“Checkmate Kate, you’ve taken the king” - banner being waved in the crowd
Pundits talked worriedly about our cynical age, or lack of deference and respect for tradition, and regular readers of this blog may consider me a cynic. I consider myself to be a sceptical optimist, but that’s another matter entirely. The point I’m working towards, is that I have thoroughly enjoyed this whole Royal wedding from start to finish. As I write now we are waiting for the couple to make their balcony appearance. I suspect that had I followed any of the media hype leading up to today, I would have been bored shitless of the whole thing weeks ago. Fortunately it all passed me by and today has been the first point in which I have paid it any attention.
Charles and Diana were married the same year as my parents; William was born just a few months after me; and now William marries the love he met at university as I make preparations to marry my university love. We are like proper bros (as in “...before hoes”, not the highly respected groundbreaking pop band).
Now as I continue this post, a day has passed and I can look back on the events of yesterday separated from the emotional involvement. The scale of the whole wasteful, mass-fawning swept me up with the excitement and the emotion. The Royal family became human; not untouchable deities, or posh unwanted arseholes. Charles was the proud dad and the Queen was everyone’s grandmother. Everyone was wearing bizarre multicoloured and oddly accessorised clothing. A Lancaster bomber flies overhead flanked by a Spitfire and a Hurricane Hawk. Pundits tediously wibbled on and on about peoples clothes, instead of telling us who the guests were and why they were there. The Beckhams...wtf? The maid of honour was distracting in a low cut dress. The bride and groom looked nervous and happy; you know, like actual human people... amazing.
I’m endlessly fascinated by the Royal habit of not having surnames like us commoners. Windsor is not the family's surname; it is the House name, and has been since 1917 when George V changed it from the too German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. We learned that William’s full name is William Arthur Phillip Louis, and his wedding present from his little ol’ granny was the titles Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Barron Carrickfergus. Kate is no longer a Middleton; her full name is now simply Katherine Elizabeth, Duchess of Cambridge. She joins the House of Windsor, but due to not being a blood relative of Prince Phillip, she is not a member of the much more excitingly named House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.
I can now look back on yesterday, slightly confused as to how excited I was by it all. I felt strange new feelings of national pride, jingoism, flag-waving, communal mania... now there is an almost unpleasant hangover lull. It was the wedding of people I don’t know, suspect I wouldn’t have anything in common with; people who probably wouldn’t cross a courtyard to pour champagne on me. It was fun while it lasted, just stay away from The Mail. Not because it will be full of the wedding for the next million years, just as a general rule of thumb; stay away from The Mail.
By the way, the couple looked very happy; best of luck to them.