Royal Wedding of the Century. Kate and William – What a Great Couple!

Tension is building, excitement and joy fills the air outside Westminster Abbey where hundreds of thousands of people have camped out overnight, braving the cold and immense discomfort to keep their places, so they can be part of this royal wedding that could easily be the wedding of the century.  Some have slept in tents, but many have just slept on the ground.  People of all ages, and this morning they’re smiling and excited, waving flags, cheering.

It’s too beautiful for words.  Enthusiasm for William and Kate and the romance of it all is really moving.  It’s fantastic to see so many people enjoying themselves and abandoning themselves to an occasion that has captured the hearts of practically the whole world.  And for good reason.

Soon-to-be Princess Kate and Prince William are such a great couple and I’m sure they’re going to lead the British Royal Family into a new era.  They’re both down-to-earth, personable and seem each to have a kind of quiet confidence within themselves that’s unusual.  They’re also clearly enjoying themselves hugely.  Both of them are relaxed and excited about the wedding.  They’re having fun.  That’s a good omen, I’d say, and speaks to strength of character in both that they’re not overwhelmed by the immensity of the occasion.

They’re both really good at connecting with people, too and in Prince William you can see the spirit and influence of his mother.  Last night he spent the evening with his father and brother and others, and suddenly said “let’s go out”.  So he and Prince Harry went walkabout to talk to all the people camped out.  That made everybody love him all the more.  News footage showed him shaking hands with people reaching out to him, laughing, talking, saying something personal to everybody.  Enjoying the connection.

They’re both good at that, and it seems to be something they truly enjoy.  Connecting.  Kate was shown as she entered the Goring Hotel where she spent the night with her family, smiling, waving at people.  Relaxed, normal, beautiful.  What I admire most about her is that she’s respecting that world and fitting in, but not losing her identity.  She’s a strong young woman.  Much better equipped, I think, to handle what’s ahead of her than Princess Diana.

Neither of them has lost their sense of who they are.  And obviously they’re both aware of what a huge occasion this is but neither of them has let that overwhelm them or their capacity to enjoy it hugely.   The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke about them this morning, saying he had really enjoyed getting to know them.  He said that at the core they’re both very clear about how important it is to be solid in their relationship and their love for each other.  He said they’re both very sensible in that way.

They both chose to give Westminster Abbey a more informal feel of an English country garden, and their friends who’ve been invited have been given places up front, which speaks to who they are.  The Abbey looks absolutely gorgeous, decked out in trees.  Guests are arriving now – and every time a car drives towards the Abbey the crowd goes wild.   I’ve never seen so many people so happy and full of joy.  It’s very infectious.  I’m smiling and cheering with the best of them and every now and then my heart is in my throat.


Royal Wedding: Kate Middleton Brings Balance to the Royal Family

I’d love to be in London right now, feeling the buzz, getting caught up in the romance of the century.  And it’s refreshing to have CNN and BBC so focused on the royal wedding.  I can’t get enough of all the stories and the coverage.  It’s such fairytale stuff that it hardly feels real to me.

Somebody interviewed a Royal photographer, who said how incredibly challenging it was to capture the Royals at one session because he was give 7 minutes – timed with a stop-watch – and he wasn’t allowed to address his subjects. Well, not his subjects in the Royal sense of the word of course.  I find it incredibly obscure that a rule like that could still exist, but it brings to life the exotic nature of being a British Royal, keeps history alive.

What would they have done to the photographer if he’d spoken?  Sacked him?  Put him in the tower, off with his head!  Is there a place for humor in a situation like that?   Probably not.  I wonder what it’s like being one of them, and having all these rules that set you apart from other mortals.  Rules that don’t really mean anything independent of pomp and ceremony but which define the lives of these ultimate celebrities.

One man who called himself an anarchist spoke on CNN last night and said he thought it was unutterably irresponsible for such an enormous event to take place now, when Britain is suffering so much.  From what he said it seems the wedding is paid for by the taxpayers.  That does seem wrong to me, given how incredibly wealthy the Queen is.  It smacks a little of pre French Revolution days.

