Toast the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Denver, Boulder and beyond at these parties — The Know
Their seemingly unlikely romance began with a blind date in 2016, and on May 19 an estimated 20 million people are expected to be watching as a real-life fairytale unfolds on television screens worldwide.
Meghan Markle, who gained fame for her portrayal of Rachel Zane in the USA Network series “Suits,” will become the first biracial, former American television actress to marry into Great Britain’s royal family when she exchanges vows with Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales in a ceremony officiated by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury and held in St. George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle.
The chapel is where Prince Harry, as he is better known, was christened 33 years ago.
Prince Harry is sixth in line for the British throne. His youthful escapades earned him the nickname of the “Bad Boy of Windsor,” a moniker he quickly overcame after falling head over heels in love with the smart, beautiful daughter of an Emmy-winning lighting director father and a social worker/yoga instructor mother.
The wedding festivities air at 5 a.m. mountain time on NBC, PBS, CBS, ABC and BBC America and, despite the early hour, local Anglophiles will be celebrating at watch parties that are private, public, modest and elaborate.
Some, like Sense of Security’s wedding-themed tea at the Lumber Baron Inn, are fundraisers; others are simply fun.
A spokeswoman for the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs said management decided against staging an event because they figured any guests who’d want to watch would be doing so “in the comfort of their room, in their pajamas with a cup of tea.”
On the other hand, the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., is offering a $24,000 “Royal Romance” package complete with a bottle of Tignanello, which is Meghan’s favorite wine; a bespoke necklace from Betteridge’s that is modeled after her engagement ring; a Strathberry tote; a helicopter flight that is an homage to Harry’s military service; and dinner at Café Boulud with a main course of rotisserie chicken, the dish the royal couple was making the night they became engaged. Five percent from the package price will be donated to the Broward County Humane Society or one of the newlyweds’ favorite charities.
Clem Connolly, western region director of special events for National Jewish Health, grew up in London and recalls being in the crowd when Prince Harry’s mother, Diana, married Prince Charles.
“As a family, we didn’t want to miss it. There were so many people out that day that the buses and tube stations were impossibly full, so we wound up having to walk the 10 miles from Hyde Park back to our home. But being even a small part of such a memorable event made the long walk worth it.”
A royal wedding, he adds, “is monumentally important for the British people.”
“We Brits like to complain about the tax dollars spent on the royal family, but we love them dearly. The glamour, the mystique. Indeed, the way Diana raised those two boys — Prince William and Prince Harry — reignited a passion for the royal family, both there and here in America.”
Meghan and Harry’s wedding, Connolly says, “Is a fairytale unfolding in front of our eyes. It’s like a real-life Disney movie.”
Connolly, who moved to the United States when he was in his 20s, and his American wife will have house guests from England on the Royal Wedding weekend. “We’ll do something; we just haven’t figured out what.”
Some folks who are doing something:
1. Sense of Security, a Denver nonprofit serving breast cancer patients in treatment, is hosting a Royal Wedding Watch Party at the historic Lumber Baron Inn, 2555 W. 37th Ave., starting at 8 a.m. on May 19.
There will be a rebroadcast of the nuptials on televisions set up throughout the inn. A high tea service will be offered with three types of finger sandwiches, as well as scones, crumpets, cookies, tea and coffee, and a cash bar. The tea will be served in vintage cups that have been collected over the years by the Lumber Baron Inn owners.
An elderflower wedding cake with buttercream frosting, similar to the one served at the Royal Wedding reception, will be cut and served with a complimentary champagne toast as Meghan and Harry make their first kiss as man and wife.
“We want our guests to feel like they are right there for the Royal Wedding,” says event spokeswoman Barbara Brooks. “We are encouraging people to dress like they would if they were attending the wedding. We’ll have ushers to escort everyone to their seats and placecards at every setting.”
There also will be a contest for the fanciest head dress, a live auction, life-sized cutouts of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for souvenir pictures and party favors for each guest.
Tickets are $60 and can be purchased by calling 303-669-3113.
2. “You may not be marrying a prince, but every girl deserves to sparkle like a Markle,” reads the invitation to the Royal Wedding Tea Party being held at the Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park. “Break out those fancy gloves and hats, get all dolled up and (join us) for a ‘cuppa,’ and big-screen TV viewing,” starting at 5 a.m. in the hotel’s Latitude 105 restaurant.
The $30 tickets include tea; sweet and savory scones with clotted cream, lemon curd and orange marmalade spreads; smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and butter, and roast beef and horseradish tea sandwiches; coffee cake, chocolate eclairs and lemon bars; and cash bar service from 7 a.m. on.
3. Three Lions Denver, a British pub at 2239 E. Colfax Ave., also is opening at 5 a.m. for an informal watch party.
Reservations are not needed, according to general manager Joe Sturges, who notes that the venue can accommodate 60 guests upstairs and 150 downstairs. “We can’t serve cocktails until 7 a.m., but everyone can order British-themed food from our menu — like our Hunter’s Breakfast, which includes two eggs, ham, bacon, sausage and potatoes, or bangers and mash, English beans with bacon or black pudding.”
4. Denise Snyder is inviting local fashionistas to don hats, gloves and festive attire for the watch party she is having at her Mariel boutique, 3000 E. Third Ave. in Cherry Creek North.
Starting at 10 a.m., Snyder will serve mimosas, champagne and gin martinis as her guests turn their attention to the televisions she will set up throughout her store. She’ll also have bite-sized quiche, tea sandwiches and crown-shaped shortbread cookies from Gateaux, the specialty bakery owned by her sister, Kathleen Davia.
5. A royal afternoon tea will be served from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The House of Commons, 2401 Fifteenth St. in Denver. The $35 price includes traditional tea fare and a slice of lemon-elderflower wedding cake. Since space is limited — the British-themed restaurant seats 32 — reservations are encouraged. Call 303-455-4832.
6. For those wishing to get a jump on things, Little White Dress, a wedding boutique at 1130 31st St. in Denver, will serve champagne and offer a look at wedding dresses that the royal bride-to-be might wear on May 18. (Reportedly, she has selected a $180,000 confection by London-based designers Ralph & Russo.) There will be discounts on apparel and gifts that day, too.
7. The English Tea Cup, 2271 S. Peoria St. in Aurora, will open at noon on May 20 for a rebroadcast of the nuptials and a buffet that will include soup, salad, sausage rolls, tea sandwiches, scones and wedding cake. The cost is $27 and reservations can be made by calling 303-751-3032.
Anyone wishing to host their own watch party but wondering what to serve can follow the advice from Food and Wine magazine, whose editors suggest some of Meghan’s favorites: Twinings English Breakfast Tea, bacon-wrapped dates, risotto with shrimp, roast chicken, Cadbury crème eggs, bread and butter pudding, shortbread cookies and lemon-elderflower cake.
Items like elderflower syrup and lemonade, sweets in tins bearing the Union Jack, Royal Family trivia games, commemorative mugs and the like can be purchased online at Etsy.com and IKEA.com or at Cost Plus World Market, 770 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, and English Tealeaves, 18551 Main St., Parker.
Bars and restaurants in the metro area where one might happen upon televisions tuned to rebroadcasts of the Royal Wedding, or impromptu celebrations, include:
Hungry Toad, 2543 Broadway, Boulder, 303-442-5012
Pints Pub, 221 W. 13th Ave., Denver, 303-534-7543
The British Bulldog, 2052 Stout St., Denver, 303-295-7974
Burns Pub and Restaurant, Inside the Hilltop Inn, 9009 Metro Airport Ave., Broomfield, 303-469-3900