Junee royalists plan to celebrate the royal wedding with pomp and circumstance

ROYAL WATCHERS: Norma Higginson (left) will be watching the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (right) from her home in Junee. Pics: Kree Nash (left) Eddie Mulholland (right).
ROYAL WATCHERS: Norma Higginson (left) will be watching the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (right) from her home in Junee. Pics: Kree Nash (left) Eddie Mulholland (right).

There are a few differences between London and Junee. On May 19, the glaring difference will be that Windsor Castle is there and not here.

Though it is unlikely Norma Higginson, the Riverina’s biggest royalist, will notice.

When Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle tie the knot, she’ll be flying the flag and raising a toast from afar.

“I’ll definitely be watching, we’ll probably have a glass of something not too strong too,” she said.

Mrs Higginson grew up Northern Ireland but moved to Australia following the Queen’s coronation in 1953. She’s had occasion to meet the Queen and Prince Charles numerous times on their visits through Canberra.

Most memorable was in September 1974, when Prince Charles approached her during his parade through the city.

“Everyone was lining the streets to see him, and I was with some local ladies standing near the school children who had all been let out of class to see him,” she said.

“He stopped by me and looked at the children and said to me, ‘is this all your family?’.”

Again in Canberra during the Queen’s 2011 visit, she had a chance encounter.

“I had heard that she had a cold, so I brought her some honey, [which] I handed to her lady-in-waiting and I did get a thank you.”

Mrs Higginson describes Prince Harry as one of her “favourite boys”, closely following his father, Prince Charles. But she admits she doesn’t know all that much about his former television star fiancee.

“I just have to wish God’s blessing on Harry and [Meghan], she’s a newcomer from a new country and that might be a good thing but I do hope she turns out to be good for Harry and for his grandmother,” she said.

Wagga Cancer Council will have some special 'guests' at its Royal High Tea event on May 19. Pic: supplied.

Wagga Cancer Council will have some special 'guests' at its Royal High Tea event on May 19. Pic: supplied.

For others who didn’t receive the much-coverted invitation to London’s Saint George’s Chapel, Wagga Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea promises to go ahead with as much pomp and ceremony.

Brianna Carracher has been organising this year’s event. It didn’t start off as a tribute to the royal couple, but Ms Carracher says it just fit too well.

“It was very good of them to put their wedding on the same day as our Biggest Morning Tea,” Ms Carracher said.

This year commemorates the Cancer Council’s 25th annual fundraiser.

“We’ll have plenty of English breakfast [tea], and we’ll have some bubbly to raise to the happy couple.”

Donations from this year’s event will go towards the newly implemented Transport to Treatment program, and the Lilier Lodge, which is the Cancer Council’s joint venture with Can Assist.

“We’re hoping to raise a couple thousand [dollars] that will help go towards our $4.9 million target in NSW, so every dollar really does count,” Ms Carracher said.

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