The summer of 1981 offered Royalists everywhere the perfect excuse to hold a street party – a Royal wedding.
Prince Charles, who was in danger of becoming an eternal bachelor, wed Lady Diana Spencer, 12 years his junior and owner of possibly the best wedding dress ever made.
While we know the fairy tale marriage did not have a happy ending, we can look back with fondness on that day in July when the whole world seemed to deck itself in red, white and blue.
Street parties were very much the order of the day with thousands upon thousands of roads across the country closed so residents could enough a right Royal knees-up.
At school, children absorbed lessons about the Monarchy and threw their own parties. And on the big day itself, around 600,000 people lined the route to Westminster Abbey before crowding into the Mall to catch a glimpse of ‘that kiss’.
At Gattons Primary School, in Burgess Hill, another young couple were getting married – though considering they were both just seven years old, it wasn’t binding.
They were Stephen Heather and Julie Bettridge and they looked extremely sweet in their wedding outfits.
The ceremony was obviously part of a tribute to the real Charles and Di and saw 180 other children dressed as members of the Commonwealth who had popped along to attend the wedding.
They included Aborigines from Australia, Maoris from New Zealand, Caribbean children, Native Americans, Londoners and soldiers. A report in the Mid Sussex Times said: “Enthralled parents at the Burgess Hill school’s show enjoyed a medley of songs as well as maypole and Morris dancing.”
Over at Hassocks Age Concern, super cook Frida Ward had made a magnificent three-tiered cake to commemorate the wedding.
Slices of the delicious treat were dished out to members of the Housebound Club at the Day Centre. They were also sent out with the meals on wheels deliveries in Ditchling, Hurstpierpoint and Hassocks.
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