The royal wedding

All right, I confess: I didn’t follow the wedding preparations, and I didn’t rise before dawn to watch the ceremony live. (I knew there’d be many opportunities to watch the reruns.) Since I record “Morning Joe” every day so that I can listen commercial-free as I go about my about my morning routine, I unintentionally recorded the wedding coverage.

Prince William and Kate Middleton (Photo by Nick Warner / Alexandre Goulet)

I was struck by the beauty and emotional force of the pageantry. The colors were wonderful. So many hats! They reminded me of Easter parades long ago. They ranged from elegant (Mrs. Middleton) to laughable and outrageous. I didn’t notice anyone but the queen wearing white gloves— another throwback to a time when they were absolutely de rigueur (“A lady isn’t dressed without her gloves,” my mother would say.) How fortunate for the couple— not to mention for the thousands who lined the streets— that the predicted rain held off. An auspicious beginning.

Everything looked perfect. Kate and Wills are obviously in love. The best part for me was the adoring look on the groom’s face as his bride recited her vows. I wonder, was Kate’s tiara the one worn by Diana at her wedding?

Not having read anything beforehand, I was surprised by the lack of the flowers I expected to see inside Westminster Abbey. But what a wonderful idea to have trees! To walk under nature’s canopy in God’s house— inspired.

Maybe I missed it— did Pippa do anything but hold her sister ‘s
train and her bouquet? Kate’s brother played a prominent speaking role in the ceremony, the choir was composed exclusively of men and boys, and all the ecclesiastics were male. I assume the exclusion of women from the ritual is ordained by the Church of England, but still— Ah, well, that’s a story for another day. At least, the bride no longer must promise to obey. I’ve read about a movement to allow the firstborn child, male or female, of the sovereign to accede to the throne. I very much doubt that innovation is imminent.

Betting odds (Photo by Southbanksteve)

Nevertheless, this thoroughly modern couple is updating the monarchy in unprecedented ways. The couple actually lived together before marriage in a rented cottage, shopping, cooking and cleaning for themselves. William has said he and Kate will do without servants. They prefer to clean up after themselves without a live-in staff to disturb their intimacy. William’s father instead employs 149 servants to tend to his needs, which are said to include loading his toothbrush with toothpaste each morning. Princess Diana, on the other hand, broke the mold for British royals by mixing it up with the commoners. William and Kate are also much more accessible. Like William’s mother, they are serious about social service. They’re expanding on Diana’s commitment to charity by setting up a charitable fund launched by the contributions they’ve requested in lieu of wedding gifts.

May Wills and Kate live a long, happy and productive life together.

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