Borderers prepare for royal celebration

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THREE men will represent 110,000 Borderers at tomorrow’s Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Billed as the biggest marriage since Prince Charles and Diana were wed 30 years ago, an estimated global TV audience of up to two billion people will watch the couple tie the knot in Westminster Abbey, London.

Grange Hall Care Home residents Sylvia Lister (left) and Ella Thomson look forward to friday's wedding celebrations after making a Royal Wedding mural along with fellow residents.

Grange Hall Care Home residents Sylvia Lister (left) and Ella Thomson look forward to friday's wedding celebrations after making a Royal Wedding mural along with fellow residents.

And in preparation for his attendance at the event, the Hon Gerald Maitland-Carew, Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, has been emulating Fred Astaire by putting on his top hat, tying up his white tie and brushing off his tails.

“The full regalia of a lord lieutenant cannot be worn outside one’s lieutenancy, so I’ll be wearing a morning suit for this great occasion,” explained Capt Maitland-Carew, who will travel down from Thirlestane Castle near Lauder with his wife Rosalind today.

“Rosalind and I are greatly honoured to have been invited to the royal wedding where we will be representing the people of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale on behalf of the lieutenancy.

“Naturally, we wish Prince William and Catherine Middleton endless years of happiness together.

“It’s a great honour to be asked. It is one of the great state occasions and, I would imagine, it will be the most amazing service.”

Mrs Maitland-Carew will wear a cornflower blue dress and jacket for the ceremony, with matching hat and feather.

The Maitland-Carews will also take in the 2000 Guineas, the first classic of the flat racing season at Newmarket on Saturday. Mr Maitland-Carew fancies Pathfork to lift the prize.

Also attending the wedding will be Berwickshire Lord Lieutenant Major Alexander Trotter and his Tweeddale counterpart Captain David Younger of Broughton.

“This will be my first royal wedding as Lord Lieutenant and it is a wonderful privilege to represent the people of Tweeddale on this happiest of occasions,” said Mr Younger.

Three couples in the Borders are sharing their big day with William and Kate. Claire Duncan and Sebastian Rose are to wed in West Linton, while Malcolm McKenzie and Helen Hawkins and Thomas McLeish and Deborah Kellett are both to be married in Melrose.

Thousands of SBC workers will enjoy a public holiday tomorrow, costing the local authority more than £62,000.

And councillor Alasdair Hutton, convener of Scottish Borders Council, has delivered a congratulatory message to the royal couple: “I write with humble duty on behalf of all elected members and staff of Scottish Borders Council to wish Your Royal Highness and Miss Middleton a very happy wedding day on April 29.

“Everyone at SBC wishes you and Miss Middleton a long, contented and happy life together.”

Among festivities across the region are four street parties in Galashiels, Lauder and Peebles, which go ahead after the UK Government relaxed health and safety rules.

Among them is Cranston Road in Lauder, with organisers asking its residents to be suitably clothed for the occasion, while also presenting a prize to the resident with the best royal name.

One resident Julie Robertson told us: “The royal name is made up of either your grandmother or grandfather’s first name, with a double barrel surname consisting of the name of your first pet and the road or street you were brought up on.

“I am sure there will be some great names.

“We are asking residents to come dressed for a wedding. This can be a wedding dress, kilt, bridesmaid dress or a big hat with the kids coming in fancy dress.”

The road will be closed for the day in agreement with SBC and TV footage of the wedding ceremony will be projected on a garage.

Mrs Robertson added: “I would not say any of us are staunch Royalists, but with all the doom and gloom around recently, we thought it would be nice to enjoy a fun day.”

Another community celebrating the Royal nuptials is the residents of Grange Hall Care Home at Drygrange, who, with the help of art worker Debi Noel, have produced a huge eight by six foot collage of the couple.

Senior carer James Douglas said: “It took four weeks to make involving most of the residents and with some help from two or three carers.

“It is decorated with flowers and lace.

“It took a lot of work and will hang in our social centre. We are also going to have a big party on Friday for the wedding and everyone is very much looking forward to the occasion.”

The marriage service of Prince William and Kate Middleton begins at 11am.