Royal nuptials mean a holiday

The wedding date of young royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton means more than just an expensive gown, celebrity attendees and a lavish ceremony.

It means a public holiday for Cayman!

The governor’s office confirmed Tuesday that “the Cayman Islands will join the UK in celebrating the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton with an additional public holiday.”

“The Cabinet has voted in favour of the schedule of public holidays law to be amended to make 29 April, 2011, a public holiday,” said Steve Moore, head of the Governor’s office.

The royal wedding at Westminster Abbey is set for Friday, 29 April, 2011, which will also be the date of the extra public holiday. So mark your calendars and plan your new day off.

This new holiday will become part of the schedule of public general holidays when a Public Holidays Order is issued next year.

The new holiday will join National Heroes Day on 24 January, Discovery Day on 16 May, Queen’s Birthday on 13 June and Remembrance Day 14 November, among others, as national public holidays.

One British expat living in Cayman weighed in.

“I think its wonderful that we are going to get the chance to celebrate the wedding,” said CCMI’s Samantha Shaxted, a British citizen on work permit in Cayman. “It’s a momentous and historical occasion and one that I very much look forward to witnessing.”

But some Brits aren’t so thrilled about the new public holiday.

“Patriotism is great. I think it’s wonderful. But let’s have a street party or parade on Saturday,” said Karen Marshall, a Brit and owner of Off the Peg, a clothing retail shop in George Town. “For me, it’s a loss of revenue. And on top of the loss of revenue, I still have overhead to pay. I still have to pay rent, I still have to pay pension, I pay the salaries. And if I stayed open, I’d have to pay double salary.”

The wedding will most likely take place early in the morning for Caymanians because of the time difference in England.

“How many people with the day off will get up early and watch the wedding,” Ms Marshall said. “If you want the time off and you’re going to the wedding, then great.”

In 2011 for most Caymanians, because the new holiday falls on the Friday after Easter, it means a shortened, three-day work week since that Monday is also a holiday, and a longer, three-day weekend. More fun in the sun for some; and just before hurricane season.

But the popularity of the wedding is partially the reason for the holiday.

An ICM poll showed that 64 per cent of British people wanted Prince William and Ms Middleton as next in line to the throne, not his father Prince Charles. A YouGov poll found the majority of Britain thought Prince William would make a better king than his father.

And a bonus for Caymanians; it’s possible the couple will honeymoon in Cayman…

Commemorative coin

The news of the public holiday came on the same day the Royal Mint released news of a new commemorative coin celebrating Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement.

“We are delighted to showcase this new coin. The special betrothal design has been approved by Prince William and Her Majesty The Queen,” said a Royal Mint spokesperson.

Approximately 50,000 of the £5 coins have been created, along with the more expensive gold-plated £85 coin. The coin is the first ever to commemorate an engagement. Go to www.royalmint.com for more information.

Engagement

The couple was engaged in November, when Prince William popped the question to Ms Middleton while they were in Kenya on vacation.

She answered ‘yes,’ moving the eight-year on and off again romance into the next phase. The ring Prince William proposed with was his late mother’s, Princess Diana’s.

The couple met almost a decade ago at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

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