Over three hundred years ago my family left England. I've yet to forgive them.
Had they been able to hang on for just a few more years I would have certainly found myself happily packed into this mass of people Friday morning. Rather, given to some long lost need for religious freedom, I watched the glorious nuptials on the west side of the big pond.
To note, Westminster Abbey appears to be a very nice church. Lovely hymns, a very pleasing service, magnificent flying buttresses; what about that says get into a boat and cross an unknown ocean to an unknown land? What on earth, literally, were they expecting to find over here?
My grandmother was convinced that our family could have rewritten history. Her cousin dated Prince Edward, the brief King Edward VIII, before he met the future Duchess, Wallace Simpson and abdicated. Had Mimi's cousin been a better suitor for the then Prince perhaps the whole Wallace debacle could have been avoided, and that twist to the family tree eliminated. Of course then Wills and Harry would be reduced to the group of "lesser Royals" when attending such grand affairs having missed the direct line to the monarchy. Or sadly, there might not be a Wills and Harry as Charles may not have snagged the snappy Diana had he not been the Prince of Wales. Rewriting history is daunting, in own life it means skipping a trip to the market, missing a sale on asparagus and thus making risotto with mushrooms instead; far less dramatic but captivating all the same.
As one who generally eschews all the princess nonsense generally associated with six year old girls, I am oddly fascinated by the Royal family. To be fair, I am somewhat dazzled by all weddings. The Style section, specifically the weddings, is the first section ripped from the Sunday paper, I blather quite loudly at weddings of friends and cry freely at television weddings. Add to that the layers of pomp and tradition associated with a royal wedding and my fascination is understood.
That the princes immediately remove their hats and gloves (leaving them with slightly mussed hair) upon entering Westminster Abbey is compelling. Their father, who, upon removing his gloves, wiped his nose and then shook hands with the entire clergy line up, could have used a royal hankie. As a person who is horrified to find my self seated next to exposed and voluminous arm pit hair on airplanes, who was completely disgusted at the teenagers, dressed in shorts, groping each other in church on Easter Sunday, and who teaches her children that adults are to always be addressed as Mister and Misses, a little pomp and pageantry is completely intoxicating. In my ongoing quest for a bit of civility and order in my daily life, a royal wedding is like a dance in a field of tucked in shirts and neatly trimmed nose hair.
And so I took my freedom and chose to spend over five hours watching every single detail of the glorious day, from my side of the pond, with a cup of English breakfast tea firmly in hand. It would appear that we all had a jolly good time.