I have to admit that I am a “died in the wool” Royalist. My father was born in Lincoln, England and my mother’s mother was born in the Cotswolds. Although my father came to Canada when he was 18 in 1928 one foot always remained in England and he never lost his British accent.
It is no wonder then that I have a love of British history which has been inherited by our daughter as well as her other grandmother was also born in England.
Yesterday was a wonderful day. It was the Royal Wedding of William Arthur Philip Louis the grandson of Queen Elizabeth to Catherine Elizabeth Middleton a commoner. Will and Kate met at St. Andrew’s in Scotland and after an 8 year courtship he proposed to this beautiful girl November 16th, 2010 on holiday in Kenya.
Most of us started watching the coverage at 3:00 am our time and I finally turned it off around 11:00 pm. It was so wonderful to be watching something of hope, romance and happiness rather than all the terrible news that is currently flooding our airwaves and cyberspace.
There were many happy moments yesterday not the least of which was the sun actually came out in London (unheard of in April) as the newly married couple left Westminster Abbey where they were married and travelled by a 1902 carriage made for King George II’s coronation to Buckingham Palace.
Fashion was a huge topic as it was a closely guarded secret who would design Kate’s dress. As we saw Kate arrive at the Abbey with her father, Michael Middleton, it was revealed that Sarah Burton now chief designer of Alexander McQueen was the lucky winner. Alexander McQueen now deceased was the designer of the edgy outfits and shoes of Lady Gaga. Kate’s dress was a beautiful modern classic design which suited her style totally and not a word against what she was wearing was uttered. Kate wore a Cartier Halo tiara loaned to her by the Queen. It was even stated that Kate had not put a foot wrong throughout the entire day.
The other big new of the day fashion wise was the hats. There is a new hat called the “fascinator” which looks like it is glued to the wearer’s forehead. Victoria Beckham was the only one in my opinion which made this style look good.
The ceremony itself was traditional and lovely as was the entire procession to and from Westminster Abbey. Nobody does pomp and pageantry like the British and many aspects of the wedding dated back centuries. Two high points were the singing of the much beloved hymn ‘Jerusalem’ and a Motet the couple loved from a composer at St. Andrew’s. The greatest moment, of course, was the singing the of National Anthem ‘God Save the Queen’ with trumpets blaring and for Brits an extremely proud moment bringing tears to many eyes. Kate’s sister, Pipa, was her maid of honor and her brother, James, gave a reading at the ceremony in a clear and well-modulated voice. I cannot even imagine the pride of Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, self-made millionaires, as they watched their daughter wed the future King of England.
The balcony scene at Buckingham Palace was amazing. Kate could be seen to mouth “Oh wow!” when she stepped out and saw the masses of people in the mall waiting to see the happy couple and, of course, the rest of the Royal Family. There were two kisses which delighted the crowds on hand and around the world as the couple truly seem to be in love. The RAF did a fly by at this time as both William and his brother and best man, Harry, are in the armed services. Will is a search and rescue helicopter pilot and Harry has served in Afghanistan.
The global exposure of this amazing event gave people a moment of joy and light in the darkness. There were many references to Princess Diana, William’s mother, during the day and many are comparing Kate to Diana. I loved Diana as much as anyone and felt a light went out in the world when she tragically died in Paris but I do believe that Kate is very much her own woman and has the poise needed for her new role as Princess Catherine Duchess of Cambridge.
As Britain’s and CNN’s Piers Morgan quipped “The Monarchy is Back!” and I could not agree with him more.
I join the world in wishing Will and Kate much happiness and success in their marriage as the lead the Monarchy into modern times. I know Princess Diana would be very happy with her son’s choice of bride.