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Feasts, frills and fascinators: How Halifax rang in the royal wedding


HALIFAX — Mimosas were toasted and tears were shed Saturday morning in Halifax, N.S., as spectators witnessed the newest addition to the Royal Family from across the pond.

The well-dressed group of royal watchers feasted on a British breakfast at the Delta Halifax hotel, eagerly watching the big screen as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tied the knot at St. George's Chapel in Windsor.

Men were mostly decked out in suits, button-down shirts and dress pants, while women dazzled in dresses, skirts, pantsuits and even fascinators — a type of headpiece popular among the royals.

Paul Abraham, a retired educator watching the wedding at the Delta Halifax, said the event was a can't-miss milestone for those in the Maritimes who have long held an affinity for the monarchy.

"We've been a garrison city right from day one, and obviously our contributions during the major wars, and our cultural link to the U.K., united empire, loyalists, the whole nine yards, sort of deeply embeds the monarchy in our culture here in the East Coast," he said.

The union of Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, and Markle has been hailed as a breath of fresh air by many Canadians who look forward to this younger generation of royals shaking up the largely ceremonial institution.

Abraham was also struck by the modern twists to the ceremony.

"It was sort of poignant to see a gospel preacher being so impassioned about the concept of love in the ancient chapel," he said, referring to the animated sermon delivered by the Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry. 

"To me it kind of pointed to the transition from the monarchy of yesterday into the monarchy of today."

Kim Curlett, a minister with the United Church of Canada, said shortly after the ceremony Saturday that she was also moved by Curry's sermon.

The American bishop addressed the royal couple's 600 wedding guests during his fiery speech as he spoke fervently about about the power of love, sprinkling in quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and the Bible.

"Everything about it was incredible," Curlett said. 

Laughter, ranging from quiet giggling to boisterous guffaws, could be heard througout the hotel ballroom during the sermon's more lighthearted moments.

Curlett added that Canada's connection with the British made the event a special occasion for both countries.

"We have such a connection to our English roots. Unfortunately, many of them are because we're a colony, the British empire, and that's a difficult place to be sometimes, but we honour that we have a historical connection to that place," she said. 

"I think that it makes it a special moment for many Canadians, especially Canadians that have families still in Britain."

The royal couple will now be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Alex Cooke, The Canadian Press

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