Monday, November 22, 2010

Dum, Dum, Da, Dum

by Anna Sugden

In case you didn't recognise it, that little riff is 'Here Comes the Bride'.

Yes ... you've got it!

You know I couldn't let this week's announcement go without writing about it. Who better? (No, I haven't received my invite yet *g*).

So, unless you've been on another planet, you'll know that the future king of England, Prince William, announced his engagement to the lovely Kate Middleton. You'll have seen the pictures of Princess Diana's engagement ring which Prince William gave his fiancee in a touching gesture.

Speculation has already started about The Dress. The date. The venue. The level of wedding (full state wedding, I suspect). I'm sure tourist operators are already rubbing their hands with glee, as are memorabilia makers.

People have already started discussing previous royal weddings, comparing dresses and talking about where they were at the time.

There is an air of buoyancy - a welcome change after so much doom and gloom.

Which got me thinking.

What is it about royal weddings that lifts our spirits? Why is it different from a celebrity wedding? What makes it special?

Is it the pomp and splendour? Is it a glimpse into a 'fairytale' and 'glamorous' world we can only imagine? Is it the romance of an ordinary girl getting her prince? Is it the ultimate gossip/fly on the wall TV?

And ... which was your first royal wedding? Which was your favourite dress?

Finally ... will you be watching?


Sheree said...

Definitely the pomp and protocol. This is the world's royalty, after all, not just Britain's. Still, I read it's not a state occasion because William is not king or immediate heir.

Minna said...

Well, I'll probably watch at least part of the show. I did watch at summer Prince William's cousin's, Princess Victoria's wedding.

My first royal wedding was of course the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Helen said...

Well done Sheree Have fun with him


There has been such a fuss made here in Australia about the next Royal Wedding I have to agree that it is a normal girl getting her Prince that draws me in. I really like Prince William (and Harry) they seem like such nice people down to earth Guys almost. Although I am not sure whether I would like to be a real Princess and have cameras taking snaps all the time not enough privacy for me But I do wish them well and I loved the fact that he gave Kate his mothers engagment ring.

I can remember Princess Anne getting married but of course the biggest for me was Charles and Diana's wedding.
I am sure the dress will be beautiful and yes I will be watching LOL

Have Fun

Daz said...

Congrats on the chook, Sheree.

Anna, I recall Charles and Diana's wedding and watching that on our then black and white TV. It was the long, long train of her wedding gown that really stuck in my mind.

I'm not sure how closely I will follow this one but I certainly will be looking at pictures.

Jane said...

My fist royal wedding was when Prince Charles married Diana. We were in Germany visiting my uncle and cousins. I don't remember watching the wedding, but my parents mentioned that we saw it on TV there. I will definitely be watching William and Kate's wedding and her dress will be lovely and classic.

Anna Sugden said...

And we love sharing our royalty with you - actually most of the time, you could keep some of them!

I suspect, Sheree, that they'll hype it up a bit because of the recession and general misery. They've already talked about giving us a bank holiday - which is really unusual. And he is the heir to the heir *g* so they can justify it a little.

Anna Sugden said...

You're ahead of me, Minna - the last one I watched was Edward and Sophie. Didn't like her dress!

My first was Princess Anne - who I really like - I remember we lived in the US at the time and being so excited by watching all the pomp and ceremony!

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Helen - yes, I think Princes William and Harry are very down to earth. I think that's because Princess Diana insisted they have a different kind of upbringing to the current generation. They remind me a lot of her in that they fulfill their responsibilities in their own way.

I'd hate to be in that family. You can't blow your nose without the world knowing and commenting and snapping pics!

Anna Sugden said...

I really remember Princess Diana's wedding too - probably because we're close in age. At the time, I loved her dress, but as time's passed, I preferred Fergie's. I loved the touch of hidden embroidery on Fergie's dress.

Anna Sugden said...

I think she'll wear a lovely, classic dress too, Jane. She seems to have a classic style about her now. I hope she'll choose what she wants and not what others tell her!

