History in the Making

What to Watch For in the Royal Wedding

This Saturday, the world will watch as Prince Henry of Wales marries Ms. Megan Markle in the biggest royal event in the past few years! (I refuse to say it is the wedding of the century, because that happened on 29 April 2011…) As usual, I will be waking up before dawn to watch the entire proceedings from start to finish, and I’m pretty excited to see a royal wedding take place at Windsor Castle. If you are new to the whole royal watching event deal, there are a few things to certainly watch out for throughout the wedding…
What to Watch forat the Royal Wedding

1) Celebrity Sightings 

I will admit, I am not the biggest celebrity follower- I know a few actresses and actors that are in my favourite TV shows and movies, but I’ve not a clue as to who is feuding with whom, who is dating whom, and who is friends with whom (including Harry and Megan). So, although I personally won’t really be watching out for celebrities, it should be a good place to see British, American, and Canadian socialites, designers, actors, and influencers of sorts, and I imagine that a lot of people will be watching for it! If you are interested in seeing your favourite famous person of the day, I would recommend following somewhere like People on Instagram, as I imagine that they will be posting live with updates on sightings.

2011 Royal Wedding Westminster Abbey Trees
Via Pinterest

2) All of the Details, Both Personal and Historical

Now, this may be the royal historian in me, but I always love being able to have a sneak peek into these 500+ year old cathedrals, chapels, and palaces! (I did visit Windsor, but Her Majesty decided a week prior to visit, so we were only able to see three rooms. It was the only time I shook my head at the Queen… I CAME FROM CANADA TO SEE IT, AND LITERALLY PLANNED MY TRIP AROUND IT. Anyways…) You will be able to see some of the most fascinating architectural elements, as the Gothic style is really something else. Unless the camera is hyper-focused on the wedding party, (and I’m really hoping they aren’t), you will also be able to spot the banners of the members of the Order of the Garter. I’m also interested to see what personal elements that Harry and Megan work into their wedding; Catherine featured her favourite trees and candles in Westminster Abbey to personalise the space, and we could see something very similar at St. George’s Chapel!

2011 Royal Wedding Curtsy
Via Pinterest

3) Traditions and Etiquette

If you are new to the blog, I am a huge supporter and promoter of etiquette. (See here, here, and here to start with…) Royal events, particularly weddings, are the perfect time to see some of those more formalised and somewhat foreign etiquette quirks. If you are awake early enough to see everyone arriving to the wedding, you will start to notice that people arrive in a very specific order. Celebrities and regular folks, then the aristocracy, then the minor nobles, then the royals- you can’t just arrive whenever you feel like it, you observe the order of precedence. Interestingly, while normally the Queen is the last to arrive, she waives this for weddings, as the bride is traditionally the last to arrive! We will also see Megan (and Harry) curtsy to Her Majesty on the way back down the aisle once they are married, but she won’t curtsy on the way there. (Also, a one time only, wedding special!) While most of us don’t need to observe this level of formality in our etiquette, I do use a lot of their etiquette as a benchmark, as you typically won’t offend someone by showing them a higher level of courtesy than they are expecting!

2011 Royal Wedding Hats
Via Pinterest

4) The Hats, Obviously…. 

Also, if you don’t know me, I am all about millinery. Hats, fascinators, headwear, I am here for it all! (Well, not really fascinators, because if you are going to put something on your head, make it substantial enough to be an actual hat rather than the thought of one…) If you live in the UK/Ireland, or somewhere that people actually don headwear to attend horse racing, hat spotting might not be the event for you that it is for me. However, if you don’t live there, events like this are the best way to spot the biggest, boldest, and best hats out there. I can guarantee that milliners Philip Treacy and Jane Taylor’s creations will be on several notable guests, in addition to other well-known as well as up-and-coming milliners’ work! If you have been watching royal events for a while, you can start to spot when hats are repeated (which is actually a pretty fun game), and even identify new pieces by each designer without it actually being announced. So, if you are anything like me, I would recommend following FromBerkshiretoBuckingham and WWKD_Official on Instagram, as I can guarantee they will also be live posting the arrivals and accompanying hats!

