We then set off on our Royal Wedding walkabout. The men came in support of their own marriages and for no other reason. Although I did ask my husband if he enjoyed it and he said, “You know ... I was outside ... and it was a nice day.” Stellar reviews indeed!
The first piece of info we got was that the Will and Kate’s first dance was to “Your Song.” They then did a little dance to “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, which I thought was great fun.
We started off heading down the Queen’s Walk in Green Park where our guide told us the most interesting story of how Green Park got its name. It turns out that Charles II was picking flowers in the park for his mistress and was caught doing so by his Queen who became so irate that she banished flowers from the park. From that day on they have not planted one single flower––hence the name, Green Park. Hell hath no fury like a Queen scorned. Actually, flowers do appear there but only of the “wild” variety.
One of my fave fun facts on today’s tour was that the guests of the royal wedding each received a 22-page instruction manual to prepare them for the whole royal affair. Kate herself was allowed only 100 personal guests from the almost 2000 in attendance. The other interesting fact was that William has earned the highest university degree in history for a future monarch. Kate, of course, earned as high a degree, but clearly does not count at this point as she will not be a crowned Queen. Although I still feel it deserves a “Well Done, Kate!”
Here was one of my favourite facts on today’s tour. King Henry VIII had it written into the wedding vows of all his brides (with or without heads) that they must pledge to “be buxom and bawdy in bed”. Ahhh, how I long for the good old days when women were held in the highest esteem!
We also learned that the origin of the wedding veil came about as a trick of the father of the maybe not so attractive bride, ensuring that the wedding would be made legal before a royal groom would have the chance to see his bride and possibly say, “What the?”
We also learned that Queen Victoria invented the white wedding gown. Up until then, the general public would get married in their Sunday best and the royals in silver. But she was so much in love with her groom that she wanted to use some wonderful white lace she had, and the modern wedding dress was born. Sadly she spent more time of her life in her mourning blacks, so distraught was she over the early death of her beloved Albert.
The day embodied the true love and tragic love of the royals and their marriages. But the prevailing message was and is that no good ever came of the arranged marriage idea. Any time a royal was forced to marry, as in Charles and Diana, it came to a tragic end. We must follow our hearts and hopefully this marriage will send that new message, along with the change in succession. Soon it will be law that the first born of any gender will be the next monarch. This is the wish of the royal family to move with the times and the queen has pushed hard for this change to come about.
We ended the day with our dear friend Steve and his lovely son Ian who we met for the first time tonight. We went together to the BBC and saw a radio taping for BBC Four. The taping was the third in a four part series of the stand up comedian Richard Herring and it was first rate. Tired. Going to bed to dream of Peter and Wendy. I may leave the window open tonight. xo