Will, Kate, and the hopeless romantic


There’s a wedding coming up later this week, and — true confessions here — I’ll be tuning in.

I should clarify that I won’t be watching it live, which would require rolling out of bed at 1 A. M.  I’m not sure I’d get up that early for my own wedding, let alone someone else’s.  But thanks to the miracle of DVR, I will be tuning in later, with popcorn and a soda and my starry-eyed Anglophile fantasties (but not, alas, with my husband. “Do you want to watch the royal wedding this weekend?” I asked hopefully.  “No,” he answered promptly.)

Maybe it’s a female/male thing.  My mom, like me, is totally excited to watch to watch the nuptials; my dad, not so much.  “I got up in the wee small hours to watch the last one,” he told me on Easter, referencing the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981. “Look how that one turned out.”

He has a point.  Given the overall divorce rate, the pressures of royal protocol, and the challenges of sustaining a marriage in the media spotlight, this wedding may not be the beginning of a Happily Ever After.   But you know what?  I’m a romantic. I like weddings.  I like seeing two people making a lifelong commitment to one another.  It’s such a very hopeful thing to do: such an optimistic, I-believe-in-the-future kind of decision.  And, of course, every wedding that I see now makes me think of my own, which was one of the most joyful  and meaningful and just plain fun days of my entire life.  (I take it back: I  would get up at 1 A. M.  for that wedding.)    Add in the fact that I have been an Anglophile since at least the third grade, and my fate is sealed: I’ll be having a Friday night date with Will and Kate.

And yes, I still remember being an eight-year-old girl, on vacation at Lake Tahoe with her family in the summer of 1981.  We all got up early and tuned on the  cabin TV to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer.  I remember the carriages and the big puffy white dress and the flower girls, who were, to me, perhaps the most interesting part of it all.  I remember the Royal Family on the balcony afterwards, waving and smiling.   I also remember, years later, the affairs and the tabloids and the news coverage of a hunk of twisted metal in the tunnel de l’Alma in Paris.   I remember the shock of hearing the TV anchor come on and say, “We have just received word that the Princess of Wales has died.”

In  the days that followed, I kept thinking of Diana.  I thought back to that summer day in 1981, watching a fairytale carriage drive a princess through London.  Happily ever after didn’t happen for Charles and Diana,  but I am enough of a romantic to believe that this time — maybe this time — it will.

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