In the run up to the Royal Wedding, I have loved the way they kept the name of the designer and details of the wedding dress secret.
It has kept an air of intrigue over the whole proceeding that was dispelled with much excitement over at my Royal Wedding party in the wee hours of Friday.
The British media went wild the night before the wedding as a woman suspected to be Sarah Burton, creative director of the Alexander McQueen label, dashed into the hotel where Kate Middleton was staying.
The speculation was correct.
It was a beautiful, elegant, classic dress.
Classy, conservative, dignified.
I remember waiting for Diana, Princess of Wales (Lady Diana as she was then) to get out of her carriage. Up to that point all we’d seen were her New Romantic designers, the Emmanuels, and a big puff of silk peeking over the top of the windows of her carriage.
The whole world cringed when she got out and her dress was all creased. A few tugs put it right but yikes.
Many of us didn’t want to go through that again.
I’ve seen Diana’s dress at her childhood home of Althorp House and up close it is exquisite. People knock it but it was of its time, it was 1981, and there were many fine details that couldn’t be appreciated from afar.
The color wasn’t my favorite but the workmanship was real craft.
I was a seventeen year-old schoolgirl back then and had no idea about weddings. I remember being cool and disinterested in the way of a girl that age while being secretly enthralled, hampered by the need to look above it all.
Thirty years later with my own wedding under my belt, and mother to twin boys, and 5,000 miles from home I take a very different view.
A piece of history in the making, an opportunity to show the world the pomp and ceremony that only the Brits can do with such aplomb, a need to connect with home and all the earlier royal occasions that contribute to our personal stories.
The curmudgeons who have had a voice over the past months complaining of cost, waste and fawning media coverage have been shouted down as they always are, leaving the coast clear for everyone else to have a knees-up. Then the die-hards and the misers give up and are encouraged to join in.
It is the British way.
Street parties, tea, cakes and sandwiches. Politics, cultural differences put aside – everyone comes together to have a happy day.
Unity – one of the main purposes of the Royal Family.
I am pro-royal. I’ve concluded over the years, it is its’ history that distinguishes Britain from being just another little country and the Royal family are the figureheads atop that history.
Individuals have let the institution down over the years and like an inward looking tribe they have been slow to catch up to the expectations of the current day but this new generation gives hope that this is behind them.
For all our sakes.
During the wedding, I drank tea, ate scones with clotted cream and sausage rolls while watching on a hi-def screen in the early hours of a Californian morning.
I rang my mum when she got out of the car (Kate that is, not my mum) to discuss her dress. She shooed me off pretty quick. (My mum that is, not Kate.)
I was interrupting.
I only could bear to have four people at my own wedding. The emotion and once-in-a-lifetime experience overwhelmed my normal comfort with standing in front of a crowd. It was a lovely, intimate weekend and I don’t regret it at all.
If I’d had to get married in front of millions, forget it.
I’d never have gone on the first date.
Congratulations to the happy couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!
What did you think? Did you love it? Or was it the biggest waste of time? Let me know in the comments!
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