Monday 5 December 2016

Fan flags up enthusiasm for wedding

Published 05/12/2010 | 06:08

Brian Balmer with his faced painted to recreate a picture of himself outside St Paul's Cathedral in 1981
Brian Balmer with his faced painted to recreate a picture of himself outside St Paul's Cathedral in 1981
This July 1981 picture shows 19-year-old Brian Balmer staking his claim to a seat outside St Paul's Cathedral

One experienced Royal wedding-goer has started the preparations early for Prince William and Kate Middleton's big day next spring, as he recreated a patriotic photo from nearly 30 years ago.

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Brian Balmer, 48, was just a student when he watched his first Royal nuptials in July 1981.

The college lecturer, then aged 19, painted a Union flag on his face and joined up to 600,000 wellwishers camping outside St Paul's Cathedral in London.

He waited three days to catch a glimpse of the Princess walking along the red carpet with her 25ft (7.62m) bridal train.

Mr Balmer, from Gin Pit Village, near Manchester, said the "real party mood" of the wedding day was something he will never forget.

His enthusiasm for the happy couple made the news worldwide, with his photo appearing in the Canadian press and on the front page of a British newspaper as The Face of Britain.

He said: "I had a Union flag draped over my shoulders and a large Dracula-style cape to keep me warm on London's pavements for the next couple of nights.

"The lure of such a huge event as a royal wedding and a three-day party on the streets was too much to resist."

He added: "Royal weddings always give the country a boost.

"Even today when we are surrounded by financial gloom stories every day, a national day of celebration, especially one that is celebrating love and romance and the promise of a bright future, has to lift everyone's spirits."

Press Association

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