with proprietor Edmund Fry, a British expat, in the role of Professor Higgins. Angelenos have followed in her aftermath.” We’re morass, totally submerge ,” an employee said on Wednesday.

Edmund Fry leadings guests in a toast to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during afternoon tea at the Rose Tree Cottage in Pasadena, surrounded by cardboard cutouts of the royal family. Photograph: Robyn Beck/ AFP/ Getty Images

American romances with royalty don’t ever resolve well. Passion for Wallis Simpsoncost Edward VIII his throne and property them in exile. Grace Kelly irked at a lost acting career and been killed in a car accident.

Former schoolteachers predicted Markle will adapt to the scrutiny, influences and limitations of monarchy.

” As a student she was very bright, highly intelligent, very participated ,” said Maria Pollia, who taught Markle theology at Immaculate Heart high school in the 1990 s.

” I don’t think she has any fairytale dreams about the life. I see she’ll know that it comes with some moderately drastic changes. She is her own being but is very respectful of tradition. I don’t think she’ll be standing on counters trying to remake the royal family, that’s just not her .”

Prince Harry and Markle will focus on humanitarian programmes, prophesied Christine Knudsen, who taught Markle spirituality and literature.” We’re sure that after they get settled she and Harry will continue showing great heart and enormous conscience .”

The school, a private college near Hollywood, celebrated their alumnus earlier this week at “states parties ” with dancing, lemonade, biscuits and a corgi.

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