Monday, April 18, 2011

A royal wedding

The anticipation is building as news broadcasters keep reminding us that it is almost time for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. April 29. Now less than two weeks away.

Coverage of the wedding is scheduled to begin at 2:00 in the morning. I'll be sure to set my alarm. 

But in the event that I will likely sleep right through the night, we are sure to see it repeated, repeated, and repeated again throughout the days to follow.

Planning this wedding has to be akin to producing a Broadway musical. Bigger, actually, because the entire city of London is getting an extreme makeover to prepare for the big day.

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment have been busy rehearsing for their role. Two choirs, the London Chamber Orchestra, and two fanfare teams will perform. It is a huge production.

If I were William and Kate, I might steal away to a remote island and be wed in private. Then announce it and fool the whole world.  But wouldn't we all feel cheated?

While we are all set to watch the beautiful occasion on television, I am reminded of similar royal events we were invited to join via television: Prince Charles' and Lady Diana's wedding, Princess Diana's funeral with Elton John performing Goodbye, England's Rose. There wasn't a living room anywhere that didn't have viewers with dry eyes.

But the most memorable Royal occasion for me was the crowning of Queen Elizabeth.

A while back, I told you of the little duplex our family lived in during the early 50s.  Next door to us, in a huge house that was our church parsonage, lived the Drews family.

The Drews’ had purchased a television set, perhaps for the express purpose, but definitely just in time for the broadcast of the Royal Coronation.  It was June 1953, and I was watching my very first television program.

It was an exciting evening as we all gathered around the little black and white television with the rounded screen, its place of honor on top of the dining room buffet.

We watched in awe at the Royal procession of the Queen. And we were breathless as the Queen bowed her head ever so slightly and the heavy, jeweled, platinum crown was placed on her head.

She was so somber, yet so beautiful, so regal. A Queen.

And now, we will catch our collective breath again as we watch this graceful, young bride walk down the very long aisle of Westminster Abbey to meet her groom, and become royalty.

Every so often, we need a glimpse of royalty in a fairy-tale land that is not ours. We need our faith restored in dreams that come true, in beauty, grace, and goodness.  We need this wedding.

So I hope they do not secretly escape to a remote island. And as I watch and hold my breath, I will remember the other royal events that made me feel a bit of magic and majesty.

I'm so glad we are all invited.