Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding: I Miss Diana

Of course, I watched the royal wedding, just as I watched the wedding of Charles and Diana years ago.  

Mom would have loved this event.

Like many others, I have been observing Kate Middleton for awhile and I am impressed with her poise and good judgment.  Mature and solid, she is well prepared for her future role.  

The wedding itself was elegant and beautiful in its own way.  Honestly, I was hoping for a dress with just a bit more 'edge' (especially from the design house of Alexander McQueen), but respect Kate for playing it safe with a look that was classic and elegant.

William also looked dapper, although his rapid hair loss has aged him considerably and robbed him of the potential hotness he possessed in his early twenties. 

Beyond the superficial 'look' of the wedding, and its participants (Kate's sister, Pippa, did rather upstage her with that gorgeous dress), the ceremony itself had a 'heaviness' that I found oppressive and off-putting.  

'...a marriage in the fear of God, and children brought up in the fear of God...'  

'...on the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed.'  

Yikes, I thought we were celebrating.

In addition to the blatant paternalism and patriarchy, the robed religious dudes walking somberly to and from the podium reminded me of the Mystics in the 80's movie, The Dark Crystal.

Honestly, I fast-forwarded through most of the wedding.  Get to the kiss, already.

As the couple rode in the carriage back to Buckingham Palace, I was distracted by William waving to the crowd.  He looked like a little boy on his way home from McDonald's with a Happy Meal, waving at his best buddy, who is riding his Big Wheel down the sidewalk.

Add the white gloves to his large hands?  

Giggle successfully stifled.

I may as well just say it: without Diana, royal weddings all look the same.

Diana had that je ne sais quoi that set her apart from all the others.  On her wedding day, she was radiant, even in that beautifully awful fairy tale of a dress, which reflected her hope in a life that was happily ever after.  

Fleshy and pink, she hadn't whittled herself down to a snap-her-arms-like-a-twig size zero.  Instead, she looked like a girl who knew the sensuous appeal of relishing a good meal with the man she loved.

Diana had the ability to make everyone around her seem more interesting; more desirable.  The queen was less dowdy, the palace more alluring.  If she loved Charles, then even he must be less stodgy than he appeared.

And she was messy, behaving inappropriately at times, sharing her passions when it would have been prudent to keep them to herself.  Diana's imperfection touched us all and let us see bits of ourselves in her life and her struggles.  We loved her for that.

The Queen of People's Hearts.

William and Kate are a beautiful couple and a great team.  They obviously love each other and will likely have a long and successful marriage together. 

May they find and perpetuate Diana's legacy of magic.

image from


  1. I was 7 years old when Diana Spencer and Prince Charles were married. I watched the ceremony with my mother, but don't remember much about it.

    I remember how shocked the world was when she embraced a person with AIDS. I remember her looking gorgeous in her now-famous "Elvis" dress. I remember my room mate knocking on my bedroom door late at night and saying "I don't know why I feel the need to tell you this, but Lady Di has been killed".

    It wasn't until her death that I realized how much I truly admired her.

  2. Yeah, the two of them seem to like each other. That's good.

    I miss Diana too. She died when I was in fourth grade.

  3. Hi JoanElaine - I was 21 years old when I watched Diana's wedding and remember it like it was yesterday. You're right, she shocked the world in many ways and kept us glued to her in anticipation of what she might do next. It seemed she was just coming into her own identity when she was killed. She certainly was one of a kind.

  4. Joan, hello! Yes, I believe it is the friendship between William and Kate that will make their marriage a success. Interesting to hear that Diana impacted your life as well, even though you were very young when she died.

    Missing her while watching Friday's wedding took me by surprise. Sometimes, it is only in comparison that we realize what was lost.

  5. I remember Diana's wedding as if it were yesterday too. I was working in a delicatessen in Camden and got the day off work. The night before, I attempted to attend the fireworks display in Hyde Park, but due to the press of people and lack of mobile phones, I never made it there or found the friend I was meeting. Instead, I was swept involuntarily onto a train to Brighton. I have never been to a big crowd event since!

    For my part, I think Kate is almost as charismatic as Diana, but better suited to a royal marriage. Not least because she is properly loved in return. That for me is the tragedy of Diana's story - apart from her untimely end - the fact that there would never be anyone else for Charles but Camilla, yet protocol obliged him to marry the young innocent Diana, with no "past"... How times have changed, even in royal circles.

  6. Vanessa, how lovely that you, too, remember the wedding as an adult. You probably have a better feel for Kate than I, and she does seem, if not exactly charismatic, then certainly self-assured ( I suspect her true charisma will be kept under wraps, by her own choice).

    I still have the first 'People' magazine that was issued following her death. Looking at it again today, I was struck by the comment, 'Charles will have no chance of marrying Camilla now.' Yes, times have changed.



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