Ely mum of two Angii Smith has been a massive fan of Prince Harry for many years.
So when he announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, she decided that being a part of the wedding welcome crowd was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Angii told Spotted in Ey: “As soon as the date was announced, I decided I wanted to go. I knew from the start it wasn’t going to be like all the other royal weddings because of who Harry and Meghan are.”
She and her sons, Caiden, nine, and Finley, seven, set off for Windsor just after 3am on Saturday, stopping to drop some wedding themed rocks near Ely Cathedral before their departure.
“Every Royal wedding needs some commemorative items and as we are a family of rockers, it seemed only fitting to do some wedding themed rocks!
“We took a few to hide in Windsor and have hidden some in Ely. We expect them to be kept but it would be great to see them travel. One of them has already been found and posted from Windsor!”
After hiding rocks of art, the three got to Windsor by 5.30am and immediately found a car park, to Angii’s surprise.
“We arrived at The Long Walk and although it was already busy, we found a great spot in front of a big screen (and toilets behind!). There was only one row of people in front of us at the barrier, who had slept there all evening. One lady was a grand age of 78 – she was much braver than I will ever be!”
The three made themselves at home on their Union Jack rug, enjoying strawberries and cream for breakfast.
“Before it got too busy we decided to head into central Windsor for a look around and to hide some of our wedding themed rocks. The streets were packed but the atmosphere was electric.
“There were an incredible amount of event staff and police on the streets, so we felt very safe. My son was a little afraid of the armed police, but they took the time to have a chat with him and put him at ease.”
Describing the day as “amazing from start to finish”, Angii said there was camaraderie among the well-wishers, with spectators exchanging items and chatting to those nearby.
“It was quite emotional watching the wedding on the big screen and to hear the crowds singing along to Stand By Me by the gospel choir during the service.
“Being so close to the carriage with the newlyweds passing by was the icing on the wedding cake!”
The day had a carnival atmosphere, with lots of quirky moments, she said.
“There were people in head to toe union flag attire, men in wedding dresses, people dressed as if they were going to the actual wedding, it was fabulous!”
Hearing that Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs was at the Radio 2 stand in Alexander Gardens, the three decided to wander over.
“We are big fans and the boys hadn’t met him before so we went over and had a chat with him and had some pictures.”
A firm Royalist, Angii says she doesn’t have a favourite but the Queen has done “an amazing job and done our country proud”.
The Crown – partly filmed at Ely Cathedral – had given people a fascinating insight into modern royal life behind the scenes, Angii said.
“Harry is so down to earth, he’s a credit to his mother and very much like her. He’s very much a royal of the common people!”
Harry and Meghan’s wedding day will hold special memories for Angii and her sons for years to come.
“It will probably be the only royal wedding in my lifetime that I will go to with my children. It was amazing to think we were there being a little part of history in the making.”