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. Â I’m not sure I’d get up that early for my own wedding, let alone someone else’s. Â 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. â€œDo you want to watch the royal wedding this weekend?” I asked hopefully. Â â€œNo,” he answered promptly.)
Maybe it’s a female/male thing. Â My mom, like me, is totally excited to watch to watch the nuptials; my dad, not so much. Â â€œI 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. â€œLook how that one turned out.”
He has a point. Â 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. Â But you know what? Â I’m a romantic. I like weddings. Â I like seeing two people making a lifelong commitment to one another. Â It’s such a very hopeful thing to do: such an optimistic, I-believe-in-the-future kind of decision. Â And, of course, every wedding that I see now makes me think of my own, which was one of the most joyful Â and meaningful and just plainÂ fun days of my entire life. Â (I take it back: I Â would get up at 1 A. M. Â for that wedding.) Â Â 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. Â We all got up early and tuned on the Â cabin TV to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer. Â 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. Â I remember the Royal Family on the balcony afterwards, waving and smiling. Â 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. Â I remember the shock of hearing the TV anchor come on and say, â€œWe have just received word that the Princess of Wales has died.”
In Â the days that followed, I kept thinking of Diana. Â I thought back to that summer day in 1981, watching a fairytale carriage drive a princess through London. Â Happily ever after didn’t happen for Charles and Diana, Â but I am enough of a romantic to believe that this time — maybe this time — it will.