PJ said...

I remember when Anne married but I can't remember if I watched it on TV. I may have just seen news clips and photos. The wedding I remember most clearly is Charles and Diana. I was fascinated by their courtship and watched the entire broadcast of their wedding, not so much for the pomp and circumstance but for the sweet, unassuming young woman who had captured the heart of her prince. (or so we thought at the time) I was young and captivated by the royal fairytale.

I'll be watching William and Kate's wedding, not for the fairytale but because they seem to be a likeable young couple very much in love and I admire them for doing this their own way and in their own time.

I agree with you, VAnna. No way would I want to be part of that family!

barb said...

Congrats Sheree

I was very young when The Queen got married but can't remember that but do remember watching Anne's wedding to Mark Philips as I lived in the UK then... I don't think anybody can do pomp and ceremony like the English....

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I have vague memories of Charles and Diana's wedding. I was 11 at the time, and I remember it being on very early in the morning here.

There is something magical and fairytale-like about royal weddings. I think that's part of the reason it's so difficult to watch royal marriages fall apart -- it's punching a hole in that fairytale. Of course, they are real people and real people sometimes have problems and break up. I do hope that William and Kate can have a long, happy life together. I know it's a false hope, but it'd also be nice if the paparazzi would leave them alone. Those people are like leeches.

Christie Kelley said...

Great post, Anna. I do love to watch the royal weddings. For me it's all things: the pomp and splendor, the idea of a commoner (in this case) marrying a price, the dress, etc.

I have to admit the royal wedding dresses I've seen are a bit over the top for me. I'm hoping Kate picks something more sleek and elegant without all the fluff and puff of Diana's.

It's funny how some people have criticized him for giving her his mother's engagement ring, but I thought it was sweet. And I liked their comments that it was a way for his mother to be part of the wedding.

Gannon Carr said...

Oh, I remember being glued to the TV for Diana and Charles' wedding! As a starry-eyed teenager, it was a fairy tale come to life. Of course, there ending was not the HEA we would have liked it to be. :-(

I will most definitely be watching Kate and William's wedding. They seem to not only be in love, but also like each other as well. I cannot imagine being part of the royal family. Too much pressure, scrutiny, etc. No thanks!

Vrai, I preferred Fergie's dress, as well. :-)

Anna Sugden said...

Oh yes, PJ. It was a fairytale story - complete with wicked witch waiting in the wings. Sadly, the wicked witch won this one!

Anna Sugden said...

We do our best, Barb! Years of practice ... years and decades and centuries!

Anna Sugden said...

I think you're right, Trish - it is like our favourite fairytale being stomped on when these marriages fail.

Our only consolation is that we retain that bit of optimism in us that enables us to believe that this time it will work out!

Yes, the paps are leeches!

Anna Sugden said...

I think it's the changing fashions, Christie - I'm sure she wouldn't have chosen that dress now! At the time, though, I think it was right for the fashions. I'll be interested how Kate goes - there are probably all kinds of restrictions she'll have to face that us commoners don't have to think about.

I think giving her his mother's ring was a lovely touch ... though I must admit to a shiver going down my neck too. I hope they have better luck in their marriage. I'm sure Princess Diana will bless them both through that ring.

Anna Sugden said...

Looks like a bunch of us will be watching, Gannon. I only hope it's not during Nationals, because I'd like to have a party in the Lair - maybe even with some royal wedding give-aways!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Anna! Great nab, Sheree!

Amazing how one annoucement about love can lift the spirits of a country - heck, the world! Well done William!

I remember watching Diana & Charles wedding - which I did because of Diana. She was such a fairytale princess...and I do think it's the fairy tale element that makes us all pay attention to royal weddings. It's the Cinderella syndrome.

Can't imagine living in that fish bowl, though. I imagine why there's a long history of royal divorce - what a strain that must put on a marriage. May this one last.

MsHellion said...

