Royal Wedding celebrated in Exmouth and London
When most of the world was glued to their televisions watching the Royal Wedding, a Littleham woman was right in the midst of the excitement.
Camping under the stars in London on the eve of Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s big day, Rosemary Cunningham was determined to catch a glimpse of the happy couple – and that dress.
She forfeited her warm bed for a sleeping bag when she and friend Mary Dewhurst, also from Exmouth, slept in sleeping bags on the pavement of The Mall.
Their determination paid off and the pair was rewarded with a front row view of the royal procession as Catherine Middleton made her way to Westminster Abbey as a commoner – before returning alongside Prince William as the Duchess of Cambridge.
Rosemary said she had been bowled over by pageantry and sense of occasion overnight and on the day of the wedding.
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She said braving the ‘cold, hard’ pavement overnight had been ‘well worth it’.
Rosemary, who was decked out wearing red, white and blue, said the day was a moment in her life she would never forget.
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The spot they had chosen ensured the two Exmouth women were able to see the entire royal procession as it made its way to the abbey and back to Buckingham Palace.
On catching a glimpse of the royal bride, Rosemary said: “She was sitting in the carriage. She certainly looked very beautiful.
“The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic. The crowds were incredible. They were so happy and cheerful. There was a great feeling of happiness. I think it gave everybody a lift.
“Everything was just as it should be - and as you expect the British to be.”
Rosemary said she felt ‘goose bumps’ when the large crowds joined in with the hymns sung by the congregation inside Westminster Abbey.
Although Rosemary was not near any of the large screens televising the wedding - and too far back in the crowded Mall to get a glimpse of the royal kiss - she watched the service and the day’s events when she returned home that night.
Rosemary, who is now looking forward to the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2012, said her favourite part of the royal wedding was the sense of anticipation and the build up to the event.
She praised the police for crowd control and the friendliness of everyone who turned out to wish William and Catherine well.
Though Rosemary and her friend travelled several hundreds of miles to be part of the Royal celebrations, the pair found themselves camping next to a woman who had been born in Exmouth.