SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The British Consulate is expecting a sellout crowd at its annual celebration of the queen’s birthday, which coincides with the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday, consulate officials said.

PHOTOS: Britain’s Royal Wedding

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“We have about 300 people coming which is more than we ever had,” said Mary Gilbert, the deputy consul general.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

For most of those guests, the Royal Ceremonial Ball Friday night at the Mark Hopkins Hotel will be act two. Gilbert expects all eyes will be glued to the telly much, much earlier to see the pageantry at the castle.

The actual ceremony begins at 1 a.m. Pacific time.

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If the line at the cash register of the British Grocery on Potrero Hill is any indication, many in the Bay Area plan to make a night of the much anticipated wedding.

“A lot of people are giving wedding parties,” said owner Patrick Alexander.

His supply of souvenir Kate and Will plates and mugs ran out more than a week ago, but the customers looking for just the right accessories for a festive night just keep on coming.

Alexander and his wife opened the store on 15th Street near Potrero Avenue back in 1973. He said sales are much higher than when Prince Charles and Diana married in 1981.

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