Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wedding Bliss

Thirty years ago I was fascinated by a wedding and a princess. Charles and Diana's nuptials were the most romantic event in my young life. I ate up everything I could about their courtship. I went camping at the beach with my best friend and her family and we convinced her parents to let us watch the TV movie that reenacted their romance while eating s'mores. Miraculously there was a TV in the tent and we swooned and giggled with mouthfuls of marshmallows.

Mostly, though, I was in love with Diana. Charles was the prince, but he was comparatively old, and to be honest, a doofus. She was beautiful; she glowed. I wanted my hair cut like hers. I desperately wanted a copy of that red sweater she wore with the single black sheep. I even loved her nickname, Shy Di, because I was painfully shy at that age. She made shyness exquisitely charming.

My parents couldn't have been less interested in the royal wedding, but thankfully tolerated my infatuation. The only time I was ever allowed to watch television in their bedroom was to view the wedding as it was broadcast live. I was alone, but it was my own Cinderella moment. It was like a dream, a real-life fairy tale. I had never witnessed anything so enchanting - the yards and yards of her gown as she floated down the aisle, the grandeur of the ceremony, the couple waving at the cheering crowds of onlookers from the carriage that whisked them away from the church, that awkward kiss on the palace balcony.

We didn't yet know how devastatingly unhappily this marriage would end. The truths that were revealed were ugly and sad, but they never tarnished my love for Diana. When she died, I cried for a week. I watched her funeral and my heart broke seeing her two young sons following the casket, topped with white flowers and a card simply labeled, "Mummy".

And now her oldest son is getting married. "Wills" is the future king of England with his mother's smile. Will I be watching this wedding? Oh, will I!!!

I have scoured the internet for details of this wedding to Kate ever since their engagement was announced. I watched the engagement interview, carefully noting how they look at each other, how he talks about her respectfully and with love. I want this marriage to last. I don't know why it matters to me, it just does. It's as if Diana's love for her son should live on in his happiness, that her early influence will have taught him how to love someone in a way that she wasn't.

What will really matter in less than two weeks now is the glamorous celebration that will take place at 4 a.m. my time and yes, I will be awake. JW invited me to watch it with her. We contemplated a party and I wanted to send out invitations if only to get the "Hell NO! Are you crazy?" responses. But she thought people might decide to start showing up around 8 a.m. and that just isn't right. Only those awake from the beginning get to enjoy the champagne. I may be drunk by 6, but I will have earned it.

Here's the best part. We will be wearing pajamas after deciding to forgo the fancy hats and dresses. However, I will be wearing my veil and JW has created the most delicious pink taffeta-tiara confection. The menu has been planned to honor the bride and groom - tea sandwiches with cucumbers and smoked salmon, scones, eggs, pastry-wrapped sausages, tea and champagne. It will be the second-best thing to being at the actual wedding.

I'm pretty sure that even though Diana won't be there, she will be watching.


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