I think it's the "magic" that somewhere, somebody gets to marry a handsome prince--and by watching, we get to be a part of it. We all want to marry our handsome prince, I think. :)

I was little when the Princess Di wedding occurred, but I kinda remember the hubbub (I was very into Cinderella then, so it was very Cinderella.)

I've been very excited this week with this announcement, even though I'm just a colonial. :) I've been rooting for Kate. I hope the family doesn't smother her with their starchiness. I mean, I'm guessing they can't help it, but I really hope they're nice to her. I think we're all hoping for a fairytale wedding that actually ends like the fairytale. :)

Joan said...

Well, you know me, Anna....I will watch and smile, and sigh and cheer.

Weddings in and of themselves make me all gooey, but I do have a fascination for all the royal pomp and protocol. Kind of like the last bastion of "order" in a chaotic world.

Of course I got up early and stayed glued to the TV at Diana's wedding...cause let's face it. Ole Charles looked bored as all get out. Her dress was as you say. a reflection of the times but what I didn't like was her hair! It was just her usual Dorothy Hamill fluffed up a bit.

I wish William and Kate all the best and am SO impressed on how that young man has turned out. HE exhibits what a King should be!

Nancy said...

Sheree, congrats on the bird.

Anna, I'm not sure what draws me into these things. It may be the pomp and circumstance. It may be the long line of tradition. It may be the fairy tale aspects of it. Or all of the above.

I probably will watch, depending on what's going on in our lives at the time, because I really am a sucker for pomp and circumstance.

I always root for any couple marching toward the altar. I'd like to see them find their HEA. Even the most civil divorce is painful or depressing for those involved.

I suspect this pair have a better chance than the groom's parents did because they've had a long time to get to know each other and have had their ups and downs. Of course, that's what I thought about HRH the Duke of York and his duchess.

Anyway, I check in on the Guardian website from time to time, and I do read the royal coverage. I miss the Times, which now charges so much that it isn't worth it to me but always has the court calendar. I read that faithfully when it was free.

Now that we get BBC America, I try to catch the state opening of Parliament. Nobody does pomp and circumstance like the British.

Deb said...

Hi, Anna. I will definitely set my alarm to watch the wedding because I most certainly did for Prince Williams' parents' wedding. (My first royal wedding.) I agree with Nancy that this marriage is a positive and has a better chance because Prince William knew what his mother went through and I think he truly waited until he knew he'd found his soul mate. Gush, gush.

I've also been interested in Danish royal weddings because of my heritage. They haven't been televised here, but my many friends and cousins have told me about Prince Frederick and Australian native Princess Mary.

I love the pomp, the royal uniforms, the beautiful and romantic dresses. Princess Di's wedding was beautiful and I am truly a devoted fan of hers still.

Anna Sugden said...

It is amazing, Donna. I truly believe it's because we're so desperate for some good news and because it takes something of this stature to knock all the doom and gloom off the front pages and out of the headlines.

I agree - I do think it's the fairy tale syndrome. We all want to see it for real.

Anna Sugden said...

I'm glad that even 'the colonials' *g* are happy for William and Kate, Hellion. I like to think that love is able to transcend those kinds of differences.

We often see how tragedy pulls people together ... what a lovely change for something so happy to do the same thing.

Anna Sugden said...

Yeah, Joanie - I could never see what Diana saw in Charles. Now we know that he was using her. Harrumph.

I never did like him - though I have to say that he's grown on me in recent years (still can't stand the wicked witch - uggh!) I'm impressed with all he's done for the environment and his beliefs are not new and faddy - he took a lot of stick for it in years gone by.

In a very sad way, I think Diana's death made him into a better person and a better father (or at least a better role model of a father). He does deserve some credit for how he helped the boys deal with their mother's death.

Anna Sugden said...

Nancy you are my hero - you watch the state opening of Parliament?! Awesome! It's the most amazing event and full of so much tradition.

