Sunday, May 20, 2018

Royal wedding

  • My fascination with the royal family -- and royalty generally -- began when I was in Grade 1 and living in a small town in rural Saskatchewan. We had a pair of young student "practice" teachers who did a unit with us on the royal family. I have been hooked ever since then. :) 
  • We saw the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles & Princess Anne when they visited Manitoba in July 1970 for its centennial. My grandparents came to visit us for the occasion. I was 9 years old, and my sister & I wore the same new dresses we had worn a few weeks earlier for our aunt's wedding (same dress pattern, but hers was lavender & white and mine was lime green & white -- it WAS the Seventies, lol!).  We all attended an ecumenical church service at the fairgrounds in Dauphin, Manitoba (about a 45 minute drive from where we were then living), where Prince Philip read the lesson. The royal couple drove past us in an open-top limousine and my dad got a great picture of the Queen with our Kodak box camera, giving her royal wave with a white-gloved hand. "She was so close I could have reached out & touched her," marvelled my grandfather. 
  • I haven't missed a royal wedding since Princess Anne's (the first one, to Captain Mark Phillips, back in the early 1970s), which I watched as a pre-teen on our NEW colour television set!! (My sister reminded me, when I talked to her this weekend, that we also watched Prince Charles's investiture as Prince of Wales on TV, albeit in black & white.) 
  • I got up at 4 a.m. (Eastern time) to watch the coverage of this latest wedding (even though I'd been up past 11 p.m. watching the Winnipeg Jets game against Las Vegas...!). The wedding didn't actually start until 7 a.m. my time, but of course, half the fun of these things is watching the guests arrive, critiquing the dresses and hats ;)  etc. etc.
  • I figure that by the time the next big royal wedding rolls around (likely George, Charlotte or Louis's), I will be in my late 70s or 80s (gulp), so I'd better enjoy this one now...!  
    • (Prince Andrew's younger daughter, Princess Eugenie, is getting married this October -- also at St. George's, Windsor -- but being a lot further down the line of succession than William & Harry, I very much doubt hers will be televised.)  
  • Some of my friends were attending (and posting online about) early-morning viewing parties, complete with scones, mimosas and fascinators or tiaras. I just watched in my PJs, by myself -- had some breakfast early on & a cup of tea. I did trade comments with some of my friends on Facebook. :) 
  • I will admit I got tears in my eyes when William and Harry emerged from a car and began walking toward the chapel, tall and handsome in their uniforms. Of course I thought about their mom (who was the same age as me) and how very proud she would have been.
  • I adored Meghan's dress -- simple and elegant (and that tiara...!). A few friends on social media expressed disappointment that it was so plain/unadorned and traditional -- but Meghan didn't strike me as a lace and frills type of girl -- and let's face it, this was WINDSOR CASTLE -- you can't get much more traditional than that, right??  ;)  Anything strapless (or even sleeveless) or a neckline that was cut too low or a silhouette that was too revealing would have been out of place (not to mention completely inappropriate). 
  • The music was wonderful -- nothing like a good old Anglican hymn (I could sing along!). ;)  And the young cellist who played while the registry was being signed was amazing -- although his music was so soothing that I felt like I was going to nod off! (I took the opportunity to revive myself by getting up and making another cup of tea, lol.)
  • I also loved all the flowers. I am sure that floral arch over the entryway cost as much as my annual salary when I working...!  
  • The juvenile attendants, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were adorable, as expected -- but I think the Mulroney twins, Brian & John, stole the show, carrying Meghan's ultra-long veil.  (Their sister Ivy was also a bridesmaid.)  The photo of one of the twins reacting in delight as the trumpets sounded the bride's entry into the chapel -- complete with a missing tooth, lol -- was priceless. 
    • Most of the American & British coverage I read focused on the twins' mom, Jessica, one of Meghan's best friends. Those of us here in Canada (and especially those of us of an, ahem, certain vintage, cough, cough...!) probably think of them in terms of their famous grandpa, our former prime minister, Brian Mulroney (who must have been busting his buttons) -- or perhaps their equally famous dad, PM Brian's oldest son, Ben, who was not only in attendance but seated in one of the best spots in the house (some thought it was even better than the Queen's!).  
    • It was somewhat bizarre to see Ben Mulroney looming up behind Meghan every time the camera showed her at the altar. He's a very well-known TV host here in Canada. For those of you in the States, think Ryan Seacrest, if Ryan Seacrest also hosted Good Morning America on top of his American Idol and red carpet awards show duties.
    • (I read that Ben remembers Harry's mom, Diana, coming up to see him and his brothers and sister in the nursery at the prime minister's residence at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa.  Which seems appropriate, when you think that Harry is now Duke of Sussex...) 
  • I enjoyed seeing the guests arrive, although I wish the TV commentators had done a better job of identifying some of them as they arrived. I kept saying, "Umm, umm, I KNOW I know who that is...!" (But could I think of the name? No.)  I was glad to see the Duchess of York (Fergie) there and looking good.  George and Amal Clooney looked as fabulous as ever. Does Victoria Beckham ever crack a smile??  And how about Prince Philip, who will soon be 97 years old?? -- the TV hosts were saying he was likely to arrive on crutches, since he just recently had hip surgery, but he walked in & out of the church unassisted. 
    • I was struck by how grown-up the Earl & Countess of Wessex (Edward & Sophie)'s kids, Louise & James, are now. Both are rumoured to be IVF babies, and I vividly remember that Sophie had an ectopic pregnancy, around the same time I was going through infertility treatment myself. 
    • Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Tindall, was hugely pregnant. Did you know she lost a baby previously? 
    • Did anyone see Princess Margaret's offspring, David and Sarah and their families?  They are not as visible these days (perhaps more so in Britain than hereabouts?) and I haven't seen them in quite some time, so perhaps they were there & (I am sure they were...) and I just didn't see or recognize them. (I took the opportunity to Google them, and yikes, I didn't realize their children are now in their late teens and early 20s. Time flies...!)  
  • Of course, there is already speculation about when Meghan will announce a pregnancy (the anchors on one network (CTV?) were taking bets with each other!!). I even read one headline speculating she is already pregnant!  UGH, give it a rest!! 
Did you watch? What did you think? 


