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updated: 4/19/2011 10:30 AM

Hat required, pajamas optional at royal wedding viewing party in Naperville

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  • Guests at the "It's All About the Hat: A Royal Wedding Breakfast and Viewing Party" in Naperville will want to wear a hat as eye-fetching as the one Kate Middleton wore when Prince William was installed as a Knight of the Garter in a ceremony at Windsor, England, in June 2008.

    Guests at the "It's All About the Hat: A Royal Wedding Breakfast and Viewing Party" in Naperville will want to wear a hat as eye-fetching as the one Kate Middleton wore when Prince William was installed as a Knight of the Garter in a ceremony at Windsor, England, in June 2008.
    AP Photo/Steve Parsons, pool

  • Britain's Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, who announced their engagement last November, will tie the royal knot on April 29. You can watch the nuptials from this side of the pond at an early morning viewing party in Naperville.

    Britain's Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, who announced their engagement last November, will tie the royal knot on April 29. You can watch the nuptials from this side of the pond at an early morning viewing party in Naperville.
    AP Photo/Sang Tan

 
 

Living on this side of the pond in the former colonies, you -- like me -- probably have not received an invitation to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton later this month.

Not to worry.

Area residents can watch the happy couple exchange their royal vows, toast the royal bride and groom, and eat wedding cake fit for a prince, or queen for that matter, all while attending the festivities in their pajamas, if they choose.

But here's the catch. You have to get up really early and wear a hat, the more eye-catching the better.

That and $25 are all it takes to get you into "It's All About the Hat: A Royal Wedding Breakfast and Viewing Party" from 5 to 8 a.m. Friday, April 29, at MJ Interiors in Fifth Avenue Station, 200 E. Fifth Ave., Naperville.

The event was dreamed up by Kay Kendall, owner of Champagne, an event design and consulting company in Glen Ellyn. Kendall found four other women-owned businesses involved with event planning to go along. In addition to MJ Interiors, they include True Cuisine in Wheaton, Alicia's Photography in Naperville, and web-based Imagination Print and Design.

"We thought it would be so much fun, but we thought it would be a risk because it is at 5 a.m.," Kendall said. "We decided to take the risk."

The 5 a.m. time, of course, is so royal watchers can view live televised coverage of the couple arriving at Westminster Abbey at 11 a.m. London time. But don't be put off by the early hour, Kendall said.

"If you're a little late, you're not going to be reprimanded," she said.

What's more, no primping or fuss is necessary. Participants may attend in their pj's, casual attire or dress for the work day ahead. Just don't forget the hat!

"The hat is in the important item in the attire," Kendall said.

Those wearing the most elegant and interesting hats will receive gifts. Guests also will enjoy a light English breakfast, English tea, coffee, wedding cake and a toast to the bride and groom.

A royal watcher herself, Kendall said she's already heard from some mother-daughter couples who plan to attend and a couple Red Hat societies have expressed an interest.

"We've had a variety of responses. We have people who love the idea," she said. "We've had (other) people say the queen of England herself couldn't make them get up for that."

Kendall said the party can accommodate 200. Reservations must be made by Monday, April 25.

"I'm hoping people rise to the challenge," Kendall said, "pun intended."