I was at the National Portrait Gallery this year and saw the gold coach travelling to the proceedings quite by accident from the restaurant at the top of the Gallery.

Yes - I'm with you on The Times charging so much for their coverage online. Crazy! Even worse is how much they charge for their tabloid papers!

Anna Sugden said...

I agree with you, Deb, and Nancy. William - and indeed Harry - seems to have his head on straight and to have taken his time with deciding on who to marry. I really hope they can make it work too.

I also think it is a sign of hope for the future if we can have a future monarch who is a good blend of the traditional and the modern, with a healthy dose of sensible thrown in!

Susan Sey said...

Oh, Diana's was my first one. I remember my mom getting up to watch it very early on TV here in the states. The dress, the carriage, the incredibly long train...oh my goodness, it really was a fairy tale come to life.

I hope Kate & William end up with a happier ever after than their parents, though.

jo robertson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anna Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Sheree, a rooster for you!

Anna, what a lovely post. It's interesting to speculate, isn't it? You know, I had a Princess Diana clone cream taffeta evening dress back in the dim, distant. I always felt like such a...princess (funny, that!) when I wore it. And I loved how it rustled. I didn't even care that it crushed. My first royal wedding was Princess Anne - everyone here went mad about it. Not only was it on TV, they made a cinema version of the ceremony and I remember seeing it a few times. It was at Westminster Abbey which I think is a more atmospheric venue than St. Paul's. I must say I still think Princess Anne's dress is lovely - those lovely Tudor sleeves. Or maybe the first cut is the deepest when it comes to royal wedding dresses. I was actually in London when Sarah F married Prince A and my boss, who was a royalist to the bootstraps, had the TV on in the shop all day and we drank champagne and ate goodies with a couple of special customers and watched it all day. Nice memories! Nancy Reagan came over to represent the Americans!

Nancy said...

Anna, I didn't know there was a restaurant atop the NPG. Maybe there wasn't, when I was there last.

How cool that you saw the fancy coach in person!

For pomp and circumstance, I like the changing of the guard at Horse Guards Parade. It goes faster than the one at the palace, and there are all those beautiful horses and gleaming cavalry sabers perfectly aligned.

Nancy said...

Deb, I didn't know you were Danish. Which side of the family?

My dh is Swedish and Polish but with no royal connections, alas, so far as we know.

Anna Sugden said...

Interesting that Charles and Diana's wedding was the first royal wedding for so many of us!

I love the idea of an incredibly long train, Susan. Of course it would need to be detachable *g* otherwise I'd be tripping up all the time!

Anna Sugden said...

I bet you looked gorgeous in that dress, Anna. I still love my first wedding dress - which I designed myself - and only wish I was still that slim so I could wear it again! It was more full and flouncy than my second wedding dress - though both weren't full length. Nor were they white (they were oyster - a very pale pink). White and ivory made me look sick!

Speaking of which, I was ill on the day of Andrew and Fergie's wedding - so missed most of it!

Anna Sugden said...

I think it's new, Nancy - it was certainly very modern. The food wasn't bad either.

I love the changing of the guard wherever I can catch it. That and watching people trying to make the guards laugh are such wonderful things to do!

Nancy said...

Anna, my wedding dress had a train--not a hugely long one, but a train. I spent the reception with it wrapped around a hoop I carried over my arm.

jo robertson said...

Even as an American, I wouldn't miss the ceremony of William and Kate. There's a lot to be said for ritual and pomp, though it often isn't the "American way."

I like the decorum, the splendor, and the very seriousness of the whole affair. I wouldn't like to actually BE part of it, but it's fascinating to watch. I think people who live their lives well in view of the whole world are very admirable indeed.

jo robertson said...

Great grab, Sheree. I wonder if the golden rooster will get an invite. I'm thinking not LOL. He's way to rowdy.

jo robertson said...

Minna, my first royal wedding was Charles and Diana's too. Although Jack and Jackie Kennedy were considered a kind of "royalty" in the United States, and I remember that wedding so well.

jo robertson said...

