Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

April 29, 2011: A Wedding to Remember

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Today William and Kate are celebrating their 3rd wedding anniversary, and I think most royal watchers around the world are celebrating what has become our own little holiday: Royal Wedding Day! The Royal Wedding as an event was not confined to April 29th, though. April 29th was the culmination of months of wedding planning excitement, all officially kicked off on November 16, 2010.  Let's take a minute to cast ourselves back and remember all the excitement and the happiness of spring 2011.

William and Kate had vacationed in Kenya the month before and the whispers that the glowing pair were engaged were slipping quietly around London town, and the world. Of course, royal engagement rumors started when Kate was 23, so...we'd heard this before.  US Weekly either had a source, an employee with excellent gut instinct, or they were just the luckiest of magazines. The week of the announcement they ran the following front page:


Now, this picture was taken the last week of October at the Meade wedding when William and Kate, rather than slipping quietly in a back entrance separately, boldly walked in together, past the paparazzi, and through the front door. It did seem like the two might be united in a secret that gave them bold confidence to publicly assert their relationship:



I remember seeing the Us Weekly in the grocery store and thinking: I'll believe it when I see it. In true William fashion, the couple kept their engagement quiet. According to William in the engagement interview, it was very hard to keep the news to themselves in those three weeks, "for reasons we had to."  Perhaps they wanted to make a few quiet decisions on aspects of the wedding before the world began scrutinizing every detail and before every courtier and his brother wanted to give input. It is hard to know... When they did decide to go public, they did so swiftly and decisively. William informed his grandmother, Elizabeth II, and the Prime Minister the morning of the 16th and the press were called to the St. James's Palace for "an announcement." And I ran back to the grocery store and bought that prophetic magazine...



[N.B. We have been having a fun and interesting chat in the comments about the timing and who knew when. Not all of which is entirely clear, so sharing hypotheses over tea is our only option.  Here is what I think more succinctly: William "asked" Michael after he proposed to Kate. I won't get into what I think of his reverse timing... They were all at a shooting party at Birkhall (Charles' estate at Balmoral) and when they returned Kate specifically mentions she had this awkward moment in the kitchen with her mother where she wasn't sure if Carole knew. (She did; like a good husband, Mike had told Carole.) Lastly, as far as I know, the Queen was not at Balmoral at the time. Those unfortunately are pretty much the facts we have to go on. When Kate wonders if her own mother knows rather than squealing the news, I think it is clear that the engagement was quite hush/hush. I do not think the Queen had been told before Carole, because that doesn't sit well with my sense of Kate's personality and her relationship with her family. The Queen may have been told before the day of announcement, because given her age and her position it may have been a bit much to spring on her in a three hour time period, but I do not believe she was given much notice at all. I thick that would have thrown a lot of things into motion that William and Kate were trying to postpone ever so briefly. Theories are welcome! :)]

We weren't left lonely for the next five months. As the world threw itself into overdrive over the impending wedding, William and Kate embarked on what will always be my favorite "royal tour." They visited all four majors sections of the United Kingdom: England, Wales, Scotland, and to the surprise of many, Northern Ireland. Their first stop was February 24th in Anglesey, Wales where they christened a lifeboat:


The next day they were in Scotland at their alma mater to celebrate the university's 600th anniversary:


The couple wisely provided little advance warning for their stop in Ireland, so many fans were delighted to wake up on March 8th to pictures of the engaged couple on the streets of Belfast flipping pancakes and touring a local agricultural college:


They made a final public engagement at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy in Lancashire:


It stoked the frenzied flames, while also generously sharing their happiness with their fellow countrymen and future subjects. And then we waited... Wedding Weekend arrived at last and Westminster Abbey was a beehive of activity. Kate's vision for an English garden wedding was realized by an avenue of 20-foot tall trees stretching along the nave, many from Windsor and other royal estates. 



The busy bride was handling last minute details while looking fabulous. (I love this cowl neck jumper in soft pink paired with the white jacket. She wore it again on her beach walk with Pippa. Fashion win all around.)



Kate, Carole, and Pippa arrived at the Goring before the wedding to the screams and shouts of the excited fans. In her Issa bird print and healthy blowout, flanked by her mother and sister, she was the image of classic Kate Middleton. We were at last on the cusp of realizing a hope many had held over the long years of the royal courtship:



Then, it was time for Kate's close-up. I couldn't sleep the night of the royal wedding. All the buzz and chatter of the press and the world media had hushed, everyone was waiting the few quiet hours until dawn. The Queen was due to confer on William a dukedom, but no one could be absolutely certain which one. I sat on Twitter in Southern California and as midnight struck--8am in London--the Palace announced the title: Her Majesty had made William the Duke of Cambridge. Like turning a light switch on, all happy hell broke loose. The day had begun--it was time for William to go make his princess a duchess.

Love this little wave from Mike Middleton. He is still getting comfortable with the whole royal wave thing. 


