I can hardly believe that it’s already almost been a week since Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day. The world finally got to see Middleton’s stunning dress and the details of their modern, yet still traditional wedding.
Depending on what part of London you were in at the time, the city was either completely dead or absolutely packed. The main venues for wedding watchers were Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square, which both had free screenings of the wedding, or Westminster Abbey and the Mall. Westminster Abbey is the Church where Prince William and Middleton exchanged vows, and the Mall is the road which led to Buckingham Palace where the couple stood out on a balcony to greet the crowds. Although the majority of Londoners were either safely out of town or at home watching the wedding, tourists from all over the world flooded the city so that they could say they witnessed such a monumental wedding.
The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming pride and love that the English have for their royal family. Even though I was thrilled to be in the city at the time, it was hard for me as an American to grasp how connected they were to the royalty. Everywhere I went, people were decked in red, white and blue, waving flags or wearing the slightly disturbing William and Kate facemasks. People were singing the national anthem “God Save the Queen” or asserting how proud they were to be British. It got to the point that I was actually disappointed that I’m not British.
The second thing I noticed was how respectful everyone was. People everywhere were “queuing” (English for standing in line) and waiting patiently just to get a glimpse of the Royal Wedding. No one was pushing or shoving past others, which I thought would almost be a given. It was almost as though everyone wanted to be on their best behavior for the wedding, no matter where they were or how close they were to the couple.
Somehow, the day also managed to be very educational. The first thing I learned is that technically, Prince William does not have a last name because he is royalty, although on official documents he’s Prince William Mountbatten-Windsor. Also, just because Kate Middleton married into the royal family, she doesn’t become a princess. Instead, the prince is now also Duke of Cambridge, making her Duchess of Cambridge. The couple are Earl and Countess of Strathearn and Baron and Baroness Carrickergus as well. Another fun fact is that the national anthem changes depending on which gender carries royal blood. For example, right now, the actual royal is female – Queen Elizabeth II – so the national anthem is “God Save the Queen”. However, once the Queen dies and her body is buried, Prince Charles will become King and the anthem will change to “God Save the King”.
As for the actual wedding, the main things that surprised me were the clothes. First, Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. It definitely was suitable for a queen, and I loved that the dress remained somewhat modern with the strapless appearance, while keeping in mind the taste level by having the lace long-sleeves. The bigger shock was that the maid of honour, Pippa Middleton, wore ivory as well. Although I will admit I liked the younger Middleton’s dress better, both women looked absolutely flawless. Of course, both Prince William and Prince Harry looked dapper, and like the rest of the world, I’m still hoping to bump into the younger prince at a pub sometime and hopefully have someone else writing an overview of my own royal wedding.