Great post, Anna, and I wanted to comment on your question about why royal weddings are different from celebrity weddings.

Unfortunately, I think many of us don't believe in a HEA for celebrity couples. Many of them behave so badly that we've become disillusioned with them. While many lead normal, happy lives -- I'm thinking of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and other long married Hollywood couples -- celebrities often get caught up in the glamor and glitter of a crazy life-style.

I think we still believe that royal marriages are forever, in spite of the few divorces among royalty.

I remember when Grace Kelly married Prince Ranier and I was so disappointed because she no longer made movies.

Louisa Cornell said...

Nice catch, Sheree! Enjoy your day with Prince GR. SNORT!

Charles and Di's was the first royal wedding I watched on television. (at least that I can remember!) I loved the pomp and ceremony. Like everyone else it had that fairy tale quality. Being a devout Anglophile I LOVE anything pompous and British (except maybe Chuck, Camilla and Philip!)

I will definitely find a way to watch Prince William marry his Kate.

My wedding dress had a cathedral length train and it got heavy before the evening was done!

catslady said...

All of the above lol. What happened with Princess Diana was such a shame but I really think these two know each other and it will be a completely different thing.

Pat Cochran said...

My first royal wedding was that of
then Princess Elizabeth to Philip
Mountbatten in 1947. I was 11 and remember seeing the newsreel coverage in the movie theaters.
Also the print coverage in newspapers and magazines.(If you remember there was no TV at the time!) I saw TV news coverage of Princess Anne's wedding in 1973. The first full TV coverage that I watched was of Lady Diana and Prince Charles's wedding in 1981.
I refused to see any coverage of
the second Charles wedding.

I most definitely will be watching
Prince William's wedding to Kate!

Pat Cochran

Pissenlit said...

Oh, it's definitely the pomp and splendour! My first royal wedding was probably Prince Charles and Diana's wedding since I was most likely with my mum when she was watching it. My favourite royal wedding dress is Diana's but I absolutely LOVE the train that Queen Elizabeth had. I'll definitely be watching next year!

Anna Sugden said...

You're so right, Jo - to live your life in that kind of fishbowl is admirable - especially when you have no choice, like the royals. Celebs choose to live that way, but royals are born into it.

Anna Sugden said...

I've seen those, Nancy - my best friend had a detachable train which worked brilliantly - especially for dancing the night away.

Anna Sugden said...

Great minds think alike, Jo - I was thinking about the Princess Grace wedding earlier. I nearly included a pic from it in the post. That, I guess, is the ultimate mix of celeb and royalty!

Anna Sugden said...

I think you're right, Jo - celebs weddings are seen to be transient for the most part. I also think celebs themselves are transient for the most part! There are very few who you know will still be regarded in the same light in ten or even five years time. Whereas royals are royals for life!

Anna Sugden said...

Ooh Louisa - a cathedral length train! Awesome!

I have to say I adore Philip - he's so naughty. And he always says the wrong thing, but it's often what the rest of us are thinking. When I met him, he was utterly charming with a fab twinkle in his eye.

The less said about Camilla, the better. But then, I'm a Diana gal through and through.

Anna Sugden said...

I still remember the day Princess Diana died, catslady, and feeling so sad for her. I always wanted her to get her HEA.

I'm sure William and Kate will do their best - they're more down to earth.

Anna Sugden said...

Yay someone who saw the Queen's wedding! I was hoping someone would have - thank you, Pat. I think that was the ultimate in royal pomp and ceremony, and they've become more glamorous and less traditional over the years.

Anna Sugden said...

I'm glad to hear so many will be watching the royal wedding - what a lovely way to bring us all together.

I love the Queen's gown and her veil, Pissenlit. Very stylish. But then I'm a big fan of a lot of outfits of that era.

Alexa said...

I watched Charles & Diana's wedding. I'm planning to watch William's too.