The Royal Wedding: A Review

Let me begin by saying that for some reason, I like Kate Middleton. Or rather, Catherine Middleton Windsor, thank you very much.

The newly hitched Duchess of Cambridge is lovely to look at and I would think rather a decent sort to talk with and befriend, too. Even through we’re 24 years apart in age, I think we could go to a pub, kick back a few pints and discuss at length, the analytic properties of scattering as a function of angular momentum. I don’t think that would have or could have been the case with her late mother-in-law. Not a slight or something meant to harangue the dead, but I just don’t think Diana was particularly well read or cared to be.

Even so, I think she would have liked Kate and approved of this match.   What’s not to like?   Kate seems to be very much her own woman which might be attributed to the fact that she’s a commoner and able to live her life without all those restraints.   Diana wasn’t a commoner.   She came from an aristocratic family with a royal lineage.   She and Charles were something like eleventh cousins (distant enough to have produced human normalcy like Wills and Harry and not some six-legged, crumpet eating, tea sippin’ freaks!!!)

Diana was from a very aristocratic family, rife with titles. Her great-grandmother was the New York heiress Frances Work. On her father’s side, Diana was a descendant of King Charles II of England through two illegitimate sons. Before becoming a princess by marriage, she was Lady Diana Spencer because her father was an Earl, her mother a Countess. When dad, Earl Spencer died, Diana’s brother Charles, became the new Earl Spencer.

Did you see him at the wedding? Obviously, he’s been eating for three lately. Oooooof.  He’s definitely put on weight.

By the way, the knighthoods bestowed by the Queen on people these days have a shelf-life. They aren’t hereditary so the titles die with the person. In other words, Stella McCartney will never be a Dame because Daddy Paul was Sir Paul (honorary title). The only way she’d be damed if Liz herself knighted her. As for Kate, she seems to fit a regal mold better than Diana did at any time. Diana was a product of finishing schools. Kate isn’t yet she seems to have that certain poise and ease as if she’d had years of training. Kate seems comfortable in her own skin; Diana never did. She’s also nine years older than Diana was and far more worldly.

The wedding reflected that.

 I loved the trees which lined the aisle. I love the music. The hymn “Jerusalem” sung by the Westminster Abbey Castrati, LOCAL #7483, was stunning.

I loved Kate’s dress.

 It didn’t have a ”wow’ factor as much as it was tasteful and stylish. It looked perfect on her. A manageable 15 foot train and a veil that was simple and lovely.  I never liked Diana’s dress. It was juvenile and ostentatious and over the top.  Well, it was the tasteless, tacky 80’s after all.

But Kate looked so elegant.

A bit more about the dress. I thought this the minute I laid eyes on it and was surprised that others agreed with me.   I heard a few network commentators express what I was thinking…that it looked amazingly a lot like the dress Grace Kelly wore when married her prince.  I’ve heard that Kate had always loved  Grace’s dress.

And I also loved Kate’s very understated bouquet.   See it above?   So simple.  Less is more and that was what this wedding was all about.   

And her sister Pippa?  She looked stunning in one of the most perfect bridesmaid dresses ever designed.  This could have been a wedding dress, too. Regardless of the occasion, to pull this off, you would have to have the patented Middleton bod for it:  long and lean with not an ounce of body fat. 

Or under garments apparently.  PIPPA GOES COMMANDO????  Still, I thought it was extremely elegant.    She looked like a million Euros.

Here’s THEE dress.   I’ll give you a two-fer.  Here’s a front and back view.

   .

Even Baby’s Breath in her hair was perfect.  A hat would have ruined the effect.

The other attendants?  Well,  I always wondered why Diana had children at her wedding.   Turns out that’s a very British custom.   For Kate and William’s wedding there were  four  flower girls and two page boys, all relatives or progeny of friends. 

Their outfits were similar to those that Diana’s attendants wore, but much less fussy, really.  In fact, the dresses Diana’s girls wore were reminiscent of her dress.  Hmmm’mmm….I never noticed that before.

Now let’s talk about those hats.  

