favorite things

royal weddings

the first time i saw a photograph of princess diana, she was on the cover of newsweek magazine. i was nine years old and she was still the lady diana spencer.  her hair beautifully coiffed, she had her arms wrapped around the shoulders of the man who would one day break her heart; her hands carefully placed  to show off the famous sapphire ring.

when i learned then,  that this lovely lady was engaged to be married to a real-live prince; upon which she would become a real-live princess, i was enthralled.   some weeks later, on july 29, 1981 at about 3am, i sat with my mother in our living room and watched live, as a pre-school teacher became a princess.  i don’t remember much of the actual ceremony but i do vividly remember the moment that i, along with the rest of the world, caught the first glimpse of her exiting buckingham palace and stepping into the glass carriage that would take her to st. paul’s cathedral.  i remember her veil catching the breeze as she stepped forward, i remember her holding up her billowing skirt and the yards, and yards, and yards of train that were piled in after her.  i remember her gorgeous cascading bouquet.  i remember that for the next hour or so all my mother and i talked about was the beautiful bride in the gorgeous gown.

that introduction to princess diana marked the beginning of several years that i followed her devotedly while i grew up.  i collected magazine clippings and books.  i covered my bedroom bulletin board with princess diana images and paraphernalia.   it is no surprise then, that i well remember the day her first son, prince william was born.  i watched the news as she left the hospital with her little bundle in her arms.  my interest waned some as i became an adult but i caught most of her big moments here and there such as the famous interview where she discussed a crowded marriage.   i remember where i was when i learned that she had died, and then again early one morning, my mother and i sat glued to the tv and watched as she was laid to rest.

i continued to keep up some with the princes william and harry but not much.  by the time kate middleton was receiving significant attention as william’s girlfriend, i had met my own prince charming and was planning my own fairytale wedding (which, as far as i’m concerned, will always be the wedding of the century). now however, some thirty years after the wedding at st. paul’s, i find myself once again eagerly anticipating royal nuptials, this time at westiminster.

like any wedding whether it is one i actually attend, or one i plan to watch propped up in bed, i wonder most what the bride will be wearing.  even as a nine year old, i remember spending the week prior to lady diana’s wedding wondering what sort of a gown a princess would wear.  i was not disappointed.  every little girl loves puffy sleeves and lots of skirt.  while i haven’t had much time to read up on the speculations as to what kate has chosen, i do know that a few designers have been brought forward as possibilities and i even saw a rendition of what elizabeth emmanuel, the one who created diana’s gown, suggested for kate.  will she go with the current trend of a strapless gown?  is that even allowed in westminster abbey?  will she wear her hair up or down?  will she wear a tiara?  will she try to top the length of princess diana’s train? does she even have a choice in any of these details? as a commoner marrying into one of the most famous dysfunctional families in the world, how much say over “her day” does she actually have?

i don’t know that kate’s wedding will spark a lifelong fascination on my part with her wardrobe and her offspring. i doubt that i will follow her with the same fascination as that of her late mother-in-law.    i’m no longer the impressionable nine year old.  life is busy with other things and there is no time for cutting photos out of a magazine. i do though plan to get up at 3am on friday morning in hopes of seeing her make the walk down the aisle at westminster abbey. my husband and i do not currently own a tv and except for special occasions like this one, we rarely miss it; so i am relying on the internet in the hope that i will still be able to watch live.  whether or not i will catch the moment with the rest of the world as before, or  will have to catch up after the moment has happened,  i do plan to catch every possible minute of it. and  i do hope for kate’s sake  that this fairy tale wedding will just be the start of a wonderful marriage where she and her real-live prince will live happily ever after.

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One Comment to “favorite things”

  1. Though I don’t remember Princess Diana’s wedding, my sister and I had all sorts of interest in the royal family. My neighbors who were surrogate grandparents to us had a good friend from England, and she was always sending us things about the Princess and her sons. I too remember exactly where I was when I heard of her death.

    I’m still debating getting up early to watch the wedding, and wonder what my little “princess” daughter would think of it all. She’s probably young enough that she won’t remember it later.

    If you lived closer, I would have you over to watch, and we could have early morning tea and scones!

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