Royal wedding: How Windsor's churches are reacting to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's nuptials

M&S in Windsor has been renamed Markle & Sparkle, a local pub is changing its name to The Prince Harry, and Daniels coffee shop sells latte coffees with the couple's faces imprinted into the milk froth.

Windsor's engagement with the wedding began negatively. Simon Dudley, the leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, wrote to Berkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in January, complaining that street begging had created a 'hostile atmosphere' for both residents and tourists. He said the issue needed to be sorted 'urgently' before the wedding.

ReutersThe sunrise behind St George's chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry on Saturday.

But it is fair to say the town is embracing every opportunity to celebrate, or hijack, depending on your point of view, the Royal wedding.

'There is a real buzz in the town and a real buzz in the community as we all celebrate,' says Rev Louise Brown, vicar of All Saints Dedworth on the edges of Windsor.

She said that even the negative attention over Dudley's comments on homelessness was turned into a positive as Royal wedding fever swept the town.

'It so infuriated the locals that they joined together and more opportunities are being opened up to find the homeless places in Windsor.' She tells Christian Today of a local school that is charging £2 per head for its Royal wedding party with proceeds going to the local homeless shelter.

ReutersRoyal fans wake at first light after camping out overnight outside Windsor Castle. Louise Brown says: 'There are so many people sleeping out on the streets you can't distinguish between the visitors and the homeless. Our argument is if you are going to allow our lovely tourists to sleep on the streets for the wedding then our lovely homeless are welcome.'

And churches are not loath to ignore the opportunities the wedding presents.

The historic Windsor Parish Church is directly on the route Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will process after the service at St George's Chapel. The 11th century building has been open all week to visitors for prayer and reflection.

Others are offering tea and coffee to the more than 100,000 tourists expected to line the streets on Saturday.

But most of those in Windsor for the wedding will be local, says Brown. 'A lot of local people are going to be staying at home tomorrow. We're doing it on the big screen here [in the church, two miles from St George's Chapel. You won't be able to get into town unless you are able to walk there.'

ReutersSt George's Chapel will host the service, led by the dean of Windsor David Conner with the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, officiating at the vows.

Brown said she had played the archbishop of Canterbury in a local primary school's reenactment of the wedding this week and 'married' Harry and Meghan. Her church is holding a wedding themed old person's lunch today [Friday] and tomorrow they will host a party with the coverage showing on the big screen.

'You get an opportunity to talk about Christian marriage. You get an opportunity to invite people into celebrate. You get opportunities to pray for them,' she tells Christian Today. 'All those things are open conversations.

ReutersLandlady of the pub, formerly known as 'The Three Tuns', Kelly Carpenter said the name change had been planned for while but workers had scrambled to get everything ready before Saturday. 'We all love (Prince Harry)," she said. "He's one of our favourites. He's very normal.'

'Everything becomes a talking point. What God wants us to do is use every opportunity to talk to everyone else. The fact that you have got this big event is an opportunity to talk about God and love and marriage and children and all sorts of other issues.'

But does the occasion of a wedding also present particular opportunities for the Church of England?

'It gives you an opportunity to think about God in connection with marriage. And to say yes, the Church does struggle with a Christian stance that for a lot of people is outdated. I don't want the Christian church to be seen as fuddy-duddy but I do want to maintain lifelong commitment and love.

'It gives people an opportunity to ask questions. If you are talking about it they are going to ask about what you think about gays and transgenders and would you marry them. Then you are able to talk honestly about why you would or why you wouldn't and that gives you opportunities. If you don't take these opportunities then people aren't going to ask questions and if they don't ask questions then how are we going to have a debate about God?'

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