By heck, is it William and Kate, enjoying their Right-royal wedding day right here in South Yorkshire?
After tying the knot at Westminster Abbey, did they ditch canapes and champagne at Buckingham Palace and hot-foot it North for a down-to-earth buffet of pork pies with Henderson’s Relish and a cream scone?
No matter how much the down-to-earth Prince and his new Princess might have wanted to, that’ll be a no.
These shots are from a spoof wedding photo shoot set up to show how a host of local wedding experts would have styled today’s historical event if they had been allowed.
The Right Royal Wedding in Yorkshire was organised by featured two amateur local lookalikes playing the parts of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Squint a bit, and it could almost be them.
“Journalists, celebrities and the public have spent months trying to guess the details of the big day,” says Sheffield wedding planner Emma Willis, who runs The Wedding Daze service with husband Vincent.
“We got our heads together with friends Helen and Paul Haigh, who are wedding photographers, and came up with our own ideas for the day.
“We created the type of wedding the couple could have had if they had been able to dispense with protocol and tradition and have a good old knees-up here in South Yorkshire,” adds Emma.
“We kept it all down to earth and affordable – after all, Yorkshire folk are canny with their money and there’s a recession on. But there was a strong element of fun in our wedding day, too. We thought William and Kate would be the type of people to appreciate that.”
The picturesque setting was the freshly-restored Georgian mansion Cusworth Hall in Doncaster, which has just been granted a licence to marry couples on its premises.
The hall even had some very handy props to hand in its wedding exhibition - memorabilia from past Royal Weddings, including a tabloid newspaper report of William’s parents’ wedding day on July 29, 1981.
Helen and Emma asked some of the best Yorkshire wedding suppliers to provide wedding dresses, suits, flowers, hair and make-up. Their expertise proved the county knows how to put on right-royal style when the occasion calls for it.
But the most important “props” were two Royal lookalikes. And instead of coming from some big London agency, they turned out to be home-grown, too.
“We set about searching for a Kate and Wills and picked model Kaytie Johnson of Doncaster and Rotherham chap David Wood from pictures they had emailed,” says Helen, who runs PH Weddings in Heeley.
“Kaytie was a lovely, pretty girl who kept telling us she felt like a real princess for a day, but David took everyone’s breath away.
“His stature, his mannerisms and that smile – from a fair few angles, he was William to a tee.”
The technical sales rep for a CCTV company has been told that ever since he was 17.
He’s the same age as the Prince, give or take a few months, and proudly boasts that he’s got more hair than the HRH!
“The first thing strangers say when they come up to me is: Do you know who you look like?” grins David, with William’s toothsome smile.
“I know exactly who they’re going to say. But it’s never got me so much as a free drink.
“Though I did get mistaken for him when I was on honeymoon with my wife Rebecca. A Chinese family asked if they could take my picture. It’s probably got pride of place in their album, that shot they think is with the future King of England.”
David can see the resemblance. “But I’d hardly say I was a dead-ringer for him. Neither would my mum. And my wife doesn’t think I look like him at all.
“I’m happy to be compared to him, though. He’s a good-looking guy and he comes across as a nice chap,” adds David, of Broom Road, Rotherham, who is now approaching a few look-a-like agencies for work.
“I just hope that on the real wedding day, William didn’t have the same problem I had on the shoot. My uniform was from a fancy dress shop – and the fly was broken!”
Fake Kate and Wills Tyke their vows
A Yorkshire wedding fit for a future king and queen... that’s what was on the menu.
Emma set up and styled two different themes for the look-a-like couple. The first setting was a traditional English tea-party, with the bride dressed in a long, flowing gown and veil.
“We shot them sipping tea from vintage china cups and nibbling on cucumber sandwiches, cupcakes and jam scones,” explains Emma.
“The second was a Cool Britannia reception with a funky retro feel. We trimmed up Cusworth Hall with Union Jack bunting, dressed the bride in a Fifties frock with a risque red petticoat and matching scarlet shoes and the buffet was Yorkshire party food.
“That theme was my favourite and I’ve a sneaking feeling it could have been William’s if he’d ever be allowed.”
Emma and Helen planned to spend today glued to their TVs, watching the Royal Wedding unfold. Both of them adore weddings, which is why they went into the business.
And they know that every detail of Kate and William’s day will be influencing their clients’ choices for years to come.
Roll the credits
Styling, signs and crockery: The Wedding Daze
Photography: PH Weddings www.phweddings.co.uk
Hair by Bridal Hairdressers
Makeup: Greenfield and Beck
Dresses, veils and ivory shoes: Choola of Ecclesall Road; red petticoat: Honeypie boutique; morning suit: Dapper Suits; uniform: Mr Ben’s fancy dress; red shoes: Bespoke Big Day; fascinators: Imogen’s Imagination
Cakes: HunkyDory; food: Coco Catering
Vintage jewellery bouquet and headbands: DC Bouquets; flowers: Boutique Paeony
Bunting: Bunting Queen; stationery: Lucy Ledger
Chair covers and tablecloths: AB Marquees.