David Wimberley didn’t expect a rowdy crowd in his restaurant this morning for the royal wedding viewing party.

Unlike English football fans, Wimberley anticipated a much more prim and proper group to watch televised coverage of the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

“I don’t think we’ll have as many people for the royal wedding as we would if Manchester United was playing Chelsea,” said Wimberley, the owner of George & Dragon Restaurant & Pub in central Phoenix. “I think a lot of that has to do with the wedding starting at 3 a.m. Arizona time.

“If if were in the middle of the day on Saturday, we’d have a bigger crowd.”

I called Wimberley earlier this week to get his take on the American fascination with the royal wedding.

I have to admit it. I just don’t get it.

I awaken early every morning, so getting up at 3 a.m. isn’t a problem.

In fact, I own an English setter, Henry, who believes it’s his duty to make sure I’m up each day before the sun rises.

I also like to watch television.

However, my idea of captivating English TV means turning on Premier League football, watching the British Open and Wimbledon or checking out old episodes of Monty Python.

Wimberley said Americans love the royal wedding because nothing like that exists in the United States.

“There hasn’t been anything close to royalty in the United States since John F. Kennedy,” said Wimberley, who has owned the Phoenix restaurant for the past 16 years.

Rather than the royal wedding, I’ve gotten more enjoyment out of the sideshow industry that has developed as a result of the big day.

For example, toast the new bride and groom with a bottle of Kiss Me Kate beer, made in Nottingham, England. Or maybe you’d prefer a sip of Prince William’s Porter, an American-made beer from Alaska.

If you prefer a non-alcoholic tribute, how about a Pez dispenser of William and Kate?

Even Dunkin’ Donuts has gotten into the act with a Royal Wedding Donut, which consists of a heart-shaped doughnut filled with jelly and covered with vanilla icing and chocolate drizzle.

Unfortunately, don’t expect to find the royal pastry in the Northwest Valley, since none of our local establishments plan to carry it this week.

You may also come up empty in the wallet if you try to wager on the royal wedding.

Sports betting has a long history in the United Kingdom and it frequently extends to non-traditional events.

For example, betters this week have had a chance to wager on how long Kate will keep William waiting in the church or whether Prince Harry, the best man, will be too drunk to finish his wedding speech.

Even some of my co-workers have gotten into the royal spirit.

On Thursday, we had an office wedding party, featuring scones, mini-cucumber sandwiches and Devonshire cream.

Despite my protests about the royal wedding, I couldn’t resist the culinary temptations.

I may even sneak a peek at the TV coverage this morning.

Rich Bolas is the managing editor of the Daily News-Sun. He may be reached at 623-876-2523 or via email at rbolas@yourwestvalley.com.


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