Still, I think most people wouldn’t have it any other way.  Life can be so mundane, it’s wonderful to have this live theatre with a script going back hundreds of years that’s still being played out.  I love the traditions, the grandness, even the grandioseness of a Queen who you’re not allowed to address unless she speaks first.  I wonder what she’s like as a person?  Somebody who had some royal role and had met most of the family said in an interview last night that they hadn’t met one who they hadn’t really liked.

Yesterday I saw Piers Morgan interview Elizabeth Emanuel, the woman who designed Princess Diana’s dress.  She said she was pretty much an unknown, and Diana had picked her because she liked her.  But we all know how human Diana was, and what she brought to the Royal family.  I’m not so sure they welcomed it.  It must have made life murder for Diana.  I look at photos of her and Charles and think “what a twit he was, not to be able to appreciate her”.

Well, it seems that her amazing qualities live on in both her sons, and that can only be a good thing for the family and for England’s PR.   I wonder what they all think about Kate?  She looks strong to me, not nearly as fragile as Diana, and seems to be handling all the publicity pretty  well.  As if she was born to be a Royal.  Something in me enjoys the fact that she’s “middle class”.    It adds a bit of balance to it all.  I wonder if this was a dream for her when she was a little girl – to marry a prince…

Making Dreams Come True, Kate Middleton and The British Royal Family

I watched a British documentary on Kate Middleton and Prince William.  It showed, quite humorously at times, the massive difference in family cultures.  A middle-class young woman with values which seemed more geared to the right to have your own life and the importance of respecting one’s fellow human, marrying into a Royal family with values which seem centered on rigid manners, inflexible rules, maintaining the appearance of respect – and the individual being utterly sacrificed it all.

The Royal family has such a mystique about it, they barely seem human. They definitely seem above the normal man in the street.  They aren’t really, though.  They have to brush their teeth and go to the toilet, wear deodorant just like the rest of us.  If they don’t [respectively] their breath will smell and their teeth will rot; they’ll have an accident; and they won’t be able to lift up their arms.  When they die whatever happens to the rest of us will happen to them as well.

You’d never think it while they’re alive, though, such is the attractiveness of the fairytale dream and power of PR – which in this case has been building for hundreds of years.  The British Royal family has more media attention than any person or organization in the world.  If I think of meeting Queen Elizabeth II, much as I’d like to imagine myself being poised and charming, I don’t at all doubt that in reality I’d be intimidated.

Have to work on that.  The more I look at earthly success, in any field, not just royalty, the more convinced I am that it’s about a kind of general need amongst all of us to create gods and goddesses who we can believe are above the banal, the mediocre, the gritty challenges of day to day life that are time and energy consuming.  We want to believe that people whose dreams have come true in some way have escaped what it is to be mortal.  So if ours come true we’ll escape it too.

Watching Kate Middleton, I loved her air of determination, the way she carries herself, the resources at her disposal now.  The grandeur, the costumes, the history and the general aura of mystique is paradise for my imagination.  It does sound like a fairytale, a dream come true.  If I was in her shoes I’d also do everything in my power to hold onto it.

By contrast, my life is horribly pedestrian.  I rent a room in somebody else’s house, my mattress is propped up on old books and miscellaneous bricks, I have few clothes and seriously, my shoes have holes in them.  My achievements so far are utterly non-material, I have very little to show the world.  I’m dead serious about my dreams though, and they’re a combination of creating something worthwhile that people can relate to and I can be proud of, and let’s face it, developing that PR, getting material reward.  I want beautiful clothes, gorgeous shoes, Armani Mania perfume.  A car.  All those superficial material things.  I want them.

Fortunately for me marrying into the British Royal family isn’t one of my dreams.  I’ll leave that to Kate.  I wonder what the fairy tale life is like when you’re in it.  Do you stare out from what are actually prison walls at the simpler life of people like me and wish you could have my personal freedom, my anonymity?   Well, I’m willing to give it shot.  I’d prefer to achieve my dreams and then  realize they don’t bring me as much fulfillment as I thought they would, than to try and convince myself that I wouldn’t really be  losing out on anything if they didn’t come true.  Whatever the price, I’m willing to take the risk.