Saturday, April 30, 2011

There Was a Wedding Yesterday

I don’t care what you say, being in a monarchy can sometime be a grand thing. While we here in the United States went to great lengths to not be a monarchy including a war and a constitution that forbids it, a tremendous amount of us reveled in the pageantry and royalty presented yesterday morning during William and Kate’s wedding ceremony. It is said that every girl wants to be married as a princess. Well, I suspect that there were a lot of guys sitting around envious of crisp uniforms with golden swords and the pageantry of it all.

On Friday morning I awoke at 4:24 a.m. to my alarm, stumbled into the kitchen to pour my initial cup of pre-brewed coffee and sat to watch the news and weather before dressing for work. There was no news and weather. There was The Wedding. My wife wandered in bouncing from wall to wall, saw what was on TV and immediately sat down to watch. What we saw was rich, fascinating and finely choreographed – so much so that I got to work late, at 6:15. Before I left my wife encouraged me to record it all.

I have some observations.

Kate’s dress was beautiful and white and full with a long train and symbolized purity which is okay these days even though Kate and William have lived together for quite a while. I wondered though, what if Kate, in the hotel fifteen minutes before entering the car for the journey had to go to the cathedral, had to go to the bathroom. How does one go to the loo with a dress like that?

I find that women are particularly critical of the hats that women wore to the wedding. It is obviously Hat Envy. I liked them and I was fascinated by them, especially those that seemed to balance precariously on the side of the head with a swirl of feathers curling around to the other side of the head. I have no idea how those hats stayed on the head. I was thinking, one of these hats would be a fine gift to give Marilyn – although I haven’t a clue when she would wear it. Just think, all of those women bought a fancy hat to wear one time. I approve.

It was cloudy in London yesterday, yet when Kate exited the car to enter Westminster Abbey, the sun broke through. A sign, surely.

Have you ever met anyone named Pippa? Kate’s sister is really a doll dressed in a form fitting white dress and at any other time probably would be not be smart because she would have upstaged the bride. But Kate was so alluring that it all worked out okay. Pippa’s primary job as Maid of Honor was to carry the train. They do things different over there.

When Kate was walking down the aisle, the orchestra with brass broke into a triumphant march. This is interesting, because the first note played by the brass was right on. It is hard for brass players, trumpets and trombones and the such, to get the first note perfect especially playing a cold instrument. Typically instrumentalists sneakily blow their hot breath into their instruments prior to playing to keep them warm. But they are never quite warm enough, and if you listen close, you will find the first couple of notes a tiny bit out of tune until the performer can adjust and the instrument warms. But it seemed to me that the first notes were perfect which makes me wonder if the music was a recording.

In America, we cheat. When the bride walks up the aisle the groom stands and watches her approach. The Brits follow the rule that the groom is not to see the bride until she is at the altar, and that is why William faced away murmuring such things as, “Actually, I was hoping for a quiet family wedding” to his future father-in law. William has a warm and comfortable relationship with Kate’s parents. It is said that one of his great delights is joining them for dinner at their house sitting in the den balancing dinner plates on their knees watching and making sarcastic comments about a soccer game on the TV. Where was I? Oh, when Kate finally makes it to the altar, William turns and looks at her and tells he that she looks beautiful. He better have said that after all the effort she went to.

Doesn’t Kate have a nice, quick, natural smile? William’s expressions seemed to bounce from “Couldn’t we just have used a Justice of the Peace or the Sheriff of Nottingham or something” to trying to make sure that his bride was at ease, which is funny because she seemed more at ease than he.  As a young teenager Kate was not the beauty that we saw on TV. In fact, the boys in her school rudely rated her as a 2 out of 10. Now look at her….an eat your heart out moment.  Of the two, it is said that Kate is the stronger of the two. In private she brings a strength of the history of a strong family to the relationship. William is a bit more fragile. His mother had died tragically and he was raised in a life of privilege and pampering – his military service notwithstanding.  Once in their years of being together, he broke up with her. Kate, that first evening alone, found the slinkiest, sexiest dress that she had and wore it to a club that she knew he would be at. Once there she gaily pranced around flirting with all the men as a sexy siren. When William saw her, he immediately decided to put a stop to it and stepped in and "rescued" her, and they left together – and the relationship was on again. Kate knows men.

