Friday, April 29, 2011

FRIDAY FOLLIES: The Royal Wedding, of course.

Thursday, April 28 10 PM:  Is anything else going on these days besides the Wedding of the Century, The marriage of Katherine ( Kate) Middleton and William (Will) Mountbatten-Windsor?  (This time the wedding of the century really is the wedding of the century -- the century is young, and, until another big wedding comes along, this is it.)

Tonight the Big channels--E!,  MSNBC, CNN, BBC America--have all put together specials on tomorrow's big day. The background, the real stories, the life histories of both Will and Kate,  as well as interviews with their families and anyone who has ever known them, from class-mates to haberdashers and hairdressers to people they've waved to on the street.  Right now BBCA is talking about the wedding of the son of Camilla Parker-Bowles.  Very chi-chi.  High society. Astonishingly irrelevant and even, maybe, just guessing, in really, really bad taste.

10:38:  On CNN's Anderson Cooper they're showing vintage footage of Princess Diana being helped out of her carriage while her bridesmaids stand by.  Will it totally spoil the mood if I say that her bridal gown looked as if it had been made for a giantess and then tucked and pinned to fit little Lady Di?  Same with the bridesmaids.  Very odd.  But what do I know?  I've heard there were thousands of weddings world-wide where brides happily wore dresses that were near-copies of Diana's.

(Did you hear about the guy who had pictures of Will and Kate tattooed onto his two front teeth?  It'll wear off in about three months, depending on how often and how vigorously he brushes his teeth, but until then--they're there.  It's all here.)

10:55 PM:  Matt Lauer is excitedly talking about the wedding cake.  It'll be big and beautiful and it'll taste heavenly.  It's a Royal cake so it can't be anything less.  It just can't.  (Looks like the mayor of London forgot to comb his hair tonight.  Sure hope he remembers tomorrow.)  [Update:  He didn't]

11:00PM:  I'm off to bed.  Coverage starts at 3 AM EST.  I'm not kidding.  (No, I won't be there, either.)

6:00 AM:  I'm up.   Kate is out of the funny, boxy limo and she's beautiful and her gown is beautiful, if very similar to gowns I've seen on "Bridezilla" or elsewhere.  I'm a little disappointed, frankly.  But the tiara belonged to the Queen Mum and for some reason that makes me quite giddy.

Here come William and Harry.  Harry is dressed in regalia that's much more eye-popping than William's.  Black and gold, compared to William's more sedate red with blue banner.  One-upped.  Imagine.

I see Beefeaters lining the Cathedral aisle as Kate and her father make their way to the altar.  They really do look wonderfully Gilbert & Sullivan.  What are Beefeaters anyway?  I'll look them up later, after the festivities.  [Okay, here it is.]

Yes, those Brits know how to throw a wedding.  Is Westminster Abbey the most gloriously ostentatious building you've ever seen in your life?

They've all met now at the altar and the sopranos are singing the high notes.  I think it's about to begin. I'm sorry -- I can't take my eyes off of Harry.  Is he adorable, or what? 

Oh, wait, not yet.  Now the crowd is singing.  There's Elton John.  And Victoria Beckham and that guy. Does Princess Anne ever smile?

The queen is lovely in Daffodil yellow but can't seem to muster up much enthusiasm.  Prince Philip is looking peaked.  Lady in large blue hat is looking peaked, too. Come on, people!  It's the Royal Wedding!  Lots of work went into this!

 Okay, singing has stopped and the Archbishop of Canterbury just said "Dearly Beloved".  Shhh, I need to hear this.

I grabbed this off of my TV.  Hope it's okay, CNN.

They've spoken their vows and got through it without flaw.  Whew!  (I won't mention Diana's mixing up of Charles's many names.  No, I won't.)

6:20AM/11:20 AM:  It's done!  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have moved to the side of the altar and are now. . .standing there singing along with everybody in the cathedral.    Crowd scene.  Lots of fancy duds. Camilla, true to form, is wearing a ridiculous hat, but this time she's not alone.