  1. I forgot to add, re: the Mulroney twins, I wrote about them when they were born! -- AND there's an ALI angle!! Please read here:

  2. Starting with the worst first. I know, I was rolling my eyes at all the child talk, both in the service and on TV and internet. It's never a given. And she's 36. Argh.

    And I always relate to Sophie's children too. Her ectopic was just days before my first.

    For once, the timing was almost perfect here to watch something live on the other side of the world. We had a lovely Saturday dinner (I often make a nice dinner on a Saturday evening), some nice wine, then settled in to watch it. I was astounded that DH even bothered to watch, but he did, even the carriage procession! I enjoyed it. Shared the royals discomfort and amusement at the American preacher. Enjoyed the music, the flowers, the outfits!

    I've watched all those Royal events too. I distinctly remember Charles' investiture ceremony too. I suspect I saw Anne's wedding in black and white though! lol And isn't it amazing how much of the world the Queen and Prince Philip have covered. We saw them in Timaru (about 1/2 hour drive from our house) in 1977. And the royal yacht Britannia - I bet you didn't see that in Winnipeg! lol

    So yes, no more big exciting weddings until we're old. If I make it that far!

    1. LOL, certainly no Britannia in Winnipeg!! But Chuck & Di did bring Britannia & stay on it here in Toronto when they visited back in the early 1990s. William & Harry were flown in to meet them here, and there's a famous picture/video clip of Diana running to greet them with her arms wide open. That was on the deck of the Britannia here in Toronto. The three of them went to Niagara Falls while they were here and rode the Maid of the Mist and all the other touristy stuff. Didn't see them or Britannia then, as we were working during the day... but I remember thinking, "Next time." Sadly, there was no next time, at least for Diana. :(

    2. Found this video clip -- it was 1991. Funny, whenever they show this, they only ever show Diana greeting the boys, but Charles was there too, just a bit further behind and a bit more restrained. ;)

  3. I loved it! Every moment of it. It was nice to watch something happy after school shooting. I liked that Harry and Meghan gave the British stiff upper lip ones a tilt to a smile at times. Even if it was a smirk. I've been a royal watcher since Diana came on the scene. I have always said she looked like an innocent lamb going to slaughter on her wedding. If she only knew what lied ahead.