NYers Watch Royal Wedding

Some die-hard fans attended the royal wedding in New York City — watching from the pews of a church with centuries-old ties to the Church of England, from picnic tables under the Manhattan Bridge and from bleachers in Times Square.

The Trinity Church in Lower Manhattan threw open its doors at 5 a.m. Friday — just as the festivities got under way in London.

Participants include Isabel Cooper-Ellis of Leicester, England who said it's more interesting to watch the pomp and circumstance from an American vantage point.

A jumbo screen at the altar carried a live broadcast of the historic day. Costumed Beefeaters set the scene.

Business executive Michelle Fedder, 45, of Manhattan, wore a large, black hat with silver and black organza twisted around the rim like a ribbon.
"I want to see the vows and the dress, of course, of course,'' Fedder said.

Trinity's rector, James Cooper, says the Episcopal church's neo-Gothic interior is "reflective of Westminster Abbey," where Prince William and Kate Middleton were exchanging their vows.

Doug Blais of Manhattan studied at Oxford. He says Trinity is the "next best thing to being there."

Royal watchers looking for a more earthy experience headed to giant screens in Times Square and under the Manhattan Bridge. The Paley Center for Media streamed the ceremony live and urged ladies to get into the spirit by donning bridesmaid dresses while being treated to tea, scones and wedding trivia.

The Waldorf-Astoria offered its recently renovated Royal Suite  -- the former residence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor  -- for a British-style cocktail party on the eve of the wedding.

A crowd of British expatriates living in the Big Apple gathered under the Manhattan Bridge around 5:30 a.m. to watch the bride and groom.

Asked what advice she would give to the couple, one woman was quick to say "don't listen to the Queen."

The crowd listened to the broadcast on special headphone devices so the noise from the monitor wouldn't awaken the neighborhood.

A cheer went up from the crowd at the sight of Princes William and Harry and many said "aawww" when William and Kate finally met at the aisle.

At Trinity Church, the royal wedding dress got overall good reviews.
Courtney Colburn, 21, a New York University student from Santa Rosa, Calif., said she thought the dress was pretty, but added, ``I would like it to be all lace. I don't like the train. ... But I'm not royalty.''
Hilary Glaus, 25, of Brooklyn, who works at a nonprofit, called the dress "stunning'' and "very demure and fitting for the occasion.''
"It fit her to a T,'' said Glaus, adding that after all the hype, she'd expected the bride "to show more skin.''

Following the screening, visitors were invited to a small reception for tea, coffee, cookies -- alas, no crumpets  -- and conversation.
On Friday evening, six of Trinity's two dozen bell ringers who hail from England are coming together to ring six of its 12 bells in celebration of the historic occasion.

Duncan Larger, who will conduct the band of expat ringers, said they all thought it would "be a nice way to be able to connect to the excitement that's going on back at home."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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