Royal wedding watch party: success!

This morning’s watch party, aka reason to open champagne at 9:00 a.m., was a smash success. We had all the elements of a good party: fun people, plenty of good food, copious amounts of alcohol, and high-quality people-watching.

The ladies sported fascinator hats popularized by the new Duchess of Cambridge. Seems fascinators have become all the rage since the ever-fashionable Kate favors them. Mine was the lamest one at the watch party, because it was a last-minute addition to my garden-party frock and in the interest of full-disclosure, is a clip-on flower belonging to Macy. I grabbed that out of Macy’s hair-art drawer right before the party started rather than fashioning a fascinator out of feathers, as our guests did. Jill’s mom, Joan (visiting from St. Louis) and my mother-in-law, Jody (visiting from Kentucky) had grey and lilac feathers respectively. Jill’s was blush pink, and all were lovely.

They paled in comparison, however, to Keith’s head-covering. 

Embracing the royal occasion and tradition of “frivolous, oversized hats,” Keith came up with the mother of all hats. Whimsically created with found objects, this inspiring chapeau featured a jaunty elephant, which provided the height so desired in an outlandish hat. Candace from “Phineas and Ferb” contributed a nice diagonal line and bolt of bright red. The one lone eyeball from an unseen creature in the center of the hat sends a playful yet contemplative message.

I hope those girls Beatrice and Eugenie don’t get wind of Keith’s creation. They might storm the party and gobble him, and his hat, right up.


It’s been said that these girls were trying to send a snarky message because their mom, Sarah Ferguson, was purposefully excluded from the royal wedding. Sweet Lord, I hope that’s the reason they chose those hideous hats.

Yesterday I wrote about William perhaps missing his mom, Princess Diana, on his special day. In my effort to avoid seeing any photos or footage of the royal wedding before my delayed watch party, I didn’t hear anything about whether there were intentional efforts by the newlyweds to include Diana’s memory, so I was super happy read this quote from William, about giving his mom’s engagement ring to his beloved: “It’s my mother’s engagement ring. Obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all — this was my way of keeping her close to it all.” Very nice, Wills.

There were several intentional tips of the hat (or fascinator) to Diana. Kate selected the same flowers that Diana had in her bridal bouquet. The Sweet William and lily of the valley flowers made for a demure bouquet that carried a powerful message.

Kate’s mom, Carole Middleton, chose a dress that was designed by one of Diana’s favorite designers, Catherine Walker.

Diana worked with Walker for much of the 16 years between her wedding to Charles and her untimely death, and it’s estimated that Walker designed some 1,000 frocks for the late princess, including the black dress in which Diana was buried. Walker is credited with some of Diana’s most iconic outfits.

I was glad to see that William and Kate made such an endearing effort to include Diana in the wedding. This screen shot of William next to a photo of his mama makes my heart sad and glad at the same time. Genetics are a powerful thing, and the mannerisms that parents impart to children, unbeknownst to the child, speak volumes. The fact that William exhibited the same nervous half-smile with a slightly bowed head that his mama used to exhibit is a small shard of hope that exists after the loss of someone dear. I’m sure Diana would have given her eye teeth to have been at that wedding, but hopefully she was shining down on the newlyweds and emitting some powerful motherly love.

My favorite image from the day was not of either William or Kate, nor a celebrity. 

It was William’s goddaughter, standing next to Kate on the palace balcony after the ceremony. There was a cool flyover of vintage fighter planes, and it must have been too loud for this little darlin. She reminds me a lot of the little darlin who lives at my house.

Here’s the tiniest member of the royal wedding party silently protesting, while the newlyweds share a smooch in front of the immense crowd.

Kate looked every inch the princess as she stepped out of the car to head into Westminster Abbey

and in her second outfit for the after-party, which something tells me Diana would have given an enthusiastic two thumbs up.

I think Kate would have similarly approved of our fascinators.

Wedding day thoughts

I’m not posting any pics of newlyweds William and Kate, because I’m having a little watch party for the recorded royal wedding tomorrow morning. Really, it’s a chance to drink champagne and eat scones, and I never turn down the chance to celebrate.

I’m really not all that into the royal wedding, so I’m a little sheepish about having a watch party; however, if I’m going to do it, I’m gonna do it right, and I don’t want to see any pictures of any of the festivities before my little watch party.

Apparently this requires me to stay inside my house with the blinds drawn and the computer, TV, and radio switched off.

Went to the gym first thing this morning, to un-do some of the damage I’m going to do this weekend (I’m still celebrating my cancer-versary, after all). All the ladies in the gym were talking about royal wedding this and beautiful gown that. I told LeRoy I was having a little watch party and didn’t want to see any of the footage until then. First he grilled me about what I would be eating and drinking at the party, then he said, “Good luck — there are 3 TVs upstairs and you’ll be in front of them, on the elliptical machine, for 20 minutes.”

