December 7 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 16, 2013
A quiet west Norfolk village was a buzz on Saturday as the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended a society wedding.
While the residents of Gayton were disappointed that they didn’t get a first glimpse of Prince George or his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge, there was a sense of excitement at the Royal guests.
Prince William acted as usher for his friend James Meade’s wedding to Lady Laura Marsham, the daughter of the Earl of Romney, whose family home is in the village.
Mr Meade delivered the joint best man speech at the Royal wedding.
Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton were also among those attending but there was no sign of the Duchess of Cambridge who is believed to have stayed in London to look after Prince George.
Crowds gathered outside St Nicholas’ Parish Church to catch a glimpse of the happy couple and a round of applause went up as the newlyweds made their way across the road from the church to Gayton Hall.
Arriving early along with the other ushers, the Duke of Cambridge looked relaxed as he chatted on his way into the church which had been decked out with wreaths of flowers around the entrance.
The bride walked the short distance from the home of her father, Julian Marsham, the 8th Earl of Romney, to the church in her flowing dress and accompanied by the Earl.
While her sister did not attend Pippa Middleton, looked resplendent in a teal dress and matching hat, was all smiles as she made her way through the churchyard.
Gayton resident Liz Shaw, who watched the wedding with daughter Aimee, said: “It’s wonderful to have such a local wedding like this. I hope they will be very happy.”
Aimee, 16, added: “We came to watch at about 3pm, we’ve been waiting in the cold but it was worth it. The pageboys looked very dashing.”
Twelve-year-old Olivia Steel was with her parents and the family was surprised when its dog Olly tried to join in proceedings after escaping from a neighbouring garden.
Mum Rachel Steel, 40, said: “He was in the garden of a friend and slipped under the gate just as the bride arrived. We were really worried and kept calling him.”
Olivia added: “The bride looked very beautiful. It is exciting to have royalty in the village.
“I go to Sandringham every Christmas with my family but it is different to have them here.”
Her father Tony, 43, said: “It is big news for local people, it is probably going to be the biggest event of the year.”
Villager Pearl Benjamin, 81, took her great-grandchildren Neve, seven, and Elena Moore, three, to see the Royals.
Mrs Benjamin said: “Neve got a wave from Prince Harry which she was very excited about and Elena thought he was going to high five her.”
Neve added: “It would be nice to see Kate but she was probably looking after the baby.”