I learned something today.   I don’t know much about millinery, but the British do.   The women in the U.K. wear hats, unlike anything we wear or wore or quite possibly WOULD ever wear in this country.  They’re called fascinators and we saw our share of them at the Royal Wedding.   They are by and large,  delicate, slightly to very frivolous head pieces worn instead of a hat to occasions where hats were traditionally worn—such as weddings.  They’re generally worn with fairly formal attire.

The most bizarre fascinators of the day belonged to Fergie’s daughters, the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.   I first saw Beatrice’s hat from a back view and wondered why she was wearing rabbit ears.  Easter was last week.  

Then, I strained my eyes  and thought she was wearing a pair of those ugly, oversized plastic novelty glasses we wear on New Year’s Eve  when we  welcome in a new year.   Remember  these tacky things?

Then I looked again. 

Why was she wearing a Mardi Gras mask?

No, it was worse.  Much worse.  Beatruce (the rather garish ‘vision’ in aereola pink)  was, in fact,  wearing a hat.  On a clear day,  if  she turns her head to the left and coughs, I wonder if she can pick up WLS-AM in Chicago???  

 

Eugenie’s ensemble in blue wasn’t any better.   Her hemline looked too billowy; like it had been stapled.   And her hat?   Better than her sisters but still ugly.   Her dress was far too matronly.   Sadly, these two girls aren’t the most comely to begin with and decent clothes and head wear would’ve helped.   Since their mother, Fergie wasn’t invited, they could have/should have tried harder.   This facet of the Family Windsor needed better representation.   Who dressed them?   If they chose their own wedding attire, then I fear taste-wise, they are very much their mother’s daughters.

So, there you have it. 

With the exception of the Princess’ choice in clothes and millinery, the day seemed to go without a hitch.   Or rather, if there was one, the royals will never let us know about it..unless of course, Kate falls out  of favor with the House of Windsor, then all bets are off.     We’re nothing but news that she was and is true roytal pain in the ass.  But I don’t think that will happen.    This has always seemed like a palace approved  match. The Queen seemed generally happy…or as happy as she can appear to be within the bounds of decorum.    As I see it, if Liz gave her new granddaughter in law one of her tiaras that was given to her by her Mum for her 18th birthday,  (and it was made by Cartier, no less) , then all seems right with the world.    

And the world watched a lovely ceremony.  

It was attended by 1,900 guests inside Westminster Abbey,  roughly one point two million people lined the streets in between Westminster and Buckingham Palace and a global television audience of an estimated two billion tuned in.   

I sat here in my living room this morning and first thought this whole thing was ridiculous.  The Windsors are a dysfunctional lot.   They have a marital failure rate in the immediate family that exceeds the national average in several countries.   Whiney; spoiled…an archaic institution.  And then all that jaded cynicism faded when Kate walked down the aisle to her betrothed; his back turned to her at the altar.  I got a little choked up.  She was lovely; he was dapper.  She was a commoner in love with the balding man who would be king.    This might be a family whose bat shit crazy but show me another royal household that can turn a domestic rite of passage into a piece of global theatre.  No one can do it quite like the House of Windsor.

No one tripped, stumbled…there were breach of protocol.   No one flubbed their lines.   Unlike her late mother in law,  Kate managed to marry her multi-monickered husband  while vowing to honor him and all four of his first names in the proper order. 

The service seemed far more personal and far more God-centric than previous royal ceremonies.  There were Anglican nuns present who looked awfully Catholic and there was even mention of today being  the feast day for St. Catherine of Sienna…at at an Anglican service, no less!!!

All in all, the ceremony was short, sweet, lovely and  tasteful.  She was stunning;  He was dashing.   They looked ridiculously happy.  They seemed very much in love.  Joy was much the order for the day and this young couple was most compliant.  

I give them ten years.

 h

One comment

  1. I could kick myself for not coming here first to get the best account of what happened yesterday. Reuters and AP – take note! This is how you cover a royal wedding! Well done LK. I’ll put my chips on 20 years, just because she’s not the clingy type.

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