Friday, April 29, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a Good Wedding?

I like to think of myself as too cool to be interested in anything as preciously pompous and irony-free as the royal wedding. But in truth before I became a jaded and snarky New Yorker, I was a subject of the British Commonwealth, a child of Mother England's premier penal colony: Australia. The Aussies have mixed feelings about the royal family, which they refer to lovingly as those Pommie Bastards, but in general share a grudging kinship with. Aussies think of the English as their stuck-uptight cousins, whom they enjoy taking take the piss out of. During my entire time in Oz, The Royals were a tabloid cover fave (it was during the Di-Fergie epoch).
So I had some context when I worked out at the gym this morning and watched the replay of the wedding. The Queen was in a sensible suit with matching sensible hat and shoes. Duty and tradition informs her every move. She seems hardworking, but strict and cold and tough. Not the kind of grandmother that grabs your punim and surreptitiously places a twenty in your pocket. I can actually imagine her declaring "Off with your head" when dispeased. There was goofy Prince Charles -boo ( in boorring) and Camilla, who seems to utterly lack in style. Camilla's veddy British kind of dowdiness makes the memory of Princess Di even more vivid. And there's no doubt who is the mother of those quirky jr. princesses; Beatrice and Eugenie. Those hats were downright nutty.

She looked beautiful and demure. Kind of refreshing to see a celebrity bride keep her ta-ta's to herself. Felt bad for Wills, he looks a lot like his mum and has her same shy manner. At times he appears embarrassed and uncomfortable with the whole thing.
They really do know from pomp and pageantry over there across the pond. I think the royal wedding puts most Hollywood productions to shame. The entire affair was a tasteful and brilliantly arranged spectacle, from the eccentric hats perched on the heads of the lady guests, to the elegant pagentry, complete with hordes of Union Jack waving extras. The denouement was that chaste little kiss (times two) on the balcony as they waved to their loyal subjects- the unwashed masses. Approaching it from an American point of view, it does seem slightly bizarre that this is real and not characters acting out a script.
It is especially surreal when images of horse drawn carriages, and a magnificent medieval cathedral, are juxtaposed with the scenes of utter devastation and chaos in Alabama. But I think therein lies the appeal, the world is a mess. People are struggling and suffering. Nature is in revolt. Getting lost in a good old fashioned fairy tale is tempting. Monarchs have always understood that. Give the people a little sip at the banquet, for tomorrow it's back to the fields.

In honor of Will & Kate and the utter Britishness of it all, I served the kiddles afternoon tea. I made thin little cucumber sandwiches cut into neat triangles, and bought some rich butter tea biccies (biscuits). The tea I served was more moroccan in flavor due to the mint leaves that steeped alongside the tea bags in the tea pot. All in all a very pleasant affair, that my Yank-ified children devoured before watching Phinneas & Ferb. Only Girlette showed an interest in the Royal Wedding. I recognized that dreamy wistful look in her eyes as she watched their replayed kiss.

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