Chinese in London join royal wedding festivities

08:41, April 29, 2011      

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Royal supporters sit by a fence in central London on Wednesday, two days before Britain's Prince William is to marry his fiancee Kate Middleton. Martin Bureau / Agence France-Presse

Toasting the happy couple with champagne, the Chinese community in London held a special celebration for Prince William and Kate Middleton one day before the royal wedding.

The event, held on Gerrard Street in Chinatown on Thursday, saw the Chinese community offer blessings to the couple.

Chu Ting Tang, chairman of London Chinatown Chinese Association, said that he hoped Prince William and Kate would pay a visit to Chinatown soon after the wedding to taste Chinese food and experience Chinese culture.

Christine Lee, chair of the British Chinese Project and a UK Trade and Investment Adviser, said: "I hope they can follow the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, care about Chinese in the UK and promote the development of Sino-UK relations."

As a wedding present, the Chinese community sent a portrait of the newlyweds by Chinese artist Yee Ting Chang to Buckingham Palace.

Union flags, the United Kingdom's national flag, now hang along Chinatown's colorfully decorated main street. Tourists, television crews, photographers and reporters from many countries have flooded the squares and streets nearby Westminster Abbey, where the wedding will be held.

On Friday, Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to the UK, will join other members of the diplomatic corps and distinguished guests at the wedding ceremony.

Opposite the abbey is a huge media stand. Many camera crews and photographers were already there on Wednesday, jostling for position to get the best images.

Alongside the media stand dozens of tents, the temporary home to hardcore royal fans, some of whom arrived as early as Monday to get their chance to witness the historic event.

Some Chinese students, such as Pei Tingting, 22, from northeastern England's Durham University, were among the crowd.

The master's student, from Southwest China's Sichuan province, said it was a "good occasion" to visit London.

"The weather in April is beautiful. And we really want to be part of this purely British-style celebration when we are here in the UK. It's like a festival," said Pei, who traveled to London with a couple of her classmates.

Another Chinese student surnamed Zhang, who studies at the London Business School, told China Daily that she will go to Buckingham Palace to witness the first public kiss by the newlyweds.

Chinese artwork and products are playing a big role in the wedding celebrations.

A carved stone from Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu province has been presented to the royal family.

As Xinhua News Agency earlier reported, it is a hand-carved kettle-shaped stone with images of jujubes, peanuts and longans on its surface.

Entitled Zaoshengguizi, or "to produce a distinguished child soon", the stone contains a blessing in the Chinese names of the fruits and nuts depicted on its surface.

Cai Yundi, a master craftsman of stone carving, said: "I hope this gift from the city of Suzhou can bring good fortune and happiness to the couple."

Source: China Daily
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