In an age where somebody with a Union Jack in their window would normally be avoided and whispered about, this April the capital embraced the flag in a way not seen for a generation. London changed; it was a different place, a place full of patriotism, sentimentality and royal memorabilia. A place full of romance, rebellion and republicanism. It became a fascination for me, to see the public response, the retail frenzy and the romantic fallout.
From the staunch royalists to the diehard republicans, the street parties raged.. Subjects or citizens? Old punks who subverted the Union Jack now wear it in an ambiguous gesture. Young girls shed tears, make up runs, crowds gather to stare through café windows, children are squashed against railings. The shops of Regent Street try to milk the shoppers for everything they can, declaring their loyal support and well wishes to the happy couple. Neat rows of flags flutter against backdrops of chimneys reminiscent of almost forgotten childhood moments from 1977.
Images of Kate are everywhere; hand drawn, painted, reproduced, appropriated for ad campaigns. Dubious characters dress up to sell flags and commemorative copies of the Big Issue. People come as wedding guests to stand in the streets. The ‘Not the Royal Wedding Party’ blends almost seamlessly with the pro-wedding parties surrounding it, all skanking to reggae classics and feel-good soul tunes together. It’s a day I’ll never forget, not for the wedding itself but for the sheer ability of Londoners to throw such a cracking knees-up given a day off, all in the name of two people they’ve never met.
See more of the photo’s here