I admit it I cried. And no, I am not the kind of person that blubbers at weddings. And no, it wasn’t the first sight of the bride, or even the first kiss that had me in tears. Yes, the Royal Wedding, the wedding of the decade, had me glued to the TV screen last weekend. Coverage started on the BBC at six o’clock in the morning, presumably we were going to see what they were planning for breakfast. And what time did I start watching, yes you guessed it at six o’clock. I actually love these Royal occasions.
Maybe I inherited the love of all things Regal from my parents, well more precisely my mother. I remember, as if it were yesterday, watching Prince Charles and Princess Diana walking down the aisle in St Paul's Cathedral in 1981 to the echoing sounds of “Trumpet Voluntary.” So yes, of course I watched the latest instalment of Royal Family memories.
The streets of Windsor packed with flag waving fans from all over the world. Girls wearing T-Shirts with “Sparkle like Markle,” or “I want to Marry Harry.” Thousands and thousands of happy, smiling faces and all brought together to celebrate love. And the American influence gave the whole day a sprinkling of Hollywood. But in my humble opinion it didn’t need any outside help from Hollywood, in fact the two most annoying parts of the ceremony was the singing of Stand By Me in the chapel and the American priest, who started off perfectly and then just went on way, way too long. These regal events don’t need any help from Hollywood to be special, far from it.
The bride looked resplendent in a very elegant dress, the bridesmaids were delightful and once again Princess Charlotte stole the show with her waves to the press and general fun-loving approach to life. Dressed in his uniform the groom and his brother looked smart and he even kept his beard, although he needed special permission from the Queen as members of the Armed Forces should be clean shaven when wearing their formal uniform. He looked as nervous as a rabbit caught in headlights but his brother acted as a calming force.
And how refreshing it was to see a complete non-royal enter the Royal family. There is no blue blood in the Markle family. Meghan is not royal or British, so she breaks that rule. She is American and comes from a blue collar family. She is mixed race. And I for one think that is bloody brilliant. She has already shock up the traditions, Meghan is a divorcee; until recently that was not allowed. The Queen has never attended a church wedding for a divorcee. She didn’t even attend her own son Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla; she only attended the reception. But there she was in the front row looking stylish with her husband, Prince Phillip, who only six weeks ago had had hip surgery.
Prince Harry and Meghan broke another tradition by not inviting heads of state to their wedding, yes Prime Minster Teresa May had to watch from her living room. Instead they invited 1,200 people from the public to be on the grounds of Windsor Castle at St. George’s Chapel. Even the cake at the reception was a break from history, the cake is served is always a fruit cake, but the newlyweds plumped for a lemon butter cake. It is a day full of century old traditions and yet a fresh approach to many things.
There can be no doubt that Prince Harry was thinking of his mum through most of the day. Even when Meghan and Harry drove away in the silver-blue E-Type Jaguar the new bride was wearing Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring on her finger. She even made a point of showing the ring to the waiting press. A nice touch.
And in fact it was Princess Diana that started my tears. There was a point in the ceremony when the two brothers were waiting for Meghan to come down the aisle (and bravo to Prince Charles for volunteering at short notice) and William looked at Harry and said “Do you remember what Mum used to say,” with Harry responding with a smile “Yeah, I know.” That moment, two brothers now two husbands, two people so moulded by her love…that was the moment.
A great day, and so impressive I even watched it again on Sunday, yes the BBC pretty much repeated the whole ceremony again the day after. Thankfully without the “Stand By Me” and a shortened version of American Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon. And so the Royal Family moves into a new modern future and I for one wish them all the best of luck.