maggiealderson

Perfection

In Famous people, Royal Wedding, The Duchess of Cambridge, Weddings on May 1, 2011 at 9:10 pm

 There wasn’t a wrong note all day.

Well, yes, there was Beatrice’s Lady Gaga hat and Eugenie’s Falstaff doublet, but they were a necessary counterpoint to all the perfection, making it all seem even more perfectly perfect by comparison. (Poor loves, I do hope they get a good stylist after this.)

I was glued to the telly from 8am (having been up much earlier to finish icing 60 red, white and blue cupcakes for the street party…) and was eternally grateful for the long sermon which made it possible for me to make a mercy dash to the loo.

My first peak was William turning up in the splendid red dress uniform of Colonel of the Irish Guards, not the much drabber RAF uniform (although big respeck to that service…), with darling Harry in his fabulous Household Cavalry threads.

Aren’t spurs a good look? Even Prince Charles was working a solid silver spur.

I’m convinced we will be seeing elements of these uniforms in the next round of autumn/winter fashion shows. All that fabulous gold braiding and those trousers with a red stripe really are too divine (although you really need Spencer legs to show them off to full effect…)

Then of course – The Dress. It’s right in at number two, if not the number one spot, in the top ten of all time Royal Wedding Dresses, with Princess Grace’s the only other one in contention.

Demure, yet slinky, elegant and stately, a little bit Tudor, a little bit Victorian – and most marvellously from the house of Alexander McQueen. The boy from the East End tower block. The greatest fashion designer Britain has ever produced.

Sad he didn’t get to design it himself – he committed suicide last year, the day before the funeral of his beloved mother – but in all honesty, I don’t think he could have done a better job. In fact, I think it took a woman’s touch to give this dress such feminine finesse.

And all those ladies appliquéing each shamrock, rose, daffodil and thistle onto the silk tulle by hand at the Royal College of Needlework down at Hampton Court. Washing their hands every 30 minutes, changing their needles every three hours.

I find that connection back to Henry VIII absolutely riveting. That palace is so atmospheric you expect to see him come swinging round every corner. Even more thrillingly, the babe formerly known as Kate Middleton had some of her dress fittings with Sarah Burton actually there. Wonderful stuff.

Then there was the sister’s dress. Ay caramba. Her Royal Hotness. I overheard my husband chatting to a chap who lives along the road about the wedding this morning. Guess which particular detail of it all they were discussing…?

But that’s OK, because I’d just been talking to my niece (26, so just the right age for him…) about Prince Harry. What a player. That sexy equestrian walk, like he’d just tied his horse up in the vestry. That messy hair and the cheekiest grin.

I could go on…. and on…. and on….. and on. Such much more to discuss, like the moment when he winked at her during the service. Holding hands as they went through Admirality Arch. Prince Harry with the tiny bridesmaids in the carriage. The verger cartwheeling down the nave after they’d all left. Driving to Clarence House in Prince Charles’s Aston Martin.

Then my personal memories. Popping down to the Mall for a look the day after and finding the atmosphere was still electric. How incredibly fun and mad our street party was. My 8 year old daughter buying a cheap hair piece with some birthday money today and dressing up as Kate Middleton, with an old net curtain for the veil and dress.

And realising I will be an old lady before anything like this happens again.

As the Duchess of Cambridge said herself: Wow.

For more of me going on about it all:

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/royal-wedding/elegance-the-order-of-the-day-20110430-1e2fm.html

And a link to the Daily Mail’s brilliant website stories, including a lip reader’s translation of what they were saying to each other:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/royalwedding/index.html

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  1. Me, too! Me, too! I was fortunate to be able to watch all the pre, post and wedding festivities from a live online stream from the UK. It was brilliant.
    As you said, perfection. I wasn’t certain i would be able to watch it all, but alas, it held my attention. I especially liked the cartwheel by the verger in Westminster Abbey.
    I loved loved loved all the hats! As a hat collector and one who never steps outside sans hat, I was fascinated. I didn’t mind Eugenie and Beatrice. Whimsical hats are good!

    It was wonderfully engaging. Your account says it all. I wish I could have eaten one of your cupcakes. One of your respondents mentioned Earl Gray cupcakes. What are they?

  2. I think I’m the only one who loved Beatrice’s outfit! Had a gorgeous day out at Hampton Court last year so I can really picture it.

    My 7 year old stayed up and his classic comment was “I think her dress is a little tiny bit too big”. Not used to trains!

