Yesterday's International Brunch, hosted by The Woman's Club, was served a special helping of a first-hand account of activities at last weekend's royal wedding in London, England, by Lady Allen, wife of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. The lunch took place at the Alhambra Inn, Tucker Avenue, St Andrew.
Lady Allen told a rapt audience about the outpouring of love for the royals from people from all over the world, who had camped out from as early as Wednesday, and the remarkably clean surroundings of Westminster Abbey, Lancaster House and Buckingham Palace. She said she was so impressed by the cleanliness that she hoped the same level of care would be taken of our state residences in Jamaica.
"We were part of about 100 guests who attended a pre-wedding five-course state dinner at Lancaster House on Thursday night. The dinner was followed by a talk about the days when royal marriages were arranged for alliances and financial gain versus now, when couples marry after forming personal romantic relationships," she said.
She said the wedding day began with an early buffet breakfast followed by a 10-minute "potty rest" and a colour-coded coach ride to the Abbey. Lady Allen said upon arrival at the the church, she wondered where they would be seated among the heavy throng, only to be pleasantly surprised by a placement for members of the realm in proximity to the Queen and a roving camera. "We had the front pew in our section with the heads of state of Australia and New Zealand."
She said all the flowers came from the Queen's garden and large trees were used in the decor in order to cut down on expensive decoration. Sir Patrick and Lady Allen were fêted in a special room after the wedding and were met and greeted by Queen Elizabeth and her immediate family prior to the reception.
Of her conversation with Prince William and his new bride, she said the Duchess of Cambridge spoke about the spectacle of the row of hats she saw from her seat on the platform, and gave Lady Allen special compliments on her choice of hat. She said when all the special guests lined the driveway to bid farewell to the couple and the engine gunned down the driveway, Queen Elizabeth II quipped, "I'd like to try that sometime."
The reception was not a longwinded affair. Prince Charles spoke, followed by Prince William, and the cutting of the wedding cake. Lady Allen said she was happy to have been afforded the opportunity to represent Jamaica at the wedding.
Guest speaker at the brunch, Ecuadorian consul Clelia Baretto de Hunter, took guests on an informative tour of her country's industrial, agricultural, cultural, artistic and other assets.