british-flag.jpgBritish expatriates and anglophiles in the Bay area are planning to celebrate Friday’s highly anticipated royal wedding between Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton in style.

Cameron Palmer, owner of Cameron’s Restaurant, Pub and Inn, is pulling out all the stops to ensure Half Moon Bay residents get the full royal treatment.

He plans to open his pub in the early morning hours on Friday so the public can watch the wedding at Westminster Abbey in London live but Friday night is when the real party begins.

“People have royal wedding fever, there’s no doubt about it,” Palmer said.

The festivities will feature a local British invasion band, a guest book for partiers to sign, which Palmer intends to mail to the royal couple, and a royal wedding cake.

There will be a ceremonial slicing of the imitation wedding cake by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, impersonated by Palmer’s own parents.

Palmer’s father is from Newcastle in England–which is why patrons will always find Newcastle beer on tap–and said there are many other British expatriates in the area who frequent his pub.

He attributes the area’s British occupation to similarities in weather and coastline. “It reminds them of back home,” he said.

As a nod to the newlywed royal family, revelers with the first name William will be treated to a pint of Guinness while those sharing Elizabeth and Kate names will get a free glass of champagne, Palmer said.

Palmer said he would be liberal with the rules – even middle names count. “But if a female walks in and says her name is William, I’m going to be suspect,” he joked.

Palmer has even set aside a room in his inn, just in case the royal couple wanted to “honeymoon in Half Moon,” he said.

The British Consulate in San Francisco is hosting a party of its own Friday night – a royal ceremonial ball to celebrate the wedding as well as Queen Elizabeth’s 85th birthday, a consulate spokeswoman said.

The consulate is also hosting a breakfast Friday morning during which they will rebroadcast footage of the royal wedding and United Kingdom Consul General Julian Evans will provide opening remarks, spokeswoman Kate McNally said.

There are roughly 100,000 expatriates from the United Kingdom in the Bay area and many of those are living in San Francisco but organizers expect expatriates and anglophiles alike at Friday’s events, McNally said.

“It just goes to show that people are very much dedicated to the relationship between the two countries,” she said.

The consulate has a royal guest book available for the public to sign through Thursday for those who want to pass along their well wishes to the royal couple.

Erika Heidecker, Bay City News

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