In 1981 I woke up before dawn to watch Charles and Di's wedding with my Daddy. It was one of the neatest experiences we ever had together. My Daddy has since passed, and I wanted to make this a tradition with my daughter. So this morning we got up before dawn and watched....and oohed and aahed and even shed a few tears of happiness and bittersweet memories of Princess Diana. It was the stuff fairytales are made of. It was wonderful.
I captured the experience in a play-by-play of sorts. And here it is.
3:30 am. Love the live trees lining the aisle of Westminster Abbey. Very "New York" looking I think.
3:30a.m. Hats galore as guests arrive. Note the difference between a hat and a "fascinator."
3:48a.m. They are not called chartered buses in London. They are "motor coaches" my dear.
4:00a.m. British commentator: "What a great day to be British." Anderson Cooper of CNN: "What a great day to be a Commoner."
4:05a.m. Chelsy Davy, longtime girlfriend of Prince Harry arrives.....in the door for "incidental guests." OUCH!
4:07a.m. About those "fascinators".....how do they stay perfectly balanced on one side of the head? Do you get a big time headache after an hour or two of wearing something on only one side of your head?
4:10 a.m. Anderson Cooper of CNN: "Do you have to keep referring to non Brits as Commoners." British commentator: "Yes."
4:13a.m. British commentator in the crowds ask a woman from Boston, USA what she was looking most forward to. She replies, "the Kiss, the Kiss!" Gotta love American honesty!
4:20a.m. David and Victoria Beckham arrive. They look beautiful. He is scrumptious and she is pregnant and radiant!
4:21a.m. Becca is awake and ready to watch with me.
4:22a.m. British commentator on Brits..."They love to party." Well now!
4:29a.m. Princess Diana's brother arrives. Remembering his speech at her funeral. Bittersweet.
4:35a.m. Mr. Bean arrives. Did I just hear the commentator say that he is a relative? Well now....Imagine having Mr. Bean as your cousin.
4:47a.m. Elton John and David Furnish arrive. I love the fact that even though the guests seated are well to do Brits, they still drop their jaws and ooh and ahh when he walks by.
4:50am. Just saw a woman arrive with a fascinator SO large with a large pokey stick thing. I think she just might hurt the persons seated on either side of her. Hope she sits still.
4:55a.m. Another shot of Elton John. It would be so tough to sit beside him at the wedding and keep myself quiet. The whole time I would be refraining myself from singing, "B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets" in his ear.
5:02a.m. I am currently fixed on ABC's coverage rather than CBS and NBC. There's something about Babawa Walters and Diane Sawyer together. Lovin' it.
5:04a.m. Prime Minister of England arrives with his wife. She is NOT wearing a hat or fascinator but a small comb. Very unique and pretty. Love that she is being different.
5:12a.m. Just spotted a woman in drag in Hyde Park. Love it!
5:13a.m. First glimpse of Wills and Harry leaving Clarence House in a Bentley. They look SO handsome in their uniforms. Prince William looks like the Prince in Cinderella. Just sayin!
5:19a.m. ABC commentator on the Princes Harry and Wills. "They truly are best friends."
5:20a.m. I love that William broke with tradition and had a "best man" instead of "a supporter." And that he is wallking down the aisle in Westminster with his brother.
5:25a.m. Prince Albert of Monaco and his fiance arrive. Wonder if she'll be taking notes during the ceremony for her future wedding this summer?
5:30a.m. Commentator just announced that many personal staff are invited as guests. Very cool considering that Wills and Kate were given an allotment of 150 personal guests each to invite. There are 1900 guests invited in all.
5:32a.m. Mother of the Bride arrives with Kate's brother. Her mother looks simple and elegant in a soft grey/blue.
5:37a.m. Close family of the Queen arrives. The Duchess of Kent looks beautiful. Her hat is so wide brimmed, though, that you cannot see her face. La de dah!
5:39a.m. Becca nods off.
5:42a.m. First glimpse of the Queen.....in bright sunny yellow. Very pretty.
