On 29 April 2011, Catherine Middleton married Prince William of Wales, whereupon they were granted the titles of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (which is what they are known by today). For a lot of Royalists, it is the most important Royal event of the twenty first century! It was the first big Royal event (other than Diana’s funeral) for me, and I will always have a fond memory of the day.
It was not at the best time for me- I was attending my first history conference, and I was particularly nervous as I was presenting as an undergraduate at a graduate conference. However, I knew I that there was no bloody way that I would miss watching the Royal wedding. So, my friend and roommate Mary Anne put up with me turning on CBC at 345am to start watching coverage- she was an angel to let me!! Curled up in bed, I enjoyed the arrival most of the guests, the entire wedding, and the journey back to Buck House and the balcony shot. I firmly believe that the best experience is watching the entire event from start to finish.
So, of course I stopped by Westminster Abbey when I was in London! Like most cathedrals, you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside but of course I did buy the souvenir guide of the Abbey, in addition to The Royal Wedding (The Official Westminster Abbey Souvenir) book. Most of today’s info and images are from these guides! I love The Royal Wedding– it gives a little background on both William and Catherine, goes through the Wedding Day and Ceremony, and gives you background on other weddings in the British Royal Family. (Certainly worth the £5!!)
Via The Daily Mail
Not only did we see Royals from other countries arriving and celebrities from a number of different fields, we also saw many minor members of the British Royal Family. This is fairly exciting as we don’t often see them! They may appear every once in a while at the Trooping of the Colour (an occasion in June that marks the sovereigns birthday) or at Royal Ascot, but otherwise we typically don’t see them. Above, Lady Frederick Windsor’s hat was the right kind of hat- gorgeous and a statement hat without being ostentatious….
Via The Daily Mail
A post on the Royal Wedding would not be complete without at least a quick glance at Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie’s hats. Both designed by Philip Treacy, a renowned milliner, they may have missed the mark just a little by going too big. Still, they were sold after the wedding to raise money for charity, and I don’t think that the Princesses intended to draw attention to themselves.
If you buy the Royal Wedding videos from the iTunes store, you get the entirety of the wedding and a short half hour documentary on the couple. I always love watching it through once or a twice a year, usually right around now. You don’t often see that level of elegance and ceremony in every day life, or even regular Royal activities. The couple put a lot of themselves into the day- it was lovely to see that Catherine filled the Abbey with her favourite flowers and trees, and that the guest list contained so many of their friends rather than dignitaries. Her Majesty put all of her support behind the couple having the wedding that they wanted, and it really came through.
The ceremony was beautiful. You will notice that Catherine forgot to curtsy to the Queen on the way down the aisle, but I think that we can let that slide given that it is probably the most nerve-wracking day of her life. She did remember to curtsy on the way back out, and she laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (in Royal tradition). On the way to Buck House, they took an open carriage ride, allowing the crowds to see the happy couple.
Could you imagine seeing this many people on Pall Mall?? I’ve wandered down it myself when it’s entirely empty and peaceful, so I can’t even fathom the energy and excitement on that day! When people say that there is no support for the Royal Family, I have to point to days like this- there were supposedly close to a million people out to support them. And then the balcony…
Much has been said of the balcony appearance of William and Catherine. When Charles and Diana made their post wedding balcony appearance, Charles appeared to ask the Queen for permission to kiss his bride. William did no such thing, and Catherine and William even gave us two kisses! It is quite a new era for the Royal Family, and the wedding was the first moment of it. It was happy and joyous and bright and a fantastic celebration!
Do you remember the Royal Wedding? What were you doing that day?