Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Big, Fat Brit Wedding!

I wasn’t going to watch the Royal Wedding myself, but my mom, or “mum” if you will, was here on that historical morning, to babysit my historical children, so I recorded it for her. She’s not a royal watcher so much as someone who enjoys any good spectacle. If people of a higher social stratum than her are dressing up in their finest for anything, she’s interested. Throw in a red carpet, and she’s hooked.

So, I had this recording, and even though I’m not British, I was curious. Along with two billion other people worldwide, apparently. I had something like eighty-seven guests at my wedding, so right off, I’m jealous. I was only four when Charles and Diana got married, so I don’t remember that extravaganza. And, I guess there’s that part of every girl that wants to see what the fairytale really looks like. Here in America, we can thank Mr. Walt Disney for that fascination. He brainwashed me with Cinderella, Snow White, etc., so that when I didn’t have a tiara and loyal subjects on my wedding day, it made the whole event feel a little flat.

I sat down and pulled up the menu on my DVR to find that “The Royal Wedding” was six hours long. Almost as long as some royal marriages. It was ten-forty-five when I decided to watch it. My husband, who would probably rather cut our grass one blade at a time than watch a televised wedding of British monarchy, questioned the sensibility of starting the show that late at night. I told him I just wanted to check it out for a few minutes, and that I’d probably fast-forward through the whole thing. He nodded and pulled out his laptop, possibly knowing there’d be nothing sensible about The Royal Wedding, at all.

First there was some sort of pre-game ugly hat contest that lasted over an hour. And I while I don’t know what the prize for winning that thing was, I would hope that it was a front row seat to the wedding, because if you were in any other row, you probably couldn’t see because of all the hats. One thing I had forgotten about Westminster Abbey is that it’s divided into different sections, many of them out of range for viewing the nuptials. So, some people got all dressed up, attached bird carcasses and sculptures of Transformers to their heads, and just got to hear the wedding.

Yes, I said that I’d “forgotten” that about Westminster Abbey. I’ve been there. I spent a summer in England when I was sixteen. Prince William would’ve been twelve, so had we met then, maybe he would have “fancied me” since I was older and from the country that is probably synonymous with rebellion for them. Maybe we would’ve had this epic romance spanning the next seventeen years and I could’ve been the girl living the fairytale, and then I’d have a very different tale to tell in this blog. Come to think of it, maybe I wouldn’t even be writing this blog. So, I guess the world is better off with me having married a commoner.

And, I just loved how the announcers of the wedding kept calling the Middletons commoners. I mean, they’re millionaires, not brick layers or shoe shiners. It’s as if the wedding helped me clarify the true meaning of “snob” in my head.

I fast-forwarded until I reached the point when the important people started showing up. Like the Queen, who looked remarkably well for her age. That was a bit of a disappointment, actually. Because I think it would be awesome to see a coronation. She’s been on the throne for like sixty years, so we probably don’t have any good footage of the last one. Certainly nothing in high-def. And, don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish she’d die. Though, when she does, it’s going to be difficult for newspapers to come up with a more eye-catching headline than that “ROT IN HELL!” one they used for Osama Bin Laden’s death. Anyway, maybe she could just step-aside, or down, or whatever direction her royal highness wishes, so we could get crackin’ on the next round, Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, formerly known as the Mistress of the Philanderer.

The titles really confuse me. Like why isn’t Queen Elizabeth’s husband King Philip? What’s with this Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh stuff? Is he a Prince or a Duke, and, really, why the heck isn’t he a King? Even stranger to me is the lack of surnames (last names, to us commoners) over there. During the nuptials, the Prince said, “I, William Arthur Philip Louis. . .” and I was like, “Wait, do you have a last name or just a bunch of old school first ones?” I had to Google that, and it turns out he does sort of have one that he doesn’t really use; it’s Mountbatten-Windsor. WikiAnswers stressed that the royal family doesn’t ever use it. It sounded like they probably wouldn’t even know what it is if you asked them. But what did little William put on the top of his homework papers in school? Was it William Arthur Philip Louis, or Prince William, or William A.P.L. Mountbatten-Windsor? (He probably had to use middle initials so his stuff didn’t get mixed up with all the other William Mountbatten-Windsors in his class.)

I stopped fast-forwarding when Kate showed up for the main event. She looked like a princess, which is what people always say about brides, but this time it was for real. I was a little weirded out that her sister, Pippa, wore a white gown, too. Something that an average girl would wear on her wedding day, but given that people came with geraniums on their heads and swords in their belts and ropes and sashes and all that, I guess the fashion police probably won’t call her out on it.

The wedding was romantic and entertaining and before I knew it, it was almost one in the morning and I was hanging around waiting for them to kiss. I felt like I was eight years old and watching Cinderella all over again. And even though Kate probably didn’t play with mice as a little girl, or have to scrub the floors on her hands and knees with a do-rag on, it still felt like a victory for commoners everywhere to have her catch that royal fish.