Although I have a shameful tendency to be a bit cynical about such august events, that have to include the ridiculous hats of some members of the female establishment, designed more to attract attention than to adorn. (One could surmise that their significance is purely to compensate for their wearers' lack of it). Yet I must admit that although I half-heartedly started to watch the marriage proceedings of Kate Middleton and Prince William, I was soon fully taken by it, and eventually was even quite moved by it all. In addition I felt a surge of pride, especially when the old Spitfires, Hurricanes and a Lancaster Bomber flew over, as the royal carriages were drawn by the specially trained horses along the traditional route towards Buckingham Palace, after the faultless ceremony.
Apparently this was the 16th royal wedding in Westminster Abbey since Henry I married Princess Matilda (born Edith) of Scotland on the 11th November, 1100 by the Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury.
Going by observation alone, as not a great deal is yet know about Kate Middleton, she appears to be a beautiful, intelligent and worthy bride for Prince William.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, performed the marriage proceedings. He who made the generous suggestion that Britain should adopt Sharia laws for its Muslim communities... Despite the controversial personalities invited, such as the last absolute monarch of Swaziland- King Mswati III, who crushed Swaziland's last pro-democracy demonstrations, neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown were invited. This, although former Prime minister Sir John Major certainly was, but he is fortunate enough to have a special relationship with the royal family.
Was the decision not to include Tony Blair made to avoid any polemic connected to Britain's past engagement in Iraq? If so it would seem a most unworthy motive considering the country's real commitment there, and the sacrifice of so many young Brits. Perhaps there was another, more valid reason, otherwise it would appear to be a disappointing lack of solidarity on the part of the royal family.
Prince William is now the Duke of Cambridge. Kate is thus the Duchess of Cambridge. In addition Prince William has been bestowed with the title of Earl of Strathearn, and Baron of Carrickfergus. Kate will thus also have the title of Countess of Stathearn, and Baroness of Carrickfergus.
Amongst the invited were David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John and Rowan Atkinson. The list of celebrities would be long.
Of course such royal events in England are followed by the whole world. The French are particularly enthusiastic. They seem to have adopted British Monarchy to compensate, to some extent, for having done away with their own so radically. The USA are also taken by such events, understandable in view of the history they share with the UK.
For those who are against the continuation of British Monarchy, they are destined to be disappointed. The marriage between Kate and William appears to indicate that the Crown is still likely to survive for many more years. And being convinced that the British Monarchy has a far more positive than negative effect on the nation's prosperity and prestige, long may it, and certainly this marriage, reign.
(As far as marriages go these days, including royal ones, this wish is as sincere as it is pertinent).
Text by Mirino. Some sources from the BBC, with thanks. Image- old Union Jack, also with thanks. April, 2011