I know a lot of people, even Brits themselves, loathe the whole idea of royalty. If I had to live with it every day, I might, too. But I must confess, I watched and adored every second of the royal wedding.
And there are several good reasons for every conservative to indulge themselves in a bit of royal fun thanks to Prince Harry. Or Duke Harry or whatever.
First of all, I don't really follow the royals. This morning, I thought the bad boy of the British royal family was marrying some Brit socialite. He's dated them all, hasn't he? Some game lass had finally landed the spare heir to the throne.
But no, I found out, as I begin to read the tweets. He's marrying an American girl. Whoa!!!! This is big news. I didn't think royals were allowed to marry Americans. Then, it turned out she was a bona fide actress, not just some extra who'd gotten a SAG card. She was a real working actress, who'd started from nowhere. Impressive. In my book, that's very impressive, because I know how hard real actors work. Then, as I read a bit more, there was something even more unusual about her. She was of African heritage. OMG!!!! Okay, now I knew we were dealing with the wedding of the century. This was a history making event in every way.
And to top it all off, as I watched the glorious wedding, crying, of course, (Gender fact: women always cry at weddings.) it was obvious that Meghan Markle was very certainly the prettiest princess I had ever seen, even in history books. I mean, this child is drop dead gorgeous.
After discovering what a stunning couple the young royals were, my second favorite thing about the wedding was watching all the rich and famous of the world, who usually think they are above EVERYTHING, pull themselves together and act like nice ladies and gentlemen, as befits the house of God, and to see them show some respect for King and Country, or Queen and Country, in this case.
I could see tattoos above the high collars, but the flaunting of the thonged bare butt cheeks, or the awful clothes that no normal human being would ever chose to wear, and the usual sloppy, screw-you attitude was buttoned up neatly for a change. They actually behaved. Didn't see anybody snorting coke, or falling asleep. All those rich, spoiled elitists sat up straight and minded their P's and Q's. Astonishing. Gratifying to know something can make them mind their manners.
Wow! That alone was worth the price of admission. And I am sure had it not been that Harry married a wonderful, worthy young woman like Meghan, the elite would have skipped the whole shindig in favor of sunning their six pack abs on a beach somewhere, instead of honoring the sacrament of Christian marriage in a proper church.
But the most fun was the long drive home to the castle in an open, horse-drawn carriage, led and followed by a phalanx of horsemen, all decked out in red uniforms and shiny gold helmets, atop their splendid mounts, bobbing alongside the newlyweds. There was even one spritely horse who was a bit too spirited, perhaps spooked by the thunderous cheers of the crowd.
How joyous to cheer for the happiness of such a winning couple! And make no mistake, William will be king, but that Harry owns the heart of the nation was palpably demonstrated by the roaring cheers of the seemingly endless crowds. Oh, yes, Meghan had better be good to him or she will disappoint them sorely. And Harry had better be triply the perfectly devoted husband or he's going to become the public whipping boy.
Witnessing all the ceremony, the pomp and circumstance, the tradition, devoid of political or mercenary motives, impressed the hell out me. Perhaps, one can accuse the royal family of being mercenary, except when the going got tough in WWII, they stood with their country and took it. They played their role, strange and vague as it has become to be a royal in the modern age.
Now, I suspect my ancestors, who escaped from European aristocratic abuse, are rolling in their grave as I write this, but we in this country have lost so much respect for ceremony and tradition, I must say I miss it. And I think, somehow, we might do with a bit more of it.