Well, Mum and I were snarky in our own way, I guess - but hey, this is a GIRL thing. We sat there in the dark of the pre-dawn watching the sun struggle to break through the English clouds and muttering about preposterous hats, and haughty horses, and the tsunami of people that surged towards the palace (stopping just short of the open gates into the palace compound) and giggling over when the Queen "had enough" and simply abandoned the balcony leaving everyone else to scuttle to follow, and grinning when Charles picked up the littlest bridesmaid to hold her up so that she could actually SEE over the balcony's parapet, and making snarky comments about the quality of the Queen's net curtains (they looked genteel shabby chic, from the outside looking in, hardly something sumptuous and palatial), and and and...
Okay, let me make a confession here. I watched Charles and Diana too, back when. I was - what - 18 or so when those two got married? So I watched it all with a young pair of eyes, and the scales of fairy tales still glittering on my eyelids, and yes, I had a damned scrapbook at the time, cutting out the iconic pictures of Diana with that godawful pooffy dress with the sleeves that pretty near knocked her out every time she turned her head. It WAS British spectacle, and it was fabulous, and there were tiaras involved, and she was so young and so blissfully innocent of it all.
I watched when she came out of the hospital in June of the following year, carrying the baby who walked down the aisle in Westminster Abbey today with his own bride.
I am in some ways a confirmed royalist, in the sense that in the best of a royalist scenario you've got a person who was born to the purple and understands the responsibilities of it - unlike venal politicians some of whom only get elected because they pour more money into their election campaign than the next guy and not because of any heartfelt issues or an understanding of what they would owe the electorate if and when they got elected. A royal doesn't owe any special interests ANYTHING AT ALL. And quite aside from all of that, there is really something about a good tiara, when worn properly by someone who knows how.
No, I won't be rushing out to buy a scrapbook this time. Yes, I probably could have watched the whole rehash this morning or this afernoon or simply watched the preposterous hats in photo galleries on the Internet today - all instead of getting up at 3 AM and going back to bed at 6 AM to grab a few more hours of sleep as the skies began to lighten and the dawn to think about coming over the eastern horizon.
But let's call it spending a few quality hours with one's mother, companionable before a TV set in the dark, watching a spectacle unfold, watching people be regal or funny or bewildered or (in the case of the crowds) bizarre and excited, watching... a little bit of pageantry and joy unfolding.
I'm a little yawny, but I'm not sorry I did it. It made me feel young again, to watch a Royal Wedding on television, even if I am probably closer in age to the parents of the bridal couple these days than I am to the two standing up to take their vows and that does affect the Romance Rating of the whole event. I remember seeing WIlliam as a babe in arms, dammit. That makes me FAR too old to indulge in princessing of any sort; scrapbooking wedding gowns and tiaras and wedding photogoraphs, well, it's something one grows out of in good time, I guess. But it was a British Royal Wedding, done the way only they know how.
I woke, I watched it, and there we are. It's a new day, and the world goes on. Yes it cost a lot of money to put on that show - but this sense of family that it leaves behind - not THEIRS, mine - is kind of priceless. There is a timelessness to occasions like these - the wheel turns and the generations change but somebody somewhere will always be standing up before an altar waiting for a bridal veil to be draped back over glossy young hair and lifting a tremulous smile and a hand that trembles with joy and terror to be taken up and held by another's. I was eighteen once. We all were. Weddings kind of make us remember.
So. I woke, and I watched it.
Glad I did.