When the couple left the altar, the herald trumpets played a fanfare – and it was as it should be. The first notes weren’t 100% perfect. To be fair though, herald trumpets (those long trumpets with flags hanging from them) are notoriously hard to play and hit perfect notes under the best of circumstances.  I was swept away in long lost memories when The Crown Imperial March was performed as they walked together down the aisle. Crown Imperial was a march written for King George VI’s coronation and was my favorite during college. I really need to download that – I had forgotten all about it.

They really should have shown more of Pippa.

The Day of the Wedding was declared a National Holiday. That just can’t happen here, and it is a shame. The closest we can come to it is when a presidents child is married in the White House, and then you will see a little of it on the evening news. The crowds for the Kate and William’s wedding was overwhelming. I’m telling you, a monarchy can be cool and meaningful at times. It was estimated that two billion people around the world watched….all those people watching Pippa….and Kate and William….all wishing warm thoughts.

Did you see the Crowd Choreography managed by the Police? I have never seen crowds maneuvered and positioned so perfectly and calmly before….especially at Buckminster Palace.  Thousands and thousands of people positioned so perfectly patiently waiting to see Kate and William kiss on the balcony. How awkward that must have been. Usually when people kiss, it is sort of a private affair. I can’t imagine their thoughts before walking onto that balcony. “Okay dear, I guess we have to go outside and let billions of people watch us kiss. I sure hope I don’t miss your mouth.” I have to say that the kisses – there were two – were a bit ‘public’ and not very heartfelt.
Look at the young lady on the left

Kudos to the youngsters involved in the whole thing….the young bridesmaids and…young boys…pages? The young ladies were so pretty and the young men dressed in smart uniforms were so handsome. When walking down the aisle, accompanied by Pippa I might mention, they were perfect. I was gratified to see though, that one young lady allowed her youth to show through on the kissing balcony by covering her ears to the crowd noise and looking absolutely bored.

I’ve often thought that every woman’s dream wedding is never quite so dreamy. Dreams and reality clash. When the day arrives it is stressful and a hassle and tempers can flair and stuff doesn’t work right and there are things forgotten. To watch Kate and Williams wedding must have been a dream come true,  vicariously,  for so many women – the perfection of it without the hassle.

I understand that William and Kate are now in line for King and Queen of Great Britain. I didn’t understand this because I thought Charles was next in line. Marilyn said that she thought that since Charles married Camilla, who had been divorced, he was now ineligible. Is that true?

I was one of the two billion people that enjoyed and appreciated the pageantry and wonder of it all. I wish them well.

And Pippa too.


  1. I caught a little bit of the wedding yesterday and was astounded at how calm and poised Kate seemed to be. I know there is no way I could have got through all that without a Valium or something. It was very beautiful and I wish them well.

    Oh, and it's my understanding that Charles is still in line to be king.

  2. Lovely post, I'm about to write my own royal wedding bit but popped over here first.
    Going to the bathroom in all that dress? That's what Pippa is for, it's a strange nmanuever but it can be done, my train was not that long but we quickly learned that a nervous bride will go to the bathroom, again and again and again, so you learn.
    Also, Charles is next to be king, I guess in these modern times we overlook all that ugly divorce and mistress stuff, lucky us.
    And Pippa, she was very lovely.

  3. Surprisingly, yours is the first Royal Wedding Recap Blog that I've read. Unsurprisingly, it was brilliant. I agree that, Catherine...was even more beautiful a bride than I could have imagined. That dress was so beautiful! I love the lace, even though I've heard some say that they thought it looked to old for her (I completely disagree).

    On another note, you get up at 4:30 for work EVERY DAY?? You poor thing. That sounds like a nightmare.

