A month ago, Chomeuse with a Chou, knowing how much I love quotes, challenged me to a repeat of the Three Days Three Quotes Challenge. The whole month of May was devoted to gardening and all things floral, so I set it aside to ponder while digging in the dirt. And speaking of dirt, while viewing the Royal Wedding on Saturday, this Jane Austen quote came to mind as being particularly appropriate, because who doesn’t love a little gossip.
While the royals would hardly be considered my neighbors, I do live in a commonwealth country, (which makes me common and them royal), and I remember learning God Save the Queen years ago in grade school, but otherwise the monarchy doesn’t mean much here in Canada anymore, other than the occasional royal visit, which are few and far between now as people complain about the wasted tax dollars. (Imagine how you would feel if people were expected to give you a party but then complained about the cost – would you want to go?) I am not a royal-watcher but I do have a bit of a soft spot for the Queen as she is the same age as my mum and she has been through so much in her sixty-year reign. So, a few random observations about the wedding of Harry and Megs.
I thought the Queen looked lovely and spring-like in her lime green and purple ensemble – so kudos to whoever put that combination together, plus Prince Philip was looking dapper and quite spry too – no cane two months after hip surgery at 97!
I remember getting up at 5 am to watch Lady Diana’s fairy-tale wedding (and we all know how that turned out, poor girl), but on Saturday I slept in until 7:30 and woke up just as they were saying their vows, so I missed the grand entrance into the church but like fashionistas everywhere all I wanted was to see The Dress. I think it is the nicest royal wedding dress yet. Lady Diana’s was lovely and fitting for a young girl of 21, full of frills and bows and puffy sleeves in the style of the time, but Meghan’s was classic and elegant, in an Audrey Hepburnish way. It was covered, and form-fitting, but not too tight, and no cleavage, (I hate it when brides yank at their strapless gowns to pull them up), so everyone’s attention was on her face. (Beyonce-lovers of the barely-there-strategically-placed-cut-out look should take note of what true elegance is). The veil was exquisite with the additional feature of all that embroidery representing the 52 countries in the commonwealth. Her hair was lovely too, a simple chignon, but those strands on the one side that she kept pushing back annoyed the heck out of me so I can imagine how she felt, plus they ruined the first kiss by dangling in her face. Was it a windy day? Was there a shortage of hairspray? Or maybe they were supposed to be there, as in one of the official photographs they have pulled them out even more, perhaps a quick repair job? Conversely, I did not at all like the dress she wore to the evening reception, some high-necked halter thing that looked saggy in front, but I did like that little Jag convertible, very James Bondish. Imagine driving away to your reception in that little gem.
The bridesmaids and pages were cute, but there should be an age limit on that position. That littlest toddler waddled up the aisle like she was still in diapers. As for Charlotte, she has that royal wave down pat, but no child should be required to wear a hair wreath with flowers bigger than she is. The Mulroney page boys were cute, even if they did photobomb the entrance pic with their missing-teeth grins. One of my favorite pics was a silhouette of the twins holding up her train at the entrance to the church.
Meghan seemed to be a very composed, relaxed, happy bride, but wouldn’t you expect a bit of nerves on your big day? I suppose if you were an actress you would be skilled at covering it up. I recall Kate barely cracked a smile in the church on her wedding day, and looked pale and tired, (plus her and Wills barely glanced at each other so nervous were they), and Diana who was young and nervous (and searching for Camilla), also looked tired under her veil. In contrast Megan was smiling and looked rested, like she’d had a good night’s sleep. But perhaps that is the difference between an introvert and an extrovert. An introvert doesn’t like being the center of attention, (especially when millions of people are watching), while an extrovert actually enjoys it, and as an actress she would be used to having all eyes upon her. If she was nervous, it didn’t show. She certainly has a lot of poise, which is admirable in a way. But all that gaze-into-your eyes and smiling just seemed a wee bit much to me, (like roll playing to the camera), but maybe it just seemed excessive in contrast to the rest of the royals and guests none of whom looked very excited. Maybe it’s against protocol to smile on such a solemn dignified occasion? When they panned the camera over the pews, all I saw was a bunch of blank stoic faces, probably thinking, let’s get this over with and on to the party, although even coming out of the church they didn’t seem like a very joyful crowd. (This could just have been the Canadian telecast however, maybe others had a different point of view?)
The guests: Amal Clooney. If you are that tall, you don’t need sky high heels, even if you do have bored-looking George to cling to if you feel off balance, but no one should ever wear mustard yellow, so pass on the mustard unless you’re at a barbecue. And why oh why did they keep showing Harry’s old girlfriend – she’s jolly well relieved she didn’t sign up for all that pomp and circumstance. Oprah, that dress was too tight, and too pink, and that hat way too extravagant. I didn’t recognize anyone else, but I am not a big TV watcher, and have never seen a single episode of Suits even though it was filmed in Toronto.
Meghan’s mother did well to survive all the attention with dignity and style. She looked nice in her soft green but should have had a better hat. She must be commended for raising such a strong, confident daughter, (and Lady Diana likewise. I hope she was looking down with love on Harry’s special day). Hers was the only face I saw which showed any true emotion, as she was fighting back tears several times. Hey, it’s a wedding, it’s okay to get weepy, although Harry apparently wiped a few tears away too. I felt sorry for her being the only member of her family in attendance, as anyone who has ever gone to the wedding of a friend or colleague and known absolutely no one can sympathize. I just hope they didn’t stick her at the singles table. I felt bad about what the media did to Meghan’s dad before the wedding, but have to wonder, if she’s been going out with Harry for two years, and engaged for six months, and if the news reports are correct that her father had never even met Harry, well that should tell you something. But what would a wedding be without some family dynamics or someone from either side disapproving? Wedding drama always reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Pride and Prejudice.
Although single, Jane Austen had many quotes on the marital state, being the astute observer of human nature that she was. She was a great defender of marrying for love, which was not a common theme in her time, as women were in need of financial support and expected to marry well to have advantages in life, (ie a carriage instead of a Jag). Although it must be said, no one really knows what goes on in a marriage except the couple, as a seemingly ill-suited match might be perfectly happy, while a perfect looking marriage might be hell.
Hats – the day was full of women of all ages in silly hats – if you are going to wear a hat, make it a hat, not a six-inch fascinator. But Kate’s and Camilla’s hats were too elaborate and must have been strategically designed to hide their faces during the service. They were even looking down when the vows were being said. Perhaps they were in shock over the sermon, (does love require a 15 minute sermon, or did the happy couple know he was going to go on and on), and that gospel song I haven’t heard in decades and would rather forget. As Meghan apparently attended a Catholic high school, (where she wore a navy and white uniform similar in ugliness to mine), I’m not sure what religion she is, if any? If that was a nod to her heritage that’s fine, but it did leave me wondering. I did however love the wide-brimmed hat she wore at her first post-wedding appearance – very chic. I have faith in her choice of hats. Except for the Queen, (I loved the purple sprigs on her matching hat), the rest of you ladies are hereby sentenced to watch reruns of Downton Abbey – take notes – not a bad hat to be seen in all six seasons.
Mr. Darcy – Harry was Harry, a decent chap, red and scruffy as usual. (I know grizzly beards are in style, but could he have shaved on his wedding day? His bride was perfection, while he looked ungroomed, pardon the pun). Appearances aside, they seem well suited as a couple. What impressed me was the fact they had gone to Botswana, (must be one of the 52 commonwealth countries), for a three week vacation early in their relationship. Perhaps they just wanted to be alone, but any couple who can safari together can probably live together. But who knows maybe it was glam camping. But then she will be glam living. (Perhaps she was very smiley at a future of not having to work, clean house, do laundry etc. There’s something to be said for having servants, not to mention an unlimited clothing allowance). Plus, if you can handle a herd of wildebeests on safari, you can probably handle the paparazzi. I’m sure she knows what she’s getting into and has the poise and confidence to handle it. I wish them all the best in their married life. As Jane said, they have as good a chance as anyone.
The weather gods certainly smiled on them – it was a picture-perfect day for a wedding, and there’s nothing like some sunshine to light up the mood of the waiting crowds. Even the horses were in high spirits. I noticed they were having a really hard time controlling some of them in the carriage procession. I’ve often wondered who cleans up the streets afterwards? Maybe they don’t feed them beforehand and they were hungry and galloping towards the stables…
Speaking of food, I made tea and rhubarb scones in honor of the occasion while watching the two hour recap in the evening, but the recipe was not the best, so I won’t post it. I should have known better, as it did not have any butter just cream, and the oven temp said 400, which in my oven should be 350, so they turned out burnt on the bottom and soggy in the middle and rather tasteless overall. But they were certainly edible with some strawberry jam, and it gave me a chance to use my new blue teapot. As my grandmother used to say, “there’s a lid for every teapot.” I think I’ll stop now, as I have exceeded my three quotes.