For anyone interested, I will be live posting on my Instagram stories throughout the entire event, from the first arrivals to whenever they leave at the end! I will probably have a quick post up on Saturday to remind everyone, but other than that, it will stay mostly on Instagram (and possibly the Facebook page). I will probably have a follow up  post on Sunday or Monday to cover my favourite parts!
So, what will you be looking for at the Royal Wedding? And will you be observing the event in style? 
Until tomorrow,
The Historian!
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20 thoughts on “What to Watch For in the Royal Wedding”

    • I was actually quite underwhelmed by it all. I thought her dress was bland and lacked personality, and I thought the ceremony was a lot of Meghan, a little bit of Diana, and not very much Harry. I am hoping that their receptions were more of a joint event!

    • I think that they did well! I don’t actually fault them for their 2011 hats- they left it to Phillip Treacy, arguably the leading milliner in the world, to create their hats and hadn’t seen them before. He is usually quite in touch with events, so I’m not sure what happened there!

  • I love seeing all those hats. I went to a wedding last week and there was only one hat (they’re less popular in England although everyone seemed to have a hat at the wedding I went to in Ireland!!) Anyway, you know if it’s a royal do, there’ll be hats!!

    • I really wish Canadians would pick up on the hat thing, but we seem to have an ultra-casual mentality about everything 🙁 There are some absolutely amazing Irish milliners out there, so I can see why they might be more prominent there 😀

  • Just followed you on IG so I can stay tuned with the happenin’s of the royal wedding. I don’t have TV so, thanks for taking it upon yourself to keep some of us in the loop – would much rather learn from you, a historian with a passion for this theme than the US media that will spend most of its time talking about how Meghan is black and a commoner and is thus disrupting the monarchy. US media LOVES to sensationalize everything.. ALSO – please provide me the link to your write up about Windsor, I would love to know what your experience was like from you historical perspective and knowledge. I’m sorry that the Queen closed the place down during your trip. Also, can you please explain to me why Canada is a constitutional monarchy under Elizabeth II and why she reigns over Canada not as the Queen of the United Kingdom but as the Queen of Canada? Thank you!

    • That is one of my pet peeves lately- the continual stream of “Megan is so different from Kate, Harry and Megan are forging their own path, everything is different!”. Well, they are pretty far away from the throne, and therefore have more freedom to work with. I personally am a fan of meaningful traditions, and I don’t necessarily think that being different to be different all of the time is worth it. However, I’m still pretty excited to see it all, especially Prince Philip (as we don’t get to see him much), and the Duchess of Cambridge (understandably relaxing for a few weeks).
      Amateur blogging mistake on my part, these are my Windsor posts!!
      In a very small and quick nutshell haha, Canada is a constitutional monarchy with QEII as our Head of State (the Queen of Canada) because we wanted to make our own laws and govern our own domestic and foreign policy, but we still wanted to maintain our ties with Britain and the monarchy for a number of reasons! Interestingly, the member countries of the Commonwealth have to accept each new heir to the throne as their head of state when it comes time. (Charles was recently accepted!) So now we have the privilege of Her Majesty being our Head of State 🙂

  • If I actually can get my sorority sister to show me how to work the TV, then I might get up and watch it as well. I’m so excited but I’m hating lifetime for creating a movie about them. They didn’t do that for Kate and Will.

  • Ill be working so won’t watch it. But I’m quite glad I’ll be staying up at work next weekend as I have to go through Windsor to get to work ?

  • I’m so excited! I invited myself to my father-in-law’s house for the big event as we don’t get English (or any) tv at the moment. Poor etiquette, I know (especially since he’s a republican Irishman) but I rarely ask for favours and he only mocked me a tiny bit ?

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