Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Myrtle and tiaras: the count down to the royal wedding


Even the most cynical of us is now looking forward to Friday's royal wedding. I have to say, until fairly recently, I found Prince William and Kate Middleton very dull and would quickly turn the pages in Hello! looking for more interesting royals (eg Princess Stephanie of Monaco).

But since the engagement was announced, they seem to have stepped it up a notch. I'm very impressed with how confident and polished Kate looks. And the constant TV programming about royal weddings is helping to stoke the fervour.

I particularly enjoyed Sophie Raworth's two part programme. I was amazed that so few photos remain from the Queen Mother's wedding. And I loved the Queen's Hartnell dress with all the amazing detail. Part two, which featured the weddings of Charles & Diana, Anne & Mark and Andrew & Sarah, was illuminating in that all of those marriages ended in divorce.

With the benefit of hindsight you could see that Charles & Diana's marriage was never going to last. The body language was excrutiating, particularly compared with how relaxed and supportive William and Catherine were of each other.

Now for a few curious facts about the Friday wedding:
  • Kate will carry a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet, a tradition for royal brides. The meaning of the flower is love.
  • She will probably place her bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey, a tradition started by the Queen Mother;
  • When she arrives at the abbey she will not be wearing one of the royal collection of tiaras, but as soon as she is married, the Queen may make her a gift of a tiara. The Duchess of York wore flowers on her way up the aistle, and a tiara on the way out. Diana had her own Spencer family tiara. It's thought Kate might inherit one of the Queen Mary tiaras. If you Google this, you'll see that Queen Mary had several. My favourite is the Cambridge knot tiara made in 1913 (right).  It included 38 pearls that were a wedding gift to Queen Mary.
  • She won't enjoy the bride's tradition of arriving late. A royal wedding is so tightly choreographed she may only be allowed to be 30 seconds late
  • After her marriage to Prince William of Wales, Kate Middleton's title will be Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales. On the engagement announcement, Kate used her full name, Catherine. So she will likely be known as Princess Catherine of Wales. If Prince William receives a dukedom following the marriage, she will be known as Duchess as well as Her Royal Highness.
How are you planning to mark the day? Will you be watching on TV, having a champagne celebration or even going to a street party?


prasad said...

Williams and Middleton's wedding will be the most remarkable so most of the world news papers and t.v. channels are awaiting to capture their wedding events and also this wedding event is a hot topic at least for a month after wedding if she will be participate in some social activities so many people will remember them for their life long i wish both of them have a nice wedding.

Shell said...

I will probably watch- it's so hard not to want to with all the coverage!

Olga said...

In reality, I really wish that things go well for this pair; at least not like with the groom's parents. Everyone's been talking about this wedding for so long that I wish it would just end soon. The tiara that you have included in your post is awesome.

Maggie May said...

I will probably be watching the ceremony but not be glued to the TV all day.
I really hope that they make a go of it. I felt sorry for Diana, who seemed to have had an arranged marriage without her realising it.
Will be interested to see what the bride wears.
Maggie X

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