Most of the folks I know are Republicans, which means that they would rather have an elected head of state than royalty (somewhat the opposite from what Republicans in the US seem to prefer). So, there was a good deal of eye-rolling and head-shaking about the expense, the pretense, and the disruptions of the Royal Wedding.
But, like Cambridge itself (of which the couple is the new Duke and Duchess, over protests from Oxford), I see it as tradition preserved and pageantry executed, and nobody does that better than the British. The clockwork precision of the events and the ceremonial color of the civil and religious peers was fun to see, and I thought that the set design for Westminster, with trees in the chapel and blue lighting along the heights, was really well done. I always enjoy a new Rutter composition. And the fly-by was dramatic, with the high-angle shots of the Landcaster coming in low over the city.
I’d considered going down to the city (a number of people asked if I was going and to pick up a souvenir or picture), but the police were keeping the crowds well back along the routes and I’d almost have to camp out overnight to get a position to see anything. The BBC1 coverage was excellent, and it was nicer to sit with neighbors and drink champagne and name the faces going by.
Kate is still a cipher, blank and posed; the Queen could have smiled a bit or lingered on the balcony for a wave. William had the expected grin and swagger, more fun; the elbow poking with his brother was familiar and relaxed. The kiss was perfunctory, I didn’t catch them holding hands at any time – it’s a tough event to march through but I would have reached over for some familiar warmth through the sea of impersonal faces and flags.
Missing being part of the (other) Queen’s Day celebrations in the Netherlands tomorrow – I’ll sit out with a Pimms and wear a bit of bright orange for the occasion.