Tag Archives: Prince William

Staying Up to Watch The Royal Wedding

Prince William and Kate Middleton, by UK_repsome under Creative Commons Attribution License

So I did it. I decided to stay up to watch the wedding. My exams are finished and I’m off tomorrow, so I thought, why not? Here’s a running commentary of thoughts (will be updated for as long as I stay awake):

12:56: Oh, goodness, they’re displaying some poor sap readying the balcony for William and Kate’s first kiss after the wedding. Oh mainstream media, you really love to discuss every detail in excruciating detail…

12: 57: I think they’ve mentioned the words “Princess Diana” more than a dozen times since I first tuned in.

1:01: Apparently people have gathered outside the Palace for DAYS to see this wedding. That’s gotta be worse than staying up to watch it, right?

1:04: Kate’s gown was designed by a “mystery woman in a big fur trapper’s hat.” Sounds like someone I’d want to design my wedding dress.

1:15: Some of the people in the crowd are wearing Burger King crowns. Burger King, Crown Jewels… not much difference between them at all.

1:20: Apparently William and Kate are to live with Charles and Camilla after the wedding. After marrying into royalty, you still have to live with the in-laws?

1:25: A regular suit isn’t good enough for the British PM to wear when attending. He’s been pressured to wear a tuxedo.

1:30: Why are there orange balloons? Are they secretly Dutch?

1:35: I’ve never been 2 ½ hours early for a wedding in my life. Or even early for a wedding. But the guests are already lining up.

1:37: Folding chairs! Westminster Abbey has folding chairs. Also – trees.

1:40: Kate will be the first Queen to have gone to university. Bit behind the times, the monarchy.

1: 44: Obligatory Diana montage…

1:56: “The monarchy depends on this.” No pressure or anything.

2:15: Kate Middleton’s family is from Bucklebury. Wasn’t that town’s name in Lord of the Rings?

2:24: Peter Mansbridge’s eyes are getting more and more bloodshot as the night goes on. And he seems particularly bemused about people’s obsession with Kate’s wedding dress…

2:32: William used to have such 1990s hair. Of course, now he has almost no hair. 🙂

2:43: There’s female guest with a hat that looks exactly like a canoe landed nose down on her head.

2:49: Bucklebury even looks like it belongs in Lord of the Rings. Thatched roofs, cobblestones, tree-lined alleys. All they need is some hobbits.

2:52: Canada is giving William and Kate hiking gear. Hiking gear. Can you see Kate climbing up a mountain?

3:04: There’s group on the street wearing William and Kate masks, and the reporter just asked them to kiss. Very odd to watch, especially if you’re sleep-deprived.

3:19: Now you can see Prince Harry teasing Prince William as they walk into Westminster Abbey.

3:34: Kate’s mother walks in, in a light grey dress by Catherine Walker – elegant, yet quite typically mother-of-the-bride-like.

3:44: Camilla’s dress has very odd pleats. The Queen is wearing school-bus yellow (apparently she bought three outfits and picked one according to the weather). Yes, I care about fashion.

3:49: The Queen gets a trumpet fanfare as she walks in the Abbey. I thought that only happened in movies?

3:54: GORGEOUS! From what I can see, Kate’s dress is gorgeous. An elegant lace over-lay and a sweet-heart neckline – reminiscent of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress

4:01: Oh beautiful, exactly like Grace Kelly, but modernized. Pippa, her maid of honour, has a lovely dress too.

4:08: William has to stand with his back to the aisle for some reason. He peeks over his shoulder…

Sweeping views of the gothic cathedrals… Soaring music…

The couple smiles at each other, standing shoulder-to-shoulder.

4:14: The Anglican wedding ceremony is very beautiful. Here comes the “speak now or forever hold your peace” part. Awkward silence.

4:19: “Those whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

4:40: And they are married. The choir sings very well.

4:42: Yawn. And now, having witnessed this happy moment, I think I will go to bed. They still have to walk down the aisle and wave to all the crowds (and possibly kiss on the balcony), but I believe this has covered most of the (not so) important bits…

Good night!

UPDATE: Here are some interesting links:

Kate’s Dress! That Queen! Those Hats (from Slate, includes slideshow)

Royal Wedding on TV: Spouting Nonsense at 4am (someone else’s view on staying up late, and the media frenzy around the wedding)

Details of Kate’s dress

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The Royal Wedding – Will We Abolish the Monarchy?

Next week Friday is the day Prince William and Kate Middleton are set to tie the knot, and I’m definitely going to watch. (Exams? What exams?) I never paid much attention to the ups and downs of their eight-year relationship, but I know when they showed up on the front page of our newspaper smiling into each other’s eyes, with Kate waving the blue sapphire engagement ring that was once Diana’s, my heart melted into a puddle of gooey mush. I never knew I was such a sappy romantic until that moment.

Now, I’m probably going to get a pile of cynics jumping on me here, complaining William and Kate are far too “over-exposed,” and that they’re sick of hearing about them. Or that royalty is the stupidest institution ever, and why are people paying so much attention to it? Or that this whole wedding thing is only a smart PR move to rehabilitate the Royal Family’s image after the debacles of Charles-and-Diana and Andrew-and-Sarah-Ferguson. All of which could be true. Thankfullly, where I live in Canada, the news has not turned into a 24-hour-a-day stalking session on William and Kate’s wedding plans, so I don’t feel too over-exposed to them (though I can completely see how some people might be). And there are some downsides to the whole Royalty institution.

While Canada is technically ruled by the Queen, we’d be up in arms if she actually tried to tell us to do anything. And don’t even get started on the endless rounds of complaining we get if some politician asks her representative, the Governor General, to lift a finger. To me, that just goes to show the downside of being Royal in this day and age – you get all the annoyances without many of the perks (you know, perks such as unlimited power, endless wealth, and the ability to chop the heads off anyone you feel like). Instead, Royals nowadays get to have their every move scrutinized by the media, have their lives speculated on from their birth, and generally be a the mercy of the opinions of the people they rule. Think about it – would William be marrying Kate if everyone in Britain hated her? Not too likely.

So Christopher Hitchens’ recent advice to Kate Middleton in Slate magazine caught my attention. In short, he tells her to run. Or at least, help abolish the monarchy. While he makes some good points about the shortcomings of the family she’s marrying into, and the uselessness of monarchy, I don’t see us getting rid of the Queen anytime soon.

Because, as vehemently as Hitchens (and non-monarchists) deny it, there is some kind of mystique that still surrounds royalty. Maybe it’s all those fairytales we hear as kids, or maybe it’s Walt Disney’s fault. All the same, we want to look up to these people in some way. Especially with William and Kate – we want them to claim their victory over the tragic past. To put the ghosts of Diana that still haunts pop culture to rest. To demonstrate a future of being young, vibrant and in love, and that there is hope marriage is about more than ending up old, bitter and divorced twenty years down the road. That, whatever the personal faults of the Royals (including the Queen) might be, they will continue to head the people with a grace and dignity sadly lacking in many politicians and “stars” today.

Idealism, I know. They’re flawed, just like us, and they’ve got to carry the burden of being looked up to and being violently denigrated at the same time. But at the very least, this wedding should be something to see. Kate Middleton seems to have a decent sense of style – wonder what her wedding dress will look like?

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