Little Grace van Cutsem was looking pretty cheerful on her way to the wedding. Man was she doomed to be disillusioned. This little flower girl was not a happy camper by the close of the day... ;)



A proud daddy escorted his thrilled daughter toward the altar:


Kate, always conscious of the crowd, threw us one last wave before disappearing into Westminster:




William Arthur Philip Louis, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony?
Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live? 
I will. 
Catherine Elizabeth, wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live? 
I will.

Really attempting not to become obsessive here, but is Mr. Security at 2:00? I don't know, but he sure is a close twin if he isn't...



I had several favorite moments in this service, but certainly my second favorite hymn was God Save the Queen, but perhaps not for just the usual reasons. I love the shot of Kate standing next to William, a newly minted Princess of the United Kingdom, wife of the future King--and then panning to Mike and Carole, who raised this woman as a normal little girl, to see her elevated to one of the most prestigious positions in the land. Furthermore, as a traditional British-man, loyal to king and country, this must have been a particularly moving moment for Michael.



The below is the perfect picture, highlighting two primary reasons I am a royal watcher. The luscious medieval surroundings of Westminster and this lovely couple. (They were coming out from signing the register in the Chapel of Edward the Confessor, Harry and Pip close behind...)


Charles escorted Carole while Mike walked Camilla down the aisle. I like how that worked out; good balance.




The joy in the capital was overwhelming. Kate smiled from ear to ear the entire day, particularly on the triumphant carriage ride from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace. She looked lit from within. I have only seen a few other brides as radiant.


Even on her big day, Kate couldn't resist the little munchkins around her:



Mother/daughter shot!


It was a magical night, and I think everyone who watched it either locally or on tvs around the world found it an experience that is hard to forget.

The Bishop of London gave a beautiful sermon and toward the end he commented:
I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today, will do everything in our power to support and uphold you in your new life.
And that is certainly my prayer, too, on the anniversary of this deeply joyful day: that we as royal watchers may uphold this beautiful couple, who give happiness to so many, in their work and in a less proximate, but certainly heartfelt way, in the supporting their love and commitment to one another.

Happy Anniversary, Your Royal Highnesses!




43 comments:

  1. Well written Jane… I loved revisiting that wonderful day.
    As for Mr Security at 2.00 it has to be! Uncanny really.Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was so excited to see him there!

      Delete
  2. YES! That is definitely Mr Security!! :) What an eagle eye you have, Jane!! Mr Security was also the protection officer who accompanied Kate on her post-wedding grocery run in Anglesey (when she was wearing the shawl with the ruffle edge). There's a nice shot of her handing him the keys and he's laughing - a rare shot of Mr Security looking jolly! Also, in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant, I noticed Mr Security opening the car door for Kate as she stepped out in the bright red top and pleated skirt. Mr Security had a red striped tie on that occasion.
    A brilliant post, Jane. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and thought it was the perfect summary to remember their special day. As I've said before, thank you for all your efforts and for your incredible blog. I love it.
    Stephanie :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie! I noticed him in the grocery store pictures a few weeks ago when I was sifting through old pictures. It made my day! I didn't remember the River Pageant, so now I have to run back and look at that picture. ;)
      So glad you enjoyed the post!! It is so fun to remember...

      Delete
  3. This has made my day! Thank you for the re-cap.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I understood that the delay in announcing the engagement was because of the death of Catherine'e grandfather.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Possibly. I also think it was strategic and intentional regardless, so they could enjoy the moment privately. I'm married, and I remember tons of advice when we announced our engagement, "enjoy it!". It really does go by so fast and you can get caught up in the planning, especially when you're forced to do it publicly and it isn't just about you. Also, they kept the birth of George secret for 4 hours or so, which I also think was so they could privately savour the moment. I absolutely respect that they find these little ways to keep things intimate. Had she not had bad morning sickness (hyper nem...whatever it is called), I wouldn't have been surprised if we didn't have an announcement until she was starting to show.

      Delete
    2. Maggie, that could certainly have been a factor, but I do tend to agree with Anonymous that I suspect it was a little more than that, as hypothesized. BUT, I obviously have no way of knowing for certain. :)

      Delete
  5. Oh Jane, what a lovely look back! It's very clear from the recent photos from Australia and New Zealand that the couple haven't lost that loved up glow and long may it continue. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree! I can't believe how fast time has flown, but they look as in love as the day they married. It's amazing.

      Delete
  6. Awww, thanks for the great post!! I was married March 2011, so on the "wedding high" my mom and I woke up early (in MST Alberta, Canada) to watch the wedding live with mimosas and breakfast! I agree, I loved the Issa bird dress and pink cowl neck sweater as pre-wedding looks!

    I don't think they told the Queen on the 16th. In their engagement interview they stated they flew to Scotland to tell the Queen, and Kate mentioned the awkward conversation with her mom in the kitchen...William had talked to Michael, and Kate was unsure if her dad had told her mom. Do you have any more info on this? I've always been very curious, that for such a tight family there would have been secrecy and awkwardness. Because I too am a Middleton family fan, but can't imagine my dad not telling my mom. Or me not telling my mom the moment I knew my dad knew (my parents are still married). