We'll be streets ahead with our royal wedding party

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While the wedding bells ring for Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, many city residents will probably mark their day off work with a long lie and a lazy day.

But not those living in two streets in Blackhall, who plan to celebrate the royal wedding with an old-style street party.

Around 140 people, young and old, are expected to attend the bash in Maidencraig Crescent, including residents of nearby Maidencraig Grove.

Organisers plan to blend the old - flags and bunting - with the new - a "Maidencraig's Got Talent" show, where youngsters will take to the stage to entertain their neighbours.

Mum-of-three Claire Smart, 37, said: "It's quite a big street, with quite a lot of young children and a lot of old people as well.

"There will be about 40 people coming along from the old people's home for tea and cakes and we've got a stage and the children will all perform something.

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"We've also got very nice businesses in our neighbourhood who have donated quite generously to us and our new restaurant, Suburban Pantry, providing food at cost and a bouncy castle free of charge from Ballina Construction."

While the idea might echo the street parties held across the country for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, the street's residents actually dreamed it up before the royal wedding was announced. Ms Smart said: "The idea came about last year. We've got quite a good close-knit community, which is quite unusual nowadays, and we decided it would be nice to do something to bring old and young together. When the royal wedding came up we thought, 'What better time?' Most people will be off work that day and the schools will be off."

The residents have applied to the council for permission to close the street for the day, and if the party is a success, hope to turn it into an annual event.

Teacher Joanne Nelson, 35, who also lives in the street, said: "I think the highlight is just going to be everybody out on the street together having their lunch, that will be lovely.

"When we were handing round all the leaflets, there was one lady who lived in the street the last time there was a street party here, so I think you're looking at 40 to 50 years ago."

Children in the street have already been designing posters and delivering invitations to neighbours but for the younger ones, the whole thing remains a bit of a mystery.

Ms Smart said: "They've never known anything like this before. I think the children are excited and probably the girls more than the boys but I think they're now getting a bit of it from school."They're starting to get what it's all about, but I don't think they'll really know until the day."



EDINBURGH could receive an economic boost of up to 10 million when it hosts the second royal wedding of the summer, business chiefs have said.

The forecast comes as Buckingham Palace yesterday confirmed Zara Phillips and rugby player Mike Tindall will be married at the Canongate Kirk on July 30.

Edinburgh's Chamber of Commerce spokesman Graham Bell, said it was likely to attract visitors from all over the world:

He said: "You've got the world's media arriving and then you've got the guests at the wedding - they'll stay over, go out for dinner in the best restaurants. Add all that together you've got maybe 10 million.

|You're certainly talking mulitple millions."