Hambledon Nursery School children celebrated the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, by learning about marriage customs and staging their own ceremony at the village church.
In the two weeks before the Royal Wedding at Windsor Castle, children were encouraged to bring in family wedding photographs to enable them to make a personal connection to the ceremony. These were displayed in the two classrooms and in the reception area. They also prepared wedding invitations, made bunting and arranged floral displays.
Nicola Collett, head teacher, said this created a “real buzz of excitement” around the nursery school. Children enjoyed making their own plans and parents and teachers found themselves reminiscing about their own wedding day. Many reflected on how wedding dresses had changed over the years.
Several teachers brought in their wedding dresses and wore them in front of the children including Kate Walford who is pictured right. Another, who had recently celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary, brought along her photo album as well as her wedding dress.
Ceremonies in other cultures were also talked about and one parent brought in a beatutiful Indian wedding dress and jewellery while another showed pictures of a family Scottish wedding, with men dressed in kilts.
The school purchased a child’s wedding dress and prince’s outfit. Each day in the lead-up to the Windsor wedding, the children enacted a wedding ceremony. This culminated in them holding their own “wedding” service at St Peter’s Church.
Two children played “bride and grooom” and the rest were guests of honour. Dressed for the occasion – some chose Disney outfits – they walked through the woods from school to church where wedding music was played and a “service” held.
Then it was back to the school for the cutting of the cake. The children had made their own out of papier-mâché but, to their delight, Hambledon’s Crumby Bakery, made and delivered a large lemon and elderflower wedding cake. It was simply iced but with the addition of pre-cut paste shapes for children to decorate with edible pens.
The cake, pictured left, was then cut and portions were sold to parents to raise funds for additional resources for the nursery school.
Nicola said: “All of this led to a wonderful atmosphere at the school in the days leading up to the Royal Wedding.”