5:44a.m. Prince Charles and Camilla arrive at Westminster. She looks...well...as good as she can. She is no Diana.
5:47a.m. Another glimpse of the Queen in her car. There is a blue blanket covering her legs. I love that she gets chilly while riding in a car....just like me!
5:49a.m. And the royal trumpets play as the Queen is announced in Westminster.
5:50a.m. Barbawa WaWa just mentions that the Queen owns some 5,000 hats. Thank you Babawa.
5:52a.m. First glimpse of Kate getting in the car. Lace bodice, flowing not poofy train. Her hair is down.
5:53a.m. Kate waves to the crowd from her car. Not a "screwing in a light bulb" wave, but a "hi, how are ya!" wave. I hope that never changes.
5:55a.m. Commentator just mentions that Kate wanted to wear her hair as she normally does so that Wills would recognize her. Is that sweet or what?
5:56a.m. Pippa arrives with the bridesmaids. She is gorgeous. The silhouette of her dress is amazing!
6:02a.m. Kate arrives at Westminster. Beautiful.
6:02a.m. Kate's father appears to say to her, "Are you alright?" I am tearing up right now.
6:04a.m. Wills and Harry walk into the ceremonial area. Harry hands off his program to a foreign person (shiek or sultan)? I wonder...was this planned or a quick discard? Insert chuckle.
6:08a.m. Shot of Harry looking back at Kate coming down the aisle. He looks at his brother and seems to say, "Wait til you see Katherine."
6:09a.m. Wills and Kate are side by side. William says to Kate, "You look beautiful."
6:10 a.m. A hymn is sung. Shot of Elton John singing...while reading the words. Love it!
6:13a.m. Ceremony begins. Missing Princess Di right now. How different would it be?
6:16a.m. Wills...."I will."
6:16a.m. Kate...."I will."
6:18a.m. Beautifully said vows. No blunders at all.
6:21a.m. Arch Bishop takes off his hat before praying. He forgot to shave and get a haircut.
6:23a.m. Random shot of Orlando, Florida. Little girls and their Moms at Disney's wedding pavilion watching the ceremony. Too cute!
6:27a.m. Kate's brother speaks. I think very reminscent of Princess Di's brother's speech at her funeral. I wonder if that was the intent. Very moving.
6:36a.m. Shot of the Queen. Is she sleeping or reading her program?
6:37a.m. Shot of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Train wrecks of fashion...once again.
6:39a.m. A prayer is read that William and Kate composed together. Very simple. Speaks of humility and servitude.
6:45a.m. As each part of the ceremony is completed, you can now hear the crowds cheering outside Westminster Abbey.
6:49a.m. Random thought. I can't wait to see a side by side photo comparision of Kate with Princess Grace in their wedding gowns. I am thinking the look is very similar.
6:52a.m. And the trumpets sound! "God Save the Queen."
6:59a.m. Commentators explain that from now on Kate is curtesed to by everyone EXCEPT the Queen and Camilla, who are the only two women of higher royal status than her.
7:03a.m. Random thought. The little choir boys deserve MAJOR Happy Meals (or whatever they call them in England) for singing for such a long time. They ROCK!
7:05a.m. Down the aisle they come. They curtsey and bow to the Queen. Kate is so poised. I wonder how many Tylenol it took to get her that way?
7:08a.m. Harry and Kate's sister Pippa follow down the aisle smiling and chatting. Penny for those thoughts! They look like they could have some fun together!
7:09a.m. The bells of Westminster ring as they emerge from Westminster Abbey.
7:10a.m. Wills puts on his gloves before he helps her into the carriage. How princely!
7:19a.m. Harry riding in a carriage with the little attendants is absolutely adorable. He is such a rascal!
7:20a.m. Wills is smiling more broadly with every foot traveled by the carriage. It's that same dimpled smile he had as a little boy.
7:23a.m. Babawa Wawa: "Nobody does it like the British." I do wish America had just a little of a fairy tale like this. Maybe one day we will have another Camelot.