An outside shot. Crowds of Royal worshipers are seen but I can't tell if they're singing. Lots of happy flag-waving.

Kate's brother James is reading from the scriptures or something, appealing to everyone to "present your bodies for sacrifice". What???  Is he reading the wrong passage?  "Extend hospitality to strangers". "Weep for those who weep". "Do not be haughty but associate with the lowly."  "Do not claim to be wiser than anyone."  What the heck?  Who invited him, anyway?

Long shot of the cathedral. Took my breath away. I mean it.

Small boys singing in high voices. (No, I'm not thinking what you're thinking.) Now the grown-up choir is joining in.  Lovely.  Simply lovely. I miss the Queen Mum.

Someone says St. Catherine of Sienna said "Be all you can be and you'll set the world on fire".  (Okay. Whatever.)

Speeches now, while Will and Kate sit obediently listening. You just know they're thinking, "Didn't we just get married? Why are they still talking? Aren't we supposed to be walking up the aisle?  Will this never end?"

Shot of the crowd outside. They're getting restless. Who knows what will happen if these guys don't wrap it up soon? Wide shot. Huge screens out there showing the inside events. Almost as good as  watching it on TV at home.

Will and Kate are back at the altar, standing alone. Gorgeous scene. (Just saw the Palace Guard marching to somewhere. Is there trouble out there?) The singing has stopped.  Kate and Will are kneeling now.  "Lord have mercy upon us."  Now the Lord's Prayer.  Now more preaching.  What an opportunity.  A captive audience,  inside and out.  It goes on and on, with the newlyweds still on their knees.  Good thing they're young.

Now "Jerusalem" by William Blake.  Played at every British Rugby game, someone just said.  The Brits know all the words.  Nice song.  The crowd is waving the Union Jack and cheering. Now the stirring British national anthem, "God Save the Queen".  Everyone singing but the queen herself.

The Maid of Honor just bent over to lift the bride's train.  Oh, my!  The cleavage!  Watch it!

They've all walked behind the altar and are, I presume, leaving the building.  The music is swelling.  Shot of the cathedral from above.  Stunning camerawork.  Really.

Oh, Jeez. I should have known. Here come Will and Kate again.  NOW they're finally walking up the aisle.  Kate is smiling and Will looks somber.  Ah, there's a little uplift of the left side of his mouth. And now a full blown Diana-like shy grin.  All's right again.

They're standing in the doorway and the crowds outside are seeing them for the first time.  They're going wild. Confetti everywhere.  The bells are clanging. The red,black and gold Cinderella-like carriage, the very same that carried Charles and Diana so long ago, has pulled up and Will is adjusting his white gloves. They're entering the carriage. The bells are going wild. Lovely couple.  They're smiling at each other lovingly. This could work.

They're off. They've mastered that Royal side-to-side wave with precious little wrist action. Prancing white horses. Wide-spread jubilation (according to Piers Morgan, who ought to know).

Piers just reminded us that the sun is shining. They're really pleasantly surprised, since it's England in April and heavy rain was actually predicted. I seem to remember that the weather cooperated when Charles and Di were married, too. So much for portents of good things to come.

They're entering  Buckingham Palace and both Will and Harry have saluted as they enter the gates.  The Royal couple have exited the carriage and won't be seen again until they appear on the palace balcony. The queen is arriving behind them. Prince Philip salutes as they enter the gate. Charles and Camilla are in a carriage behind the queen. (I can only guess that Charles, too, has saluted as he passed under the arch.) Aerial view of the crowds. Pretty impressive.

From now on it's all talk. Example: "We have never seen Prince William kiss Kate." They can't stop talking about the long-awaited first kiss. They're actually doing a minute-by-minute countdown until the Big Smooch.

8:30 AMish: Okay, they've kissed. That's it.  We're done here.

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