The royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William may have been over-hyped, but let's face it, it's like the Super Bowl for girls, gays and Brits and it only happens once in a blue moon, so how could we not get up at the crack of dawn to watch the breathless TV coverage? (It was also good preparation for how we'll have to wake up in the wee hours to watch the pentathlons, swimming competitions and rhythmic gymnastics from next year's Olympics in London.) If you opted to sleep in, here's what you missed:
Did I really need to get up before sunrise to see people drive through the streets of London in Rolls Royces? I wanted carriages, but I didn't get that until later. On the other hand, if I'd skipped this part, I would have missed the extended royal family showing up in mini-buses. Is there not a more glamorous means of transport? Are limos not an option? And I wouldn't have seen Kate's lame attempt at waving. She's going to be in parades for the rest of her life, so she should get practicing the slow pageant wave, or she's going to break her wrist waving wildly and foolishly like a little kid.
Give the poor bored BBC cameraman extra credit: he shot Westminster Abbey from every angle possible and did this really cool upwards shot of the bells clanging. But my favorite was the shot from the top of the Abbey, looking down at the whole scene when Kate arrived at the altar. Really gave us a sense of scope. Though I could have done without all the swirling shots during the endless singing while the couple were off signing their official papers. Westminster looked beautiful, as we expected, and there were trees lining the aisle. That's right, trees blocking people's views more than the giant hats. Oh, and can the royals not splurge on some decent chairs? Most of the entranceway was filled with tacky looking black folding chairs. Only the people up by the altar got proper chairs with seatbacks. And how lame would it have been to be seated in the entryway and not even be able to see them tie the knot?
I've stood outside in Times Square on New Year's Eve before, so I realize that I shouldn't really throw stones here, but I think I'd be upset if I had camped outside for days and only saw a person in a car speed by. And even after the ceremony, only a portion of the masses saw the carriage parade, and those horses were moving so it was a bit of a blink-and-you-missed-it kind of moment. That said, it seemed like you could hear them screaming when the couple were pronounced husband and wife, and that was kind of cool. But still, that's some kind of crazy devotion.
Can America adopt this tradition? There were fantastic pieces of frill and whatnot on the tops of people's heads. I don't know if it was a strict rule, but Prime Minister David Cameron's wife Samantha showed up without one and aside from Maid of Honor Pippa, who had flowers in her hair, she was the only person who broke the hat tradition. It also seemed like a bit of an insult that she had showed up in a casual-looking dress with just a clip in her hair. But I'm not a Brit, so maybe I'm overreacting? Still, wear an ugly hat, people. It's fun!
My least favorite part of actual weddings is the songs. There are so many and they all sound the same. Here, they all went on forever and ever and those poor little choirboys who sang an anthem written just for the occasion had to do so in huge lace collars. At least they were kind of cute, even if they looked like pets that just had surgery, while the adult choir members were all overacting with their faces, clearly hoping to get on TV. Still, there's not much at a wedding that is more entertaining than watching the crowd of people mouthing along to the words to a song they clearly don't know. Elton John, I'm looking at you.
Let's face it, the main reason anyone tuned in to this was to see what Kate was wearing. And she looked lovely in her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown. Then again, anything would be better than that puffy nightmare that Princess Diana wore when she walked down the aisle (those sleeves haunt my nightmares). And I'm glad that Kate opted to find something demure and sexy (she showed some cleavage, but there was lace covering her arms). Plus, it was figure flattering and she didn't try and have a 40-foot train to break some stupid record. And her veil was very delicate and lovely, attached to a tiara that she'd borrowed from the Queen. What other girl ever gets to say that on their wedding day?
Did someone have to roll him out of bed to get to the church on time? During some portions of the ceremony, I could swear that he was asleep, or at the very least resting his eyes. Oh, the lucky girl that lands this narcoleptic young prince. Still, he did look nice in his suit, he's not balding like his newlywed big brother and he managed not to lose the ring (his big job), so good going there.
The Rest of the Royals
Camilla was wearing the finest in old-lady wear and now that Kate's officially part of the family, Camilla's never going to get any more attention for her attempts at fashion. Prince Charles also looked bored and vaguely sleepy, which is perhaps where Harry gets it from. The Queen was sporting bright yellow, but she mostly there for the ceremony and to ride in the royal carriage version of the Pope-mobile after the wedding. I loved that she pretty much rushed everyone off the balcony later on -- clearly, someone couldn't wait to get down on the dance floor, or have I just been watching too much SNL?
Maybe it was the way that it was filmed, but there was some sort of odd soap opera quality about the actual "I do" portion of the wedding. Perhaps it had something to do with the stilted way that Wills and Kate repeated their vows. I'm sure they were nervous - there were only millions of people watching, after all -- but she was barely speaking above a whisper. She's really going to have to work on enunciating. There was a brief moment where it looked like William was having trouble putting the ring on his bride's finger, but it finally slipped on. And I thought it was odd that he had to face forward instead of watching his bride come down the aisle. Good for rebellious Harry for turning around and taking a peek. Neither Kate or Will seemed excited during the ceremony and it wasn't until the archbishop with the amazing eyebrows (a Harry Potter character if I've ever seen one) did the scarf-draping, hand-tying bit that they looked like they could breath. After they were pronounced man and wife, there were prayers and a bishop speaking about keeping God in their lives and then all of the secret backstage official paper signing. It all seemed a little anticlimactic, but I guess that's why the balcony reveal of the newlyweds is such a big deal.
I don't care much about the Brits in general, but I would watch the hell out of a reality show that focused on Pippa and her family. The maid of honor looked stunning in a slinky white gown and very sleek hair. Kate's brother James was very attractive delivering his religious reading. Dad looked pretty dapper in his suit walking his daughter down the aisle and the mom looked amazing in a light blue suit with a hat. She put Camilla to shame. Points to the commoners here.
The Happy Couple
After the ceremony, when Kate and Will walked out of the church and stepped into the horse-drawn carriage, they both started smiling and looked genuinely happy/relieved that it was over. By the time they stepped out on the balcony to greet the public and show their first smooch as man and wife, they were practically beaming. I'm not one for sappy endings, but that was kind of sweet.
The Fly Over
You know what more weddings could use? Fighter jets. Watching the aircrafts buzz over Buckingham Palace was very cool and loud and a nice contrast to all the talk about hats and dresses.
Not sure that people will be talking about this for years to come, the way they did with Charles and Diana's big day, but it was fine... if a bit on the dull side. What did you think?
Check out what the Real Housewives stars had to say about the royal wedding and, more importantly, about Countess LuAnn's credibility as a royal expert.
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