Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Day

Today either you're celebrating or you're tuning out the world because it's THE WEDDING.

Being on East Coast Canada, coverage started at 3 or 4 a.m. depending on your network. I just couldn't get up that early, plus my girls want to watch. So we set up the DVR to tape all seven hours of coverage. The great thing about the timing was that the actual wedding was on at 7 a.m. and so all of us - even my husband - sat down to watch the bridal procession to the Abbey and the ceremony. We'll watch the "before and after" after school.

So the highlights according to the Alwards:
The Mister: completely taken with Pippa. She was stunning and the tulip skirt of her dress was hugely flattering. All he could say was "WOW" and a few other things I will not put on this blog.

Also he had a fabulous time doing a play by play of various hats. He thought Princess Beatrice's topper looked like moose antlers. (I also thought she could have laid off the eyeliner a bit. Oi.)

The offspring: Loved the pomp, the dress, crushed they missed any kissing, commented on the resemblance of a member of the boy's choir to a schoolmate. Full opinion to follow after complete viewing.

Me: I got emotional. First of all - the dress. I was so surprised. LOVED the bodice. I did not think she would have sleeves, or all that lace but it was stunning. I didn't love the skirt, though. I totally thought she'd go with something less full and with her figure she could have pulled it off. Plus how heavy was that train she pulled around? And the tiara was sooooo pretty and suited her perfectly. I imagined she'd have a longer veil, too.

My daughter did not understand why I got choked up as they drove in the landau through the streets. I explained that when I was a girl, I got up in the middle of the night and watched Charles and Diana get married. And then I watched Diana's funeral, and William and Harry making that horrible, silent walk through the streets of London. Something happened when I saw the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smiling and waving as they drove down the Mall.

I loved the simplicity of it - yes, despite the huge event, it felt simple and not ostentatious. I loved the trees in the Abbey making it feel so springlike, I loved how Harry looked over his shoulder, grinned, and whispered to William. I loved that there weren't a zillion bridesmaids. My husband remarked that it was relaxed. And I think that comes from a feeling of certainty that this is a couple who, despite all the official stuff, simply loves each other.

I am very glad that Kate wore her hair and makeup with the same simple style she always does. She looked like herself. And I'm sure hearts all over the world are swooning over Harry, looking so roguish and dashing in his uniform, playing with the kids in the carriage during the drive to Buckingham Palace.

The perfect ending was, for me, the fly-past. The Typhoons and Tornados were all well and good, but I choked up at the Hurricane, Spitfire, and especially the Lancaster. When I saw that beauty bearing down in all her glory I had a moment. I cannot explain why. But there is a reason, somewhere, why I've kept airplane pictures out of the house (not always easy with a husband in aviation) but that there's a painting of the Lancaster Dambusters above my mantle.

A special day. Happy Royal Wedding Day!


  1. Fab post Donna! As I live on Anglesey (where William is stationed) it has been abuzz here recently with all the build up - but boy wasn't it worth it! She looked absolutely stunning, and as you say despite all the pomp and grandeur it was a relaxed wedding if ever there could be! Caroline x p.s isn't technology amazing - there you are thousands of miles away in a different time zone and you've already posted pictures of the couple *and* written your blog. Well done you!

  2. Some of the pics were hard to find, actually! I had to sift through a lot.

    I can't imagine what it's like to be in London right now!

  3. Hi Donna:

    I loved Kate’s ‘simple style’ because it showcased her captivating smile. Her smile radiated with innocent sincerity. I though she was smiling directly to me. The UK should love her.

    I’m with you. When I saw the Hurricane, Spitfire, and the Lancaster bomber I couldn’t believe it. I told my wife: “Those are WWII planes. How can they do that to Londoners? Some of them had to have been there when London was bombed. Why bring back those horrid memories on this happy day?”

    I must not be wired like a Britt. Do the Brits have fond memories of the war?

    BTW: I didn’t think the train was too long. It looked as if it was the perfect size. It exactly covered the red carpet as she walked down the aisle. My wife actually cheered when she saw the dress. Watch for that dress to become the most popular dress over the next few years.


  4. The dress was gorgeous, but personally I thought the skirt heavier and fuller than I expected to see from Kate, who tends to keep her lines a little simpler nad sleeker. I absolutely adored the vintage bodice though.

    Vince, I can't speak for the Brits. But the sense I get is that while the Battle of Britain was naturally horrific, it also inspired a feeling of staunch determination that they would not be defeated. I saw the fly past as a badge of honour and hugely symbolic of the spirit of the British people.

    Brits? Have I got it right?

  5. Me again. As a Brit - I (and an awful lot of others) are very, very proud of our RAF and the heroic way they saved us from the wrath of the German bombers in WWII. Yes it was a very dark time, and a lot of people were killed all over the UK (my dad remembers the German bombers dropping bombs near where he lived as a boy) but as far as we Brits are concerned the Hurricanes and Spitfires saved us, and after The Battle of Britain Winston Churchill gave his most famous speech (IMHO) about it, "Never in the field of human conflict..." I think it's why we love air shows so much and why we like to see the old planes still flying. Well I do at least...Caroline x

  6. Have to agree with Caroline and Donna re the WW2 planes - it is very symbolic for us. We live near quite a few airfields and my husband loves nothing better than telling the kids what particular plane is flying above our house.
    The wedding itself I thought was fantastic and I loved Kate's dress.(my husband is with yours Donna about Pippa Middleton!). I can't quite get my head around the fact that the whole world is watching (apparantly there were 12,000 reporters in London). Just amazing.
    The village I live in has three different street parties going on, one of which I've just left to put my youngest to bed.
    This a day my kids will never forget. x

  7. Hi Donna,

    I commented on eHarlequin but I just had to say that I too had tears in my eyes when the flyover happened. I think it is a bit of pride the British people are more than allowed to have in their air force.

  8. Lovely post :)

    The wedding was wonderful and Kate looked beautiful. I had a little tear in my eye when they emerged from the Abbey as a married couple.

    You are right about RAF and planes. I have a lot of family in the RAF and I know they loved that bit.

    I would love to be at the party now :)

  9. I loved the planes too, and the Aston Martin, but for me Harry was the highlight and stole every scene he was in. Particularly the one where he walked Pippa M (henceforth known as The Hottest Woman in the UK) back down the aisle, his expression of supressed mischief totally at odds with his very grown up uniform.

    I believe the dress had to be pretty full to 'fill the abbey' and make sure she was suitably noticable to people sitting some distance away and in long camera shots (like the brilliant one they did from the roof). How thin would you have to be to pull off a skirt that gathered at the waist?

    Lovely day, and lovely to see the Canadian flags along The Mall. How gorgeous it must be for them to feel the goodwill from all over the world.