Friday, April 29, 2011

The Wedding of the Century

Tonight is the night before the Wedding of the decade Wills Windsor will make an honest woman of his mistress Kate Middleton after eight years of  will he won't he. It is going to be an expensive affair and already the crowds of sightseers are camping in the Mall. The flags are out and UK is set for a party and why not!

I am a died in the wool republican. I cannot see the use of an inherited monarchy but even I shall watch tonight from New Zealand if I can stay awake that long as the wedding is in the middle of the night in my country. It will possibly be the last royal wedding I live to see and you never know it might be the last royal wedding in UK.

The hype and spin has been over the top so different from the wedding of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in November 1947 to Prince Philip of Greece. It was just after the war and London and England was recovering from the bombs and deprivations of a World War. Rationing was normal and incredibly tough. Clothes and furniture both needed coupons. I never had a new coat or a dressing gown till I was fifteen. In 1947 I was four.

My father and mother took me to walk down the Mall on the night before the wedding. I was four nearly five. I remember being taken on the tube and I remember walking around the Queen Victoria  Monument in front of Buckingham Palace.  There were lots of people but no crowds, no decorations and certainly nobody camping in the mall. It was all very low key.

There was no television broadcast either, that did not come until the Coronation in 1953 so the general public was not really involved. It was dark and cold and I was very tiny.

My main memory and it is a remarkable one is that my father gave his four year old daughter a lesson in percentages. He remarked  that of all the people in the Mall that night possibly only 4% would be in the Abbey the next day. I think he over estimated. Daddy then went on to explain to me in great detail how percentages worked. My mother told him I was a bit young for this but I grasped the concept and I didn't meet this concept again until I was 13.

I even remember where I was when Daddy told me right at the bottom of the Mall on the left looking back from Buckingham Palace.

But I do know someone whose grandson will be in the Abbey tomorrow. Glory by association! This person's grandson is a best friend of Jamie and Kate and is going to all three events!  I wonder what that percentage would be?

So good luck Wills and Kate. I wish you well but I wouldn't be you for all the coat of arms in the world. Impossible job. Now for that dress........

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