    I was surprised how moved I was! 🙂

    Harry really has it, doesn’t he! 😉

  3. Most flattering bridesmaids outfit in the world! (hopefully she’ll start a trend, although if the bride’s not wearing That McQueen there may be a risk of an upstage)

    Threw a pillow at my cheeky daughter who called William ‘baldy’, I think he looked so incredibly handsome, such a gentle face.

    • Well it wouldn’t look like that on many bridesmaids… Do you think she was wearing any undies?

      • She had that certain smile of a girl who was knicker-free, and I’m sure Harry was imagining she wasnt, but then again, probably wearing something boring like spanx (please please say she was wearing spanx for the sake of us mere mortals!)

        Ps congratulations on the new book, loved you on a Sunday and eagerly anticipate re-reading those columns!

  4. You make me want a cheeky daughter!
    I can’tg wait to leave next week to visit England and will be staying in Bath. I hope there are some left over tacky souvenirs for a Yank to buy!
    It must be grand to live in the UK. I am not a happy camper in the U.S.

  5. Oh you’re so right, Prince Harry DOES have such a sexy walk. I also thought Kate’s mum looked amazing – you can see where Kate gets her grace. And I thought I even saw Camilla’s eyes glistening with tears when Kate arrived at the altar. If so, well, that’s nice, wicked stepmother maybe not so wicked after all. I started crying when William and Harry left Clarence House (yes, yes, very early in the piece) – I was really feeling Diana’s absence at that point. More tears when William was saying his vows: Kate’s mouth was doing something strange, I thought, until I realised she was fighting back tears (as I did during my husband’s wedding vows). I could go on, gush gush. Loved every minute.

    • same on all fronts. It took me a while to realise (second or third viewing?) that the Queen was also really choked up and that the reason she looked so stiff and grumpy when Kate curtsied to her was because she is SO old school and just can’t show emotion (= all Prince Charles’ problems…). When I found out the provenance of the tiara it said it all. That is her way of showing how much she approves. Really really adorable. And Lordie, how terrible to be a monarch…

  6. Beautiful dress, gorgeous couple, all three girls in our house loved it…yay for love and happiness, a tribute to Diana’s parenting.

  7. I have post wedding blues, it really was perfect! Even my wedding-hating husband was glued to the tv (possibly something to do with the bridesmaid???).

    When Kate reached the altar I was thinking how lovely that she scores Harry as a brother-in-law. You get the feeling he’d be an ally and help lighten any “we are not amused” moments.

    Did anyone else see Zara Phillips and her fiancé popping pills during the service? They must have been breath mints but the way they did it made it seem like something a lot more fun. Probably because they knew it would look like they were up to no good… Which it did. I loved it!

    • Yes! I think Zara looks like SO much fun. They were probably Tic Tacs. My post-wedding blues are just settling in…. it was a magic carpet ride.

  8. It was all perfect wasn’t it?

  9. Yep. It was all good. Beautiful, even. And I, a committed Republican, had to admit defeat on this one!. I just stood around smiling and got nothing else done all day!
    Sartorial splendor rating high per capital, sadly taking a bit of a downturn when Beatrice and Eugenie’s unfortunate outfits came into view. They need help!

  10. No one has mentioned Kate’s fluffy white angora cardigan with her evening gown. Gasping with envy. Totally right and totally perfect. I too noticed Kate’s mouth during the vows. Thought at first it was terrible nerves, then realised she was holding back tears. Oh! I love her.

    • I wasn’t very keen on the evening outfit. Partic hated the fluffy cardie, thought it was naff – so I’m glad someone liked it! Wasn’t it a bit weird to wear white again?

      • I thought it was weird to get changed at all. I didn’t want to take my wedding dress off (well, except for much, much later, ahem). Maybe its the done thing in the UK with the morning wedding/evening party? When I first saw it, I thought it was the same dress with lace top removed and diamante belt put on. I’ve seen brides with dresses that have removable bits for dancing in later.

      • I find everything about weddings weird. That’s why I’ve been married twice and never had a wedding! Register office in out…

  11. I would love to share some hat photos. However, not being that adept at techie stuff and also being visually challenged — I am not aware of how to insert a photo. Does anyone know? Is it even possible to put a photo on a blog comment?

  12. My dream wedding. Now, my dream boots. Love how Kate wears things us commoners can buy. http://bit.ly/hgp3tW

  13. I get what you mean about white again in the evening though I stand by that cardi! And yes, Anne at Home, morning/evening dos are quite UK.

    Weddings are weird. I sometimes wish we’d done the registry office … better clothing options for one thing.

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