Royal Wedding Mania Overtakes Manhattan
By Liz Ladzinski and Ben Fractenberg
GREENWICH VILLAGE — The sun wasn’t yet up as hundreds of groggy Manhattanites gathered at outposts around the borough to catch a glimpse of a royal wedding on the other side of the globe.
In Times Square, hundreds watched the pomp of a full-scale British royal celebration Friday on a Jumbotron as Prince William said "I do" to his princess, Kate Middleton.
The scene was repeated at restaurants and bars across the borough as die-hard fans of Britain's monarchy mixed with those merely fascinated by the fairytale story happening across the Atlantic.
Outside of the bunting-covered Lyon Bouchon Moderne on Greenwich Avenue, they clustered before 5:30 a.m., glimpsing the processsion to Westminster Abbey on TV screens through the windows before the restaurant opened
"This is a once in a lifetime event for a five-year-old," said Michael Zorek, of the Upper West Side, whose overjoyed daughter Diana woke early and dressed as a princess, complete with tiara, for the occasion.
"I'm going to school after this!" said a bright eyed Diana, who was already awake and raring to go by the time her dad came in to wake her up at 4:45 a.m. Friday.
Vanessa Crane, 35, of London, who stayed up all night to see the wedding, said of Kate, "I think she looks amazing, she's stunning!"
The doors didn't open until just before the nuptials at 6 a.m. - which was 11 a.m. in London - at the British-owned restaurant, where a traditional breakfast of sausage, bacon, grilled tomatoes and beans was on the menu for the early-morning wedding screening.
In Times Square, about 500 people cheered as Prince William, accompanied by his brother and best man, Harry, arrived about a half-hour before the wedding, greeting guests and beaming.
A much-anticipated Kate Middleton, dressed in a long-sleeved lace v-neck gown with floral applique, designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, stepped out of a black Rolls Royce waving to the crowd and gripping her extra-long train and wearing a blusher veil and the Queen Mother's tiara.
She was walked up the aisle by her dad.
"You look beautiful," Prince William could be seen telling Kate, according to reports. He gave her a ring made of Welsh gold.
"I wasn't expecting anyone to care," said British tourist Roley McMichael, 41, resplendent in a bowler hat with a Union Jack flag flying from it.
"It makes be proud to be British."
In an only in New York moment, another royal fan whizzed through Times Square on roller blades, and wearing her own wedding dress.
"It was a dream to be in Times Square in my wedding dress, and what better time than now," said Marni Halasa, 45.
"This is like a fairytale."
Twitter was overtaken by tweets bout the royal wedding, with an estimated more than a million tweets with a full half-hour left before the wedding, and an estimated 10,000 tweets per minute.
"The global conversation on @Twitter has eclipsed over a million tweets. Making #RoyalWedding one of the most talked about events ever," @ABCNews tweeted.