I reminded him that I’m as stubborn as a wild hog and if I say I’m not going to see any royal wedding footage until tomorrow, then you can take that to the bank. Yes, there are indeed 3 TVs upstairs, and they were tuned to CNN, ESPN, and whatever channel airs Regis & Kelly’s show. Two of the three were showing royal wedding footage (good old reliable “Sports Center” had NFL draft junk and baseball highlights). Thank you, “Sports Center!”

Although, I do have a bone to pick with SC, which plays on a seemingly constant loop at my house, thanks to the 11-year-old boy who resides with me. In this morning’s baseball footage, which I saw once at home and once at the gym, they dutifully covered the Red Sox’s 6-2 pounding of the Orioles, but they lost a golden opportunity and made the pitiful decision to show Adrian Gonzalez instead of  Jacoby Ellsbury.


The baseball highlights are brief, and photo opps are precious. Nothing against A-Gon; he’s a stand-up player who’s a lot of fun to watch. But really?? Showing him instead of my boy crush, Ells? Terrible TV journalism.

Ells had a great game and is on a hot streak: last night he had 3 hits, as he had done the night before, and was the hero with a bases-loaded single up the middle to score 2 runs. Ells is 6-for-10 the last two games, and I predict even more great things for him.

Since Ells was robbed–along with the women of America–here’s the Ells shot for the day. I could post more, but I’ll be good.

You’re welcome, ladies.

I’ll be writing a scathing complaint to SC after I finish this post.

Back to the royal wedding.

I managed to not see any footage, a victory that matters to no one, but there it is nonetheless. I did get to thinking, though, about the other royal wedding in my lifetime, that of Charles and Diana

They tied the royal knot in July of 1981, and I had just turned 12. My family had recently traveled to London, and there was quite a lot of hub-bub about the grand event, and being an impressionable young girl, I thought the whole thing was very exciting. My mom and I got up at the crack of dawn to watch it live, London time, and I feel like a bit of loser for having my watch party the day after, but who the hell wants to come over at 3 in the morning? Even for champagne. 

Charles and Diana’s wedding seemed to be a fairy tale, with the grandeur of the monarchy and all the pomp & circumstance that goes along with it. They were elegant and lovely, although my mom couldn’t understand why her wedding dress was so wrinkled! I didn’t notice that, but did wonder if the fashion-forward Di ever looked back and regretted her hairstyle on that momentous day. I know I regretted mine.

Sadly, their fairy tale didn’t have a happy ending. Even though Di carried out her princessy duties with great elan, she never quite fit in with the other royals, including her husband. Her death in a car wreck in August 1997, at the age of 36, was tragic. Just tragic. That she was so young, and was just starting to find some happiness, and that she had two young boys who were the light of her life, is just so very tragic. But as we all know, tragedy knows no bounds and strikes randomly. 

She seemed to be a fun-loving mom who wanted her boys to be noble but also real. Now that I’m a mother, I know how hard it is to raise kids, period, much less royal ones. I’ve known plenty of kids who were royal pains, my own included, but these boys seem to be the real deal. They seem to know how to be serious about their official family duties but also lead full and individualized lives.

Of course, all this got me thinking about William on his wedding day, and how very much he must be missing his mama, despite all the excitement and the festivities. I’ve heard it said that William’s new wife shares some of Diana’s traits, and I hope that her legacy lives on through this young couple.

Marriage is hard, plain and simple. It requires hard work, even when one’s spouse is easy-going and fun-loving, like mine is. Carrying out one’s marriage under the microscope and in the spotlight must be even harder, as the world saw with Charles and Diana. I hope the newlyweds have an easier time, and I hope Kate learned from Diana’s example about how to remain true to yourself while fulfilling your obligations.

I’ll never forget watching Diana’s funeral, and seeing the millions of people lining the streets. Emotions were raw as a nation, and perhaps the entire world, mourned the loss of “the People’s Princess.” 

Watching those teenage boys, one of whom was about my own boy’s age now, walking  along the procession route for their mama’s funeral is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. The grace and maturity William and Harry displayed is a testament to the woman who raised them.

They had to have been so shocked, so sad, and so bereft, yet they knew the eyes of the world were upon them, and like their mama had done so many times, they bucked up and got on with it, fulfilling their duty like the princes they are.

The most indelible image of that day, for me, is this one.

The letter from William and Harry inscribed “Mummy” that rode atop the carriage that carried her coffin to Westminster Abbey.

Nosey-Rosey that I am, I would LOVE to know what those sweet boys wrote to their mama. Of course, I wouldn’t really intrude on such a sacred thing as that, but I am curious. I wrote a letter to my mom, to go in her coffin. Don’t recall one thing I said in that letter, but I hope I expressed the huge love, endless gratitude, utter grief, and bottomless loss I felt in that moment. Words are insufficient when it comes to expressing the most delicate yet most cardinal feelings.

And that, my friends, is why we need champagne. Lots and lots of champagne.