Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Page last updated at 08:16 GMT, Friday, 11 February 2011
North East street parties to celebrate Royal Wedding
Kate Middleton and Prince William
The couple got engaged while on holiday in Kenya in October 2010

April 29 is the event of the year for people in the UK - when Prince William will tie the knot with Kate Middleton.

Although they'll be making their vows in Westminster Abbey in London - it isn't stopping people in the north-east of England celebrating their big day.

Their marriage is being marked with an official public holiday across the UK - the perfect excuse to throw a party.

And in Sunderland and Northumberland, this is exactly what they're doing to mark the historic occasion.

Street parties are a tradition in the UK to mark Royal celebrations and this year will be no different.

Over the years there have been street parties for the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981 and also in 2002 for Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.

However, these days things are a bit more complicated, with issues like insurance and road closures making throwing a street party quite a little more complicated.

One council in the UK is even offering special training courses to help people organise their own parties:

BBC News: Council offers royal wedding street party courses

Local celebrations

In the North East, communities in Sunderland and Northumberland have already started planning their own parties.

At Southwick Primary School in Sunderland, they are throwing a party on the big day for local children and their families - complete with bunting flags, sausage rolls and cakes.

Headteacher, Trish Stoker, said: "It's very positive, everybody's dead excited and we're anxious to get it all started.

"I think it's a long time since we've had anything as exciting to actually organise and it's really good news for the whole community.

Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day
Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day in 1981

"There's going to be parents and children and everybody wants to get involved in it.

"I think something like this comes just once in so many years, we need to make sure we're going to have a really good party, that the children get plenty of souvenirs and that when they're older they have something to remember."

In Northumberland, a street party at Heddon-on-the-Wall has been organised, which includes a cake stall and tombola by the local Brownies, a mini-soccer event ran by the local football team, a tug-of-war and welly-throwing competition.

John Stewart is organising the event, he said: "I think it's the start of history in the making.

"I think it's a massive chance for a lot of the locals and wider communities to get together and really just have fun on the day.

"A few years ago with the Queen's Jubilee we had flags around the village and it was just a really good atmosphere because all the locals got involved and we got a positive reaction from it."

1981: The fairytale wedding
17 Jul 03 |  29


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific