Observations on a little wedding you might have heard about

In no particular order, my snarky observations from Royal Wedding Day:

  • You would have thought that Samantha Cameron had shown up buck-naked (as opposed to just bare-headed) the way the press went on and on about this “controversy”
  • Apparently it is fair game for the press (the BBC, no less) to slag off the mother of the bride’s usual fashion sense and act all surprised that they weren’t offended by what she was wearing today.
  • As long as we’ve started with fashion, what on earth compelled princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to wear such bizarre costumes? And really, those “hats” are more “respectful” than SamCam’s bare head?
  • I didn’t love the dress. I thought it made the bride’s chest look strange. There, I said it. Shoot me now.
  • Pippa’s dress was awesome though. Although I never seem to get used to little girls in frilly dresses being called “bridesmaids”…
  • And oh by the way, with the complete obsession with Britishness that pervaded throughout the run-up to this day (the emphasis on a British bridal designer, British composers for the music, etc.) how on earth was French lace allowed for the Bride?
  • Why did her Dad just stand there after “giving her away” (an antiquated part of the ceremony that I hate…)
  • Seriously, when there is only one ring you just skip the other half of the typical words associated with the ring part? It felt really asymmetric and just wrong to me.
  • I’ve been to an Anglican and British wedding. I dislike all the hymn-singing. Especially in this large of a venue, when it is impossible for there not to be a several second delay separating the organ and the attempts at singing by the guests trying, in vain, to follow the choir. Watching the cameras zoom in on how uncomfortable everyone clearly was during the hymns was sort of fun, though.
  • All of the overhead cameras were a bit creepy with all the cleavage shots. That view was also pretty harsh for the groom, whose bald spot is shinier than I realized.
  • The strange British speech pattern that gives us “pasta” pronounced as “PASS-ta” instead of “PAWS-ta” also gives us a rather interesting pronunciation of “mall” that I had not heard before and did not see coming, given how “bath” and similar words are pronounced here.
  • I really did not realize that “Do not be haughty” was in the bible… I need to check what translation that was.
  • I miss “you may kiss the bride” and no, that balcony scene did not make up for its lack.
  • British royal titles are really confusing. Apparently you have to be born a princess, if you marry a prince you take his name (!) like Princess Michael of Kent. Since “Princess William” sounds silly, we’ll be hearing “Duchess of Cambridge” a lot from now on…
  • The whole “Jerusalem” thing must really have confused the Americans watching the broadcast. I’ve been here nearly five years and I’m still sort of dumbstruck by the entire thing. I would have loved to listen to the American commentary trying to explain that one to the American public… (Did anyone hear any commentary on this?)
  • Have you ever really paid attention to the lyrics of “God Save the Queen”? Not the least repetitive song I’ve ever heard…
  • Given how excellent the TfL tea-towel design is, was anyone else disappointed to hear “I will” instead of “I do”? (And yes, that is the only royal wedding souvenir I bought.)
  • Back to the British vs French thing again, my apologies, but why is the Prince’s middle name “Lou-ee” and not “Lou-iss”?
  • What’s Kate’s last name now? I know officially the Prince is supposed to be some double-barrelled concoction that includes “Windsor” but he seems to go by “Wales” all the time. Kate Wales? Kate Cambridge? What?
  • I think I figured out why everyone wanted to watch this. Normally when celebrities get married it’s not televised, and if it is then it’s usually really tacky (The Bachelorette or some bad E-TV special with D-list celebrities). So it’s not that often that a nice wedding gets shown on the telly.
  • You have to feel for all the people sitting in the back forty who could not see a thing.

OK I’ll stop. It was an interesting sight to behold, to say the least. And no, I never once even considered going into central London to fight the crowds.

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20 responses to “Observations on a little wedding you might have heard about

  1. What a sour bitch you are.

  2. Why are you “dumbstruck” about Jerusalem?

  3. Since I had a media-black-out all day, yours is my first impression of the wedding, thanks!

    Miscellaneous comments (mostly language-y–you know me):

    In case you’re interested, I’ve done the ‘mall’:
    http://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com/2006/09/malls.html

    As far as I know, the French pronunciation of Louis is always used here.

    If they had sung all the verses to God Save the Queen, there would have been this one: “Lord grant that Marshal Wade, May by thy mighty aid, Victory bring. May he sedition hush, And like a torrent rush, Rebellious Scots to crush, God Save the Queen”

  4. I wasn’t a fan of the dress either! I thought it was very plain.

    • I’ve seen close-up photos of the lace work after the fact and suspect that it did not photograph well for TV, but still stand by my original assessment that the bodice construction was a bit strange. All of the comparisons with Grace Kelly made me look into those images and I liked the Grace Kelly dress much more.

      • I COMPLETELY agree about the chest part in her dress! I thought the dress was beautiful but then I was surprised that in the millions of pieces of content in the media, not one “fashion expert” mentioned the fact that actually, let’s be honest, it made Kate’s “mammaries” a little pointy and separated into two spheres more akin to Madonna circa Blonde Ambition or a robo-alien rendering of a human female. I just felt like for all that money and hype and importance, why couldn’t her chest look more normal like a good padded bra can give you?

  5. I know of at least one Northfield Mount Hermon School (New England boarding school) alumna who was singing along with Jerusalem as it is their school song! They sang it at her wedding too – which was really interesting as it was a Catholic wedding and it is not (AFAIK) a hymn usually sung in Catholic churches.

    The dress was OK – but I thought . . . umm . . .how to phrase this delicately . . . that she looked cold (if you know what I mean?)

    • Yes! I know exactly what you mean and agree completely, there was something about the bodice construction that just was not right and that was part of it, I found it really distracting as my eyes kept getting drawn to her chest and not in a good way. And it carried through to the evening gown she wore later, which suffered the same fate… in both cases, I thought Pippa’s dresses were far better.

  6. I’m trying to think what the American commentary said about Jerusalem. I think they said that it was a favourite of William and Kate, and so it was a personal choice, though it had also been a favourite of Diana’s, so was a tribute to her as well. Oh, and they said “No doubt William and Kate also imagined the crowds outside the Abbey enjoying joining in”.

    I lived in London for 11 years, British born and bred, and I still get confused by The Mall, because though it’s generally accepted that it’s pronounced to rhyme with vall (as in valley), there’s a parallel street called Pall Mall which some people pronounce to rhyme with vall, but others pronounce to rhyme with fall. And then, of course, we’ve been corrupted by the shopping mall, which didn’t exist as a concept or a word until relatively recently in British history.

  7. Omg! hahaha.

    -I was a little floored when they said “I will.” HAHAHA.
    – Pippa’s dress was faaboosh. She rocked it.
    – Kate’s dress was nice and modern. I would have liked to see her walk down the isle in the dress Pippa wore.
    – David Beckham had his medal on the wrong lapel! Double ha ha!
    – In the just released family portrait of the Royals. Why is Harry beside Will and Kate’s father beside her? Pippa stuck on the end. Weird.
    – Those bloody hats. One looked like the back drop of my grandmothers wardrobe.

    At least you watched the coverage in English. The Italian commentators talked over everything!! The singing, the I do’s, everything, very annoying. And a horrible emotionless translation at that.

    Hilarious post.

  8. I thought the hats were amazing – that’s the fun of weddings – the chance to wear an OTT hat and belt out all the hymns you thought you’d forgotten plus Jerusalem, which is a universal favourite . Are you saying US weddings
    don’t have hymns? How sad!

  9. Very interesting to hear an American perspective! Totally agree about SamCam, Beatrice and Eugenie.
    I’m afraid the ceremony was just very traditionally British, not strange at all to me – we do not say ‘you may kiss the bride’, yes the Father does just stand there during the marriage, and – the husband wearing a ring is not traditional, it is a relatively recent thing (my husband does not wear one), so you usually just have the one part about the ring.
    To explain; Jerusalem is not just sung as a rugby song, it is a patriotic hymn that many schools sing at the end and beginning of term, so it probably has that connotation for many people and therefore makes them feel quite emotional.
    Louis is correct pronunciation in UK – the other way would be spelt Lewis.

  10. I don’t think the lace was French – I understood it to have been hand-made by the ladies that normally repair such things at Hampton Court. I suspect that the detail work is a lot more spectacular close up and I’m looking forward to it being put on display, as is being promised. If you haven’t been yet, looking at the dresses in the costume section of the Victoria and Albert museum might be a nice day out – they’re amazing.

  11. The Chantilly was made in France. The other lace was made in UK. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/30/royal-wedding-dress-microscope

  12. Johnny Optional

    His middle name is after his great uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was blown up by the IRA. He was Prince Charles favorite uncle and his name was always pronounced with the silent s.

  13. Not my most genius of moments, but I was genuinely surprised to see the Queen not singing our national anthem. As my American husband said, “well, duh”.

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