Search

Harry and Meghan: We look back at how Islington marked the royal weddings of 1981, 1986 and 2011

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 May 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Picture: Doug Peters/Empics Entertainment

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Picture: Doug Peters/Empics Entertainment

Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot today. The Gazette looked through the Gazette archives to find out how Islington has celebrated previous royal weddings throughout the years.

'Painting the town red, white and blue': How the Islington Gazette covered the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, July 31, 1981.'Painting the town red, white and blue': How the Islington Gazette covered the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, July 31, 1981.

July 29, 1981.

The date is immortalised on thousands, if not millions, of commemorative mugs and souvenir newspapers stowed at the backs of cupboards across Britain.

It was, of course, the day Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer got hitched.

But how did Islington mark the occasion?

A right royal party: How the Gazette covered William and Kate's wedding in 2011. Pictures: Islington Gazette archives/Tony Gay/Dieter PerryA right royal party: How the Gazette covered William and Kate's wedding in 2011. Pictures: Islington Gazette archives/Tony Gay/Dieter Perry

As the Gazette reported on July 31, 1981, wellwishers painted Stonefield Street red – well, red, white and blue, anyway.

Ann Brennan, one of the organisers, explained that the party was a “spur of the moment” idea, but that certainly didn’t take away from the fun.

More than 70 children sat down for the traditional tea with sandwiches and cakes.

Games were organised with the winners receiving a royal wedding commemorative coin and, later in the evening, everyone got together for a drink, “a knees-up and toast to Prince Charles and Lady Di”.

A wedding party at Robert Blair School in Blundell Street, Holloway, to mark Charles and Dianas wedding. Picture: Islington Gazette archiveA wedding party at Robert Blair School in Blundell Street, Holloway, to mark Charles and Dianas wedding. Picture: Islington Gazette archive

When Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson got married in 1986, Islington didn’t seem as keen to celebrate, but there was still evidence of sparse street parties taking place.

The Gazette featured a picture of a four-year-old boy with his cousin, five, in fancy dress at a street party organised by residents of Northampton Park and St Paul’s Road.

“The party – with food, stalls, raffles and events – was aiming to raise £1,000 for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.” the Gazette wrote.

More recently was Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding, in 2011, which saw Islington covered in patriotic colours.

A baby gets into the spirit.A baby gets into the spirit.

Welsh Dame Ann Evans sang Rule Britannia at the Charles Lamb pub, in Elia Street, Islington, while a small family gathering turned into a street party down in Charteris Road, Finsbury Park.

Tracey Willoughby, who arranged a party on the New Orleans Estate, said: “Not all the children understood why we were having a party.

“But they all understood by the end.”

Veteran Gazette editor Tony Allcock, who was at the helm in 1981, said this week of the royal wedding: “It was an excuse to get communities together.”

He added: “People used to call us to come over and take their pictures.

“Everyone wanted to be in the papers!”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Islington Gazette