I thought I had been magically transported “across the pond” on Friday morning when I walked out into my living room at 7:00. There, sitting on my couch, were five women in pajamas, wearing flowered hats and drinking PG Tips tea (pinkies extended daintily) while eating scones.
“Pip, pip, cheerio!” said my wife as I wandered into the middle of Kelley’s Royal Wedding Watching Party. Most of the ladies had been there since 4:00 or 5:00 and were having a wonderful time.
“Are we going to find this party in a column?” asked Fay Sinclair as she nibbled on a cucumber sandwich.
“Oh, undoubtedly,” I responded as I got the coffee machine going. No PG Tips for me. “Do we have a bride?”
“Oh, yes,” said Alana Harvey, who was wearing her own Royal Wedding T-shirt. “They are signing the register.”
“Then I missed it?”
“You did,” said Marilyn Harrell. “But I’m sure you’ll get to see it again,” added Lil Smith.
It was a festive bunch and as Fay’s mother, Miss Fay, would have said in one of her columns, “A fine time was had by all.” Kelley had decorated with tule and pictures of the bride and groom. She brought out her English bone china that she and Alana bought in Scotland.
There was a lovely wedding cake top, a groom’s cake (with McVittie’s Biscuits and dark chocolate — the same recipe as Prince William’s), scones, cucumber sandwiches, homemade shortbread, mimosas and a breakfast casserole.
This was not a surprise to me. I knew for months this party was in the works. I just had no intention of getting up at 4:00 am for a wedding that wasn’t my own.
They were a funny bunch. They oohed and ahhed a lot and gave, well, rather catty commentary as people filed out of Westminster Abbey. They saved most of their ire for Prince Charles’ new wife Camilla. They all hated her, ostensibly because he was seeing her while married to Princess Diana (who they all loved).
They also were pretty tough on a couple of princesses. I don’t remember their names — not being a monarchist myself — but they are the daughters of Sarah Ferguson, late of the palace and now of the Weight Watcher commercials. One had a peach hat shaped like a figure eight.
Though they didn’t appreciate my comment, “What good is a hat if it won’t keep the rain off your head?” they were pretty hard on her and her chubby sister. The sister wore an aquamarine dress that they proclaimed, “Looked like the hem exploded.”
Alana was bemoaning the fact that she wasn’t there. I wouldn’t want to be there. I wouldn’t have been able to see anything, and certainly wouldn’t have been able to eat McVittie’s cake and cucumber sandwiches.
I was a bit surprised by who was at the wedding and who wasn’t. Soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria (Posh Spice) were there, as was Elton John. Prime Minister David Cameron and former PM John Major were there, but Tony Blair was snubbed.
Royalty from all around the world were in attendance, but elected officials, including President Obama, were not. Only elected officials from the British Commonwealth were invited.
Princess Diana’s family was seated right behind Prince Charles and Camilla, which I suppose could have been awkward. Maybe they need a reality TV show — Real Housewives of Buckingham Palace.
After the ceremony was over, they all watched it again at a more reasonable time. I figured they would replay it all day, so even though I slept late — by their standards — I didn’t miss a thing. We watched it on BBC America to got the British take on events.
I thought it was genuinely beautiful. Catherine’s dress was based on Princess Grace of Monaco and was designed by Alexander McQueen. That didn’t mean much to me although the British commentators gushed wildly when she got out of the car. One of them seemed ready to burst into tears over the dress and choice of designer.
As for Prince Will, he looked like he was about to fall asleep during the ceremony. Either he was hung over or had been up all night or both. He kept fighting to keep his eyes open during the hymns and was walking very slowly to keep from stumbling.
He perked up after he got outside though and smiled and waved at the crowd. BBC had a fun time reading his lips and the things he and Kate were saying back and forth. They seemed to really enjoy the celebration and the crowds. When she stepped out of the balcony and saw the million people in the square, you could see her exclaim, “Oh, my!”
So, as one of my Facebook friends said later, “A princess gets married and a villain gets killed. It’s like a Disney weekend.”