If the theatricality and utter ridiculousness of the hats and fascinators parading into Westminster Abbey didn’t force you to watch the royal wedding, surely the pomp, circumstance and theatricality of the whole event did. Still didn’t bite? Fine, then I shall be forced to regale you with all of the dirty details of the Royal Wedding.
Since I know very little about the social or royal elite of Britain I have no idea who most of the homely women in the floral print Sears dresses and dowdy skirt suits were, but a whole bunch were in attendance. Most arrived three hours early to sit around, gossip and get a good seat. Much like the anticipated Star Wars premiere, camp outs, tents, long lines and frenzied crowds filled the streets.
Then, at some point, David and Victoria Beckham showed up. She had a black, oval, pill box growth stuck to her forehead and a black twig was sticking out of it. I assume it was one of those chic hats protocol forced all the ladies to wear. I personally found the oval twig hat quite stunning and her long ponytail hairpiece swinging behind her was the perfect addition. Also her futuristic, all black, a-line dress was perfect for space travel. David looked dashing, as usual, and sported his Commander of the British Empire medal on his lapel and a top hat in hand. Thank goodness there were no microphones around and we were spared his squeaky voice.
Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish were also in attendance. Elton John’s posture could’ve used some improvement but his yellow vest was very fashion forward. Speaking of yellow, the Queen Mum was dressed in head to toe yellow with some very sensible bow-tied beige stacked heels. They could have very well been from the Easy Spirit sensible heels collection but don’t quote me on that.
Her Majesty did succeed in maintaining a stoic demeanor, avoiding smiling, singing, moving or making any show of expression which might reveal human feeling. I would think Victoria Beckham took a cue from the queen on her royal wedding demeanor.
Prince Charles and Camilla showed up at some point, but who knows when? I may have gone for a snack break at that point. Sorry, I’m only human. Then, Prince William and Harry showed up in red nutcracker inspired military outfits and I hoped against hope a ballet performance would break out in the abbey.
Kate’s mother arrived with her son James, a cake connoisseur, and was dressed in a three quarter length coat and matching hat which wasn’t nearly as ridiculous as most of the hats in attendance. She was as trim and elegant as her soon-to-be-married daughter.
Kate’s sister Pippa, who was her lady-in-waiting, arrived soon after with the miniature bridesmaids and pages in tow. Pippa wore a long, white, form-fitting, short-sleeved, cowl-necked, Alexander McQueen gown designed by Sarah Burton. Was that enough adjectives for you?
Of course, everyone was waiting with baited breath to see THE dress. The car which took Kate Middleton and her father to Westminster Abbey was all windows and the top of the gown and her veil were partially visible. Everyone gushed over the top half of the gown but when she arrived at the abbey and emerged from the car everyone could finally gush over the bottom half. I’m certain many believed it was the dress that would have launched a thousand ships were she named Helen and in ancient Greece.
Kate’s gown was also by Alexander McQueen and designed by Sarah Burton. It had a modern elegance with long lace sleeves, a lace covered bodice, a very slim waist and a full flowing skirt in an ivory tone with a two-meter train. It was stunning, simple and regal. She wore a small tiara in her hair with a long veil attached. The veil was like a soft mist over her face and one could still make out her features. There was nothing too elaborate or overwhelming about her attire.
The ceremony was underway soon after and the long, painfully slow walk down the aisle commenced. Kate seemed very composed and her father held her hand as her sister Pippa and the bridesmaids and pages followed behind. Prince Harry who was standing next to William turned around to see Kate commencing down the aisle. Many viewers reported that they thought Harry told William, “wait till you see her.” But, of course, only Harry and William really know what was said.
The ceremony itself was quite uneventful. When Kate finally stood next to William they were both beaming and they exchanged some words which led to laughter. One humorous moment we all could share was when William Arthur Philip Louis (yes, that is his full name) had to jam the ring on Catherine Elizabeth’s finger, nearly taking the skin off with it, because it wouldn’t fit. It must be against royal protocol to actually size the ring prior to the wedding. It was beautiful to see them smiling at each other as they exchanged vows. It gave some indication that these two people were actually marrying for love.
Soon after, hymns were sung (not by the Queen, of course) by the congregation and the choir boys and choir men. A plethora of varied collars peaked out from atop the choir gowns. There were doily collars, ruffled collars and bow-tied collars. It’s a mystery whether the collars indicated some sort of difference in rank.
Kate’s brother James gave a reading during the ceremony which stated one should “associate with the lowly.” Although, one would think if one labels another “lowly” it might reveal one’s own feelings of superiority towards that person. Then, Dr. Richard Chartres gave an address in which he included a, as he described it, “pithy” quote from Chaucer.
While they were seated listening to sermons and hymns, Kate looked back at William and they gave each other knowing smiles reminiscent of small children at Sunday mass. It was a sweet glimpse at a private moment.
Then, everyone filed out of the abbey and William and Catherine, now the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge, took a carriage ride through the crowds which ended at Buckingham Palace.
There was some waiting while the royal family and wedding party took pictures inside and after an hour the newlyweds and their family emerged on the balcony of the palace and waved to the throngs of people cheering below. The much awaited kiss finally happened between William and Kate but the crowd was hardly satiated with the chaste kiss which lasted less than 3 seconds. Finally, William leaned over and gave a longer kiss to his bride which ended in both adorably blushing. It was a lovely moment and beautiful ending to a momentous historic event.
Battle of Britain planes flew past Buckingham palace twice and the royals went back inside the palace, but not before Kate gave one more look over her shoulder at the crowd.
Whatever your stance on royalty or weddings or crazy hats, one can’t deny this was an event millions of people were fascinated by and wanted to witness. All joking aside, it was refreshing and heart-warming to see a royal wedding based on mutual love and admiration. It gave a hopeful beginning to an institution with so many tragic endings.