What makes a grown girl cross an ocean and sleep for 3 nights on the road in a “pink princess tent” together with her legs hanging out within the hope of seeing Britain’s Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle on their wedding ceremony day?
“I’m positively a Royal Superfan,” stated Donna Werner, 66, of New Fairfield, Connecticut, about 62 miles (100 km) north of New York Metropolis.
The possibility to lock eyes with Harry or change smiles with Meghan as their gilded coach rolls by St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Fort on Could 19 is sufficient to inspire Werner to pay for a aircraft ticket and a resort room she’ll possible use just for its restroom whereas she camps on the road for 3 days to safe a major viewing spot.
Early that wedding ceremony day morning, Werner plans to emerge from the pink round tent that matches solely half her physique – her legs tucked right into a sleeping bag poking exterior. She intends to be effectively rested, having warded off any in a single day chill by plastering her physique with a few of the 100 hand hotter warmth packets she ordered for the journey.
Carrying a tiara with a veil and a T-shirt proclaiming “Again-up Bride,” she expects to toss her tent, sleeping bag, camp chair and almost all her different possessions right into a rubbish bag in a safety sweep. Then, she is ready to face for hours within the roadside spot the place she bivouacked for 3 days.
“The kings, the queens, the castles, the jewellery and glamorous events. It’s like a fairy story,” stated Werner, describing what fascinates her about all issues royal.
“Generally, with all the issues on the planet, it’s simply good to assume that this kind of factor nonetheless occurs,” stated the married, stay-at-home mom whose three grownup kids are actually dwelling on their very own.
At her sprawling suburban residence, Werner’s cabinet is full of mementos of British royal celebrations she managed to wedge her approach into since her fascination with the royal household started in 1973 with the marriage of Princess Anne and her first husband Mark Phillips.
Her Anglophile awe is anchored in analysis, from her every day test of an internet calendar that tracks the royals to tracing her personal family tree again 500 years to the North Yorkshire city of Bedale. To pinpoint her upcoming tenting spot exterior Windsor Fort, she has been scouring accounts of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones’s wedding ceremony at St. George’s in 1999.
“I wish to see what did they do and which approach did their carriage flip so I can work out the perfect place to face,” Werner stated.
Her chiffonier overflows with Union Jack-emblazoned souvenirs just like the tiny porcelain thimble to commemorate the 1981 wedding ceremony of Prince Charles after which Girl Diana Spencer, and the hefty ceramic whisky bottles to mark Princes William’s and Harry’s births in 1982 and 1984 respectively. However her most prized keepsakes are reminiscences captured in her pictures, together with certainly one of Queen Elizabeth trying straight into Werner’s digital camera throughout her 90th birthday parade in 2016.
FILE PHOTO: Donna Werner waits exterior Westminster Abbey for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London, Britain April 29, 2011. Anita Atkinson/Handout by way of REUTERS
“She appeared proper at me and he or she nodded her head. I simply freaked out,” Werner stated.
“She’s an icon. Anyone who has devoted her total life to the general public and her nation,” she stated.
Werner’s final royal fantasy?
“To simply shake fingers with the queen,” she sighed.
Werner’s household tolerates her regal ardour, which prompted her to decide on center names of “Elizabeth” for certainly one of her daughters and “Spencer” for her son “a lot to his chagrin.” Mom’s Day presents from her kids have included dozens of books in regards to the royal household and one other pink princess tent to switch one she needed to toss in a safety sweep for the 2011 wedding ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“They assume I’m nuts,” Werner stated. “They simply kind of giggle and say, ‘Oh yeah. She’s a Royal Superfan.’”
Her husband Mark, 66, a retired funding supervisor, stated he accepts his spouse’s preoccupation and her annual pilgrimages to England with a girlfriend as one thing that strengthens their 45-year marriage, a lot as she accepts his U.S. bike excursions.
“It might be slightly bizarre however she actually enjoys it,” stated Mark Werner, himself a fan of what some baseball fanatics contemplate America’s royal household: the New York Yankees. “She’s met so many others who love them. Can you actually name that loopy?”
Donna Werner shrugged off any denigration of her enthusiasm.