  4. As the mother of a bride-to-be I was consumed with jealousy -- they had the venue and the music and the food all organized. All she had to do was pick a dress and show up. Do you think the royal wedding planners would help us out over here on this side of the pond.

    We loved Pippa too, btw.

  5. There is actually a lot of Pippa being seen.

  6. Great analysis, Jerry. You should have been on the job with one of the t.v. networks!

  7. Like what you said about the flower girl. A keep it real moment. Well written - you kept my interest the whole time.

  8. I did not watch any of the royal wedding but I really enjoyed your recap and pictures. Kate and Pippa are indeed both beautiful and poised. Their parents should be proud. I lived in England when Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew, I even have a picture of them both, taken when we visited York. It is inexplicably thrilling to be in the crowd watching royalty in real life.

    Great post!

  9. Because I so enjoy your blog, I have nominated you for a Versatile Bloggers Award.
    Debbie Day

  10. Jerry your point of view is so enjoyable - I always find myself thinking "I know! Right!?" LOL Everything about your observations from the hats, to the instruments, to the little snippet on Will and Kate's relationship and how she snagged him back ("Kate knows men." PRICELESS!) and down to Pippa and the young girl's youth which could not be stifled any longer, were noted with such great style that is uniquely yours. I so look forward to your posts. :)

  11. We need a Royal Family (not an inheritable position, but elected on alternate four year cycles from the Presidency) to feed the tabloids and set standards for etiquette, taste, and culture. The President has to do it all and that's inefficient, burns them out too fast.

    We wouldn't pay extra taxes for a King and Queen, so they'd have to be entirely self-supporting in the manner to which we'd insist they be accustomed. They'd have to do good works out of their own pocket, too...lots of them, to model charity to the rest of us, the Great Unwashed.

    That question about Charles ineligibility...I NEED an answer to that, too.

  12. I did something far more valuable and useful during the royal wedding - slept!

  13. It's been a crazy week for the pages of history. Celebrations all round

  14. Wow. How many times did you mention Pippa there? I believe it was more than Kate & William. Ahem.

    I have some thoughts of my own. Evidently, the wearing of the hat is tradition there. It's actually disrespectful to NOT wear one. Maybe the invites stated, "The stupider the hat, the better! Bring your craziest one and we'll award the winner a royal cup of tea!" Hey. It could happen.

    The dress was beautiful...and I'm sure she had to pee. People pee when they're nervous...but maybe you don't pee when you're a royal. I'll have to look that up.

    I too, slept through the brew-ha-ha. Somehow, I figured I could catch it one of the kazillion ways it was recorded for prosperity.

    Ya gotta love today's social media.

  15. Hi Jerry, No, it's not true. Prince Charles is next in line and Prince William second. There is no way that they will skip a generation. All members of the royal family are incredibly dedicated to their work and the Queen agreed to do the job for life and that's what she is doing. Charles will be king, although obviously for a relatively short time which is good, because as Prince he can do work that will not fit in with being king.

    Ah well, Pippa...

  16. I have a British friend whose daughter-in-law is also named Pippa, although I think a commentator mentioned that her real name is Piper. I watched it all and loved every minute of it.

    Have you looked at a map of where they're living now? Holy smokes! One big storm and they're in the North Sea. Talk about following your man anywhere...!

  17. WAIT! I knew that didn't look right, but that Post Comment button was too speedy. It's PHILIPPA!!! Philippa Charlotte.

    I must've had a (shudder) Sarah Palin moment there...!

  18. Buckminster Palace eh?? Not Buckingham?? You seem to have enjoyed the pomp and ceremony. Late at 6:15? Hope you're home early! Is retirement in the near future??

  19. I watched not a moment of it! Thanks for the recap and background info! I'm suprised that I didn't receive an invitation. I'm part of the family you know. Yep! I'm related! Me and about 300,000 other people! I've always hoped that someone would contact me, to tell me I'm a Duke of something...
    Great post Jerry!