Te Aroha celebrates royal nuptials with mass recommitment ceremony

  • 18/05/2018

It's a sleepy little town, Te Aroha.

But this quiet town in the shadow of the mountain of love is coming out in style to celebrate this weekend's royal nuptials.

On Thursday, a motorcycle convoy roared into town - led by royal family lookalikes standing in for the Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla and Meghan.

And on Saturday, the town will host a mass vow renewal ceremony.

Organiser and devout royalist Angela Thompson says the town has a huge royal following, and expects more than 30 couples to attend the ceremony.

She says the royal wedding is an opportunity to celebrate something that is in short supply at the moment: love.

"It's such a privilege to live in Te Aroha, under the mountain of love, and to gather people together and celebrate love," she says.

She says it doesn't matter whether you're a royalist or not - the wedding is about respect and unity.

"There have been some nasties about. But it's part of life, having different opinions. And we owe such a lot to the royal family.

"Harry has had such sadness in his life, and if he's found happiness, then we should raise a glass to him. You don't have to be a royalist - you just have to have respect."

Thompson says that if you count up "all the year and all the marriages", she's been married for coming up 60 years.

She married her husband Bill in 2011 - two days before Kate and William tied the knot.

Her advice for Harry and Meghan?

"Give it a go, never look back, only look forward."

The Te Aroha celebrations, including best dressed competition and mass recommitment ceremony, runs from 10.30 at the Te Aroha Domain.

To register for the ceremony, email coroang@gmail.com to receive full details and a certificate.