Friday, 29 April 2011

Thoughts on the Royal Wedding

1. She really, really loves him. And vice versa. Neither is settling, and neither is rushing into a rash situation "to get it over with".

2. He has a job--more than one, actually--and he knows who he is.

3. Their families support them totally.

4. Her whole life will now be one of service. We won't see those parts as much as the appearances at friends' weddings and skiing holidays in Switzerland. However, most of the time, she will be going to duty after duty after duty, with cameras blinding her every time she steps out of the house. Every time.

5. Photographers and weirdos will dog her every step, and nasty-tongued comedians will make fun of her every chance they get.

6. I hope they will be at least as happy as I am. Ad multos annos.

Update (May 6): My own combox isn't allowing me to comment, so I will have to comment here. I note that some readers are unhappy that I am not embroidering a big 'F' for Fornication to sew onto the Duchess of Cambridge. There may be a cultural misunderstanding here. Although the Duchess of Cambridge is merely a "celebrity" to Americans, she is my future Queen. How Canadians like me--who derive not a little identity from Canadian (and therefore British) history--feel about our monarchs and their consorts may be a puzzle to Americans. However, let's just say that we are not particularly interested in chucking mud on them on their wedding day, if ever.

American readers might also not have realized that I will probably meet the Duchess of Cambridge one day, in the course of her duties and mine. She is not an imaginary character in a morality play. She is a living, breathing woman, serving the entire population of Great Britain (and to a certain extent the Commonwealth) in a very public way. Call me when Britney Spears embarks on a life of visiting hospitals and homes for the elderly. I live in Scotland, remember, and I move in many circles.

Meanwhile, I hope it is obvious that I do not think men and women should live together before they are married. However, in recent decades many Roman Catholic priests have told engaged couples that they can live together (usually for financial reasons) as long as they live together as "brother and sister." I don't know how likely it is that Catholics besotted with each other are strictly brotherly and sisterly, but neither do I personally know whether or not the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lived together as brother and sister before they married. That they DID marry I think we can all agree is a very good thing. Neither had a good Catholic education; I think the traditional charitable phrase "invincible ignorance" might apply.

Incidentally, it was not the Archibishop of Canterbury who spoke so stupidly about cohabitation and milk and all that nonsense; it was some other Anglican bishop, and prior to the wedding. Normally I could not give two hoots what any Anglican bishop (except the very fine scripture scholar N.T. Wright) had to say, but give the Archb. of C. his due.

Finally, mote, beam: we all know the drill. For any more on the subject of purity, please see "Pure" in my book.

P.S. I deeply resent being accused of making excuses for, ahem, "celebrities."


Domestic Diva said...

I hope they are as happy as you are too, Seraphic! Not sure you could wish anyone better than that.

Maggie said...

I'm so glad I woke up early (4 am!) to watch online. The wedding was lovely, or as lovely as a wedding can be outside the context of Holy Mass, and her dress was divine. Beautiful and modest. I hope this sparks a trend of dresses with sleeves! The Romans 12 reading was wonderful, one of my favorites. And St Catherine of Siena even got a mention in the homily! Wishing them the best.

Kate P said...

All I wanted to see was the dress and it was lovely. (O.K., and I wanted to see what kind of hat the Queen would be wearing.) I'm happy for their "making it legal" and I hope they have many wonderful years together.

As you said in #5, Seraphic, I certainly don't envy her having to be in the spotlight day in and day out and I hope she can bear it well.

Jeffery said...

God save the Prince and his Bride!

fifi said...

It certainly was a beautiful ceremony, and I too was impressed by the maturity and "healthiness" for lack of a better word, that the royal couple seem to bring to the occasion. Their joy was certainly palpable, and shared by al.

I do think, though, that there is a time and place to lament the blatant and unabashed cohabitation that is so common in our culture. In fact, I found it incredibly distressing that commentators on the American news channels all mentioned the fact that the royal couple lived together for nearly seven years before their marriage as a tremendous point in their favor! (Obviously, they would know each other so much better now, etc. etc) Given the chilling statistics of higher divorce rates for couples who cohabitate, I would say this is much more of a liability than an asset! But it's utterly taken for granted now that a couple will move in together if they are at all serious.

Like everyone else I wish the Duke and Duchess a long and happy marriage, and I am comforted by the thought that they will have the graces of the sacrament to see them through.

Emma said...

What job does the Duke of Cambridge have? I'm just curious.

Seraphic said...

Emma, he is a Captain in the RAF (air force). That is quite apart from all his other duties.

The men of the British Royal Family usually serve in the military. The Prince of Wales was in the Navy for years, and the Duke of York was (and may still be) a career Navy pilot, seeing active service during the Falklands War. Prince Harry is also a soldier, and he saw active service in Afghanistan.

Fifi, I too am sorry that the press is making a big approving deal that the couple lived together before they were married, and I loathe the spin that it is somehow necessary to "try the milk before you buy the cow". I think anyone who moves in with his girlfriend should be challenged by his nearest and dearest with "So when's the wedding?"

In the case of Kate Middleton, I can't get on my high horse and say "He should have dumped the tramp and married a pure teenage German princess." That's exactly what most of his male ancestors would have done, and it stank. KM took a serious risk by becoming involved with Prince William at all. The Press is not kind to the ex-girlfriends of princes. It is even nastier to ex-wives, e.g. Sarah, Duchess of York, who is not even called Sarah, Duchess of York anymore but just "Sarah Ferguson."

Almost nobody remembers this now, but in the last years before she was killed in that crash Diana was treated like a dirty joke by the UK Press. Nobody could shut up about her string of boyfriends and her undignified crushes on X and Y, about her tons of mascara, about her behaviour at the health club, blah, blah, blah, blah.

In short, it may have been that William and Kate decided that since marriage to a future king basically ruined (and shortened) William's mother's life, they had better wait for the perfect moment before Kate was plunged into the same situation. Meanwhile, it is very difficult for people in love to keep their hands off each other for years.

Probably only one or two more women in our lifetimes will ever be in the then-Miss Middleton's situation, so really, we cannot take the courtship of the Cambridges as a model for our own lives, except in that they appear to be prudent, cautious people who are great friends and love each other.

Seraphic said...

Correction: the Duke of Cambridge is a Flight Lieutenant. It is his brother who is a Captain.

Ella said...


I have to agree with Fifi here and I have to say I am rather disappointed in your response. I feel like you are making excuses for them because they are celebrities. I agree that very few women will be perhaps as famous as Kate Middleton but many many women look to her as an example and many more will have charming and handsome boyfriends with whom they are tempted to cohabitate with or to sleep with prior to getting married. When William and Kate do this and the Archbishop of Canterbury follows it up with "its no big deal" don't you think we are setting the bar a bit low and perhaps getting caught up in the proverbial "magic of the moment" of a commoner becoming a princess?

I don't want to demonize Kate. I can't imagine a life lived in the public spotlight and she is quite charming, but I also cannot ignore or make excuses for a poor moral choice that sets and example for others to follow.