I was living in England at the time of that ‘other’ royal wedding. You know, the one that really brought the crowds out with more enthusiasm than the one that takes place (I think, though I haven’t been paying much attention) this week.
The wedding I was in place for was the Charles and Diana Spencer one. The wondrous and beauteous and winsome Diana captured the imagination of many, especially many of the red-blooded male sorts, of which I could still claim to be one at that time. I fell madly in crush with her and was gobsmacked by her silly untimely death.
But, Charles and Di it was then. Ultimately, as we know, that grand relationship turned into ‘Upchuck and Die’, as a comic said about the couple during their subsequent domestic histrionics that led to the Queen developing a case of Annus Horribilis. Oh, and the comic made the comment prior to Diana’s demise, so it wasn’t in terrible taste.
Dear Daphne, my landlady of the time, came over to our bungalow on Green Lane one morning near the wedding date and asked if I was going to put up any ‘bunting’ to mark the grand occasion. I was perplexed. As a damn colonial I didn’t know from bunting. Anyway turned out that people up and down Green Lane were hanging out commemorative items of royal and patriotic symbolism like Union Jacks etc. because they were so thrilled by the wedding. Well, I didn’t have much in the way of bunting at my disposal. But, I did have a supermarket plastic grocery bag that was Union Jack festooned (for the occasion as well) so I hung that from the porch light. Worked for me.
We didn’t have a street party on Green Lane on the wedding day. But other streets in the area did host such festive gatherings. And that was fun. Wandering about drinking too much beer and delighting in the antics (especially) of young females who had also consumed too much been and began to fret about the absence of loos in the vicinity. I loved it all. It gave me a slice of English life the average tourist doesn’t get to take part in. But I, as a temporary resident, could.
This time around, however, there isn’t quite the enthusiasm that the wedding of Will’s Pa and Ma evoked. And, Will, it was really all about your Ma. Charles was already kind of a pill and proved to be a greater one was time went by. Of course none of us knew back then about the (shudder) Camilla factor. What, Chuck, are you nuts? Oh well, it’s not all about the splendid esthetics, is it? I’ve found that out in my life, too.
Personally, I think if I were Will and Kate, I would’ve just eloped and then moved into a trailer park quietly.
Oh, and speaking of trailer parks, there is something of a deal being made of the fact that Kate is ‘common’. Well, as one columnist said, if Kate is common, then why is she marrying ‘down’? Let’s face it, the Royals (with the exception of the Queen) don’t have a hell of a lot to recommend them in terms of sterling behavior throughout their history.
Anyway, for us North Americans, ‘common’ in Kate’s sense doesn’t mean she snaps her gum or breaks wind in public, it just means she’s not of Royal or aristocratic lineage. Diana, you see, had aristocratic claims regardless of some of the low-lifes she chose to hang out with near the end of her days.
Kate comes from a good and solid bourgeois family and it is a family that has more pounds at its disposal than any of use could ever imagine possessing. So, not exactly common as dirt, is she.
Anyway, I wish the kids well – especially Kate in her lovely hats. Kate, me darlin’, you have taken on a tall order and I do hope you’re up for it. It isn’t going to be easy. But, make allowances for the lot you’re marrying into. There’s a lot of ‘stuff’ to deal with there, and you aren’t allowed to have an opinion about it all.
Just ask auntie-in-law, Fergie, or erstwhile great uncle Tony Snowdon.