12 May 2011

Royal Procrastination

I have been wanting to post something about the Royal Wedding for some time now.  I have been wanting to write ever since they announced the engagement back in February.  I have been putting it off and putting it off.  I realized if I don't write soon, I'll be discussing the birth of their first child so here goes...

First of all, let me tell you about my experience with another royal wedding.  I was in London until the day of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.  It was amazing to be there!  Anything and everything had their images emblazoned on it with the words "commemorative" and "official souvenir".  I have a stamp that was made to honor the occasion beautifully framed and hanging in my living room.  I have several "official" souvenir books as well.  My favorite mementos, however, are the photos I have of all the carriages.  My aunt and I got up at the crack of dawn the day before the wedding to watch the rehearsal.  I remember how cold it was and how thrilled we were to join in the excitement that surrounds such an historic event.  The day of the wedding, we flew to Belgium and watched from there.  No setting the alarm like every other American.  Belgium is actually an hour ahead of England.  I was thirteen years old and thought it was truly a fairy tale.  As a matter of fact, I have a sapphire engagement ring (only a FEW carats smaller) because of Diana.

Diana was fascinating to watch as I went through high school.  William and Harry were adorable.  It was sad to witness the downward spiral of her marriage.  Don't we all remember where we were when we heard about her death?  My heart broke watching those forlorn boys walking behind her casket.  I was living in DC at the time and we went to see the British Embassy, the grounds covered with flowers similar to the gates at Buckingham Palace.

When we were in England, we had the chance to visit Kensington Palace which is where Diana and the boys spent many years.  We also saw the Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens.  Watching the kids play there will always be a favorite memory.

Fast forward to now.  I have always thought Kate Middleton was absolutely adorable.  It has been fun to follow their on again, off again relationship and I was excited when William finally proposed.  The first thing I did was to ask two of my British friends if they would send me a stamp once it was issued.  My friend and I made plans to watch the wedding together.  I slept at her house and we dutifully awoke at 4 am to catch all the coverage.  We ate scones and sipped tea as well as some other treats I had ordered from England including treacle tarts and Victoria slices (named after Queen Victoria).  What a splendid morning.  The dress, the ceremony, the Abbey- everything was just so lovely all I could do was sigh.  Okay, everything except Fergie's daughters.  Ugh!  Could have done without that side show!  I talked to a friend who was there with her husband and three young children.  She said it was crazy but so much fun.  They went to the Abbey the day after and saw Kate's bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other things that hadn't yet been removed.  She sent me a "commemorative" tin of biscuits with the couple's picture.  What a treat!

I would imagine that any wedding of an heir to the throne causes quite a stir in the UK but this was even more.  I think everyone could sense how genuine of a couple they are.  I know the monarch of England is nothing but a figure head these days but I do think William will make a great ambassador and "face" for England around the world.  His mother's love shines on through him.  Kate seems to be all that Diana was and more.  She has a similar grace, elegance and charm.  Unlike Diana however, she brings to the marriage the blessings of a stable home and warm, happy childhood.  It was sad to watch old footage of Charles and Diana and see how empty their relationship appeared.  I have talked about that with several people lately and the discussion has gone the same.  Maybe they shouldn't have married.  It certainly, with the luxury of hindsight, seems to have been a mistake.  The quick response is:  Wait.  Then there would be no William.  God brings goodness even out of our mistakes.

Oh yeah... besides the biscuit tin, my friend Mary says the stamp is in the mail!


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