Carl Court / AFP - Getty Images
British Union Jack flags hang along London's Regent Street on Friday, in preparation for the royal wedding.
By F. Brinley Bruton, msnbc.com
LONDON – Are you dreading the royal wedding?
If so, you’re not alone – plenty of people won’t be wrapping themselves in the Union Jack to celebrate the marriage of Catherine Middleton to Great Britain's second-in-line to the throne Prince William next week.
Richie Turnbull, a musician and house-painter from Scotland, has invited friends and friends of friends to collectively thumb their noses at the royal family during a special gig in East London on April 29.
"Instead of sitting around and complaining, we're going to celebrate being anti-monarchy," said the 51-year-old from Scotland, which, he said, was "conquered, raped and pillaged by the English."
"The party is for fun, for people to have a laugh," he said.
The signs for the party have a picture of the happy couple with the words emblazoned on the top: "Not Wanted, Dead or Alive." Attendees will listen to electronica and are encouraged to wear costumes.
Quite a contrast to the thousands of block parties around the country where people will eat frothy cake, play soccer and compete in crown and tiara competitions, all the while watching the big event live on TV.
Turnbull isn't the only one to want to try and have a bit of fun at the royals' expense. A song entitled "Dreading the Wedding" by The Headlines making the rounds on the Internet starts off with:
"I'm dreading the wedding
I don’t know what to do
I think I'll leave the country
Or take up sniffing glue."
Sounds of vomiting and pictures of "B-list celebrities" accompany the cheery, if somewhat risque jig.
Others have a more serious take on the nuptials, however.
"There is this idea that they are a benign institution, that it is just a bunch of people in a big house," said Graham Smith of the anti-monarchist organization Republic. "It is actually a political institution."
Courtesy of Lydia Leith
Royal wedding sick bags designed by Lydia Leith.
Republic contends the monarchy is unaccountable to the population, expensive and, thanks to the lack of a written constitution, allows politicians too much power.
To add insult to injury, the royal wedding also embraces unsavory monarchs from around the world.
"The king (of Bahrain), who has reportedly received a personal invitation to the wedding from the queen, has violently crushed the pro-democracy movement in his country," Smith wrote in a recent article in The Guardian.
Smith contends that most Britons are at best indifferent to the royal nuptials, although the jury is out on that. According to a recent poll by Ipsos MORI, three-quarters of subjects support the monarchy, compared to 18 percent who would like the country to be a republic.
Talk of despots and democracy aside, Republic will try to get in on the fun in its own way by holding its own street party in central London on the day of the wedding. There'll be stalls selling merchandise – including "I'm not a royal wedding mug" mugs. People will be able to sign a card for the happy couple that says, essentially, "Good luck with your married life but don't assume you will be King or Queen."
"We're doing something quite fun, actually celebrating republicanism in a positive way," he said. And the anti-monarchist organization has good reason to celebrate – membership has jumped by half to 14,000 since William and Kate announced their engagement in November.
A few have found themselves cashing in on the wedding inadvertently.
Artist Lydia Leith, 24, designed the Royal Wedding "sick bag" in time for Valentine's Day. She's sold about 8,000, each personally signed, to people in countries as far away as Lithuania, Japan and Brazil.
"Before this happened I was quite poor," she said. "Now I've made quite a lot of money, hopefully enough to set up a business."
But Leith is adamant that she isn't anti-royal and is just "having a bit of fun."
"I made it to entertain myself and never thought it would get this popular," she said.
A bit like the main event itself, then?
For all things Royal Wedding-related, read msnbc.com's Windsor Knot blog.