Chelsea Physic Garden hosted a spectacular party to celebrate the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today.
The party was free to attend but had a 500-people-limit on a first-come-first-serve basis prompting people to set up camp in the street at 8.30am two and half hours before the gardens opened.
One of the oldest botanical gardens in Britain opened at 11am to a queue that stretched around the corner as people clamoured to get in for a live screening of the wedding, an all-day “best hat” contest and servings of Pimms and Oysters.
One group of ladies from six different countries — including Australia, Germany, Norway and the USA — were particularly excited at the Duke of Sussex’s new title.
Group organiser Jane Rhodes, 54, a retired Detective Superintendent from Sussex said: “Most of us are from or live in Sussex which is why it’s brilliant that he’s been given the title.”
What Harry receives as the Duke of Sussex was the subject of much debate but amateur historian Viv Johnson, 56, a police officer, also from Sussex, said it wouldn’t be a castle.
Ms Johnson said: “The castle in Lewes, West Sussex, is actually owned by the Duke of Norfolk.
“There are four castles in Sussex: Bodiam, Lewes, Pevensey, Arundel, none of them owned by the Duke of Sussex.”
Viv then sang “Sussex-by-the-sea” to the delight of the rest of the guests.
Donna Hofmeir, 50, also a police officer from Australia, met Ms Rhodes at a course in Scotland this week and came along to the party on her first trip to London.
She said: “I was over for a course in Scotland which is where I met Jane and I was coming to London for the weekend, so I crashed it!”