The alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m. I roll over, feeling as if I've just fallen asleep a moment before. I stumble out from under the covers, eyes barely open, and pull on my slippers and tiara. I love weddings, I'm slightly obsessed with royalty, and I'm more than a bit of an Anglophile; for me, today is like the Superbowl, the World Series and the Twilight premiere all rolled in to one.
I didn't wake up early enough to see the beginning of the wedding (1:30 a.m.? No thank you), so everyone is already in the church. That archbishop is kind of long-winded, but check out Westminster Abbey! Why would anyone want to be married anywhere else?
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married in the chapel at St. James' Palace in London, which is OK, I guess. In their time there hadn't been a wedding at the Abbey in over 400 years, since Richard II in 1382. The tradition was revived in the 1920s, and almost every major British royal wedding has taken place there since. Every coronation since the Abbey's construction has taken place there, too.
I shuffle into the kitchen and try to make some tea (keeping with the British theme, of course) with my fancy new French press tea pot (birthday gift--in fact, I've decided that the royals planned the wedding on this date as their celebration of my birthday, which is only two days away). My sleep-addled brain can't figure out how the tea pot works, though, so, frustrated, I pour some of yesterday's coffee into a mug and shove it into the microwave for two minutes, then settle on the couch with my blankie.
The boys' choir is singing now. There's something so magical about a boys' choir. Like, it must have taken an enchantment to get those boys to sing. I also love the trees down the aisle. Whose idea was that?
I think the best part really is the dress. I love the lace and the silhouette and mostly I love the fact that it has sleeves! Finally! Maybe now brides will stop wearing skanky, ill-fitting strapless dresses that have become ubiquitous even in winter and wear something that actually looks good! Thank you, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, for bringing classy back.
Diana's dress was very different indeed. Puffy sleeves, sparkles, ruffles, a mile-long train. That was a lot of dress. She pulled it off, but not many girls could have.
I've finished my cup of coffee now and decided to give the tea another try. Abandoning the fancy tea pot, I just heat water in the microwave, add the tea leaves to brew for a little bit, then strain the tea into my cup with a spoon. A pinch of brown sugar and a drop of cream and it's perfect. I think I'll enjoy it with an apple oat muffin.
The bride and groom are exiting the church now. It's a looooong walk. I hope they have comfortable shoes. I think everyone should get to ride in an open-air horse-drawn carriage at least once in life. I personally would like one for everyday use. As the carriage heads toward Buckingham Palace, I'm told by an American entertainment news anchor who is proud of her research that it is now time for the "Countdown to the Kiss."
What she refers to is a tradition for British royal weddings for most of the past century: the newly married couple greets the people from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The Queen kept this tradition herself during her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh, when she was still Princess Elizabeth, back in 1947. And the current Prince of Wales and Diana expanded on it with the addition of a kiss, a real crowdpleaser.
The new Duke and Duchess don't disappoint the crowd, and after a few more minutes of waving and smiling, it appears that it's all over now. That's just as well. I've just witnessed a once-in-a-generation event, and even though it'll take me a week to get back on a normal sleeping schedule, I wouldn't have missed it for a kingdom.