Brit's bulges for Royal Wedding

First guests arrive two hours before doors open

Al Schoch
May 19, 2018 - 7:54 am

An early wake-up call wasn't going to stop best friends Elizabeth Solly and Katie Lynn Brooks from the ultimate Royal Wedding experience, short of being seated inside St. George's chapel at Windsor Castle.

"We've been preparing for this since the event came out," said Solly, resplendent in a green dress and pink fascinator.

The event was a Royal Wedding watch party at Brit's Pub on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The besties were at the front door at 3. On Saturday morning. Two hours before the doors opened.

"The staff in there, their jaws dropped when they saw us," said Brooks, who wore a black dress with a rose pattern on the left shoulder, topped by a bright red fascinator. 

"We just wanted to get a seat for food," admitted Solly, with a laugh fit for a royal wedding.

The line of other royal watchers stretched more than a block down the mall, with more making their way before the doors finally opened.

Brit's general manager Shane Higgins was all set up for the spectacle that was the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, serving wedding cake and mocktails to go along with breakfast. 

"We're almost like the British embassy," said Higgins. "We're the center for all things British, and it's great."

And that includes Scotland, where Chris McLennan of Edina has roots. He was easy to spot at Brit's... he was the one wearing the kilt.

"I got the kilt for a formal affair when I was over in Scotland," said McLennan, pointing out the pattern as his official family tartan. "I wear this for awards banquets and that type of thing."

This wasn't McLennan's first royal wedding party at Brit's. He took his daughter the gathering for Prince William and Catherine Middleton's ceremony.

"I feel a very special affinity with the United Kingdom, I've been a royal watcher for many, many years," said Kim McLennan, who attended college in Scotland. "The pomp and circumstance, I thought it was really important to experience that with other people in this setting."

The crowd expressed excitement with the gospel choir that sung at the wedding. No one was disappointed with Meghan's sleek modern gown. 

"The Brits put on a spectacular show," said McLennan's father.

"There's something about it that seems unattainable and perfect," said Brooks. "It's a dream."