As I sat down to write this, the new Royal Mr. & Mrs. (Will and Kate), were enjoying the married bliss of, oh, about five hours. I’d been watching for weeks as the excitement over this wedding reached giddy heights not only on TV but in my home. I may lose my woman-license over this but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was not waiting with bated breath to see what Kate’s dress looked like. I did not set my alarm to get up at 2am to see the start of coverage. Go ahead, call me a royal wedding scrooge.
Why was there so much excitement over this wedding? Here are my theories:
1. We’re happy for William who has had a tough life
2. We need some happy news in the world to focus on, and…
3. No matter what the divorce rate or terrible tales of love gone wrong and the subsequent fall-out, we all still want a happily-ever-after, even if it is somebody else’s.
So, you would expect me to be up at 2am along with my daughters, gathered together oooing and ahhing over the whole experience with all of the males sound asleep wondering in the morning, as they looked at their blurry-eyed female family members, what the big deal was.
So why was I the one sleeping through the whole event while Thomas eagerly awoke to watch with our daughters (and sip tea and eat coffee cake Ann had bought the night before)? Well, I’m betting his English heritage has something to do with it. Could it be the romance of it? The pageantry? I’m kind of perplexed. Why was my dear husband so eager to watch romantic history in the making while I was so blase? Let’s see what “he says”:
A fond memory from teenhood was waking up at 4 am to watch the Royal nuptials between Charles and Diana. My staunchly British Aunt and Uncle hosted my mother and me, greeting us with pots of tea, scones and bacon sandwiches. It was great fun to watch the pomp and pageantry and to listen to my family share stories and repeatedly sing “God Save the Queen”. Yet when Wills & Kate announced their wedding, and the media machine went into hyperdrive, I shrugged it off as another overblown media event. I had no intention of watching!
Then in the final days leading up to “The Wedding of the Century,” my daughter Anne shared her plans to wake up at 2 am to watch. I realized this was my turn to share a cultural experience from my heritage with my child. This memorable event provided an excuse to spend time together, and I hoped to enhance her memories by sharing it with her. But just between us, there’s more to the story…
Our world is marred with so much brutality, ugliness and inappropriate behavior – it wears on the soul. Briefly escaping into a world of ancient ceremonial rituals, pomp and circumstance, full of elegantly dressed people, and eloquently spoken messages of love, honor and duty – was a welcome respite from the reality of our times. Awaking at 2 am to join Anne (13-year-old Grace joining at 4 am!), we sipped tea, ate Danish, marveled at the London spectacle, chatting about family, history and Kate’s dress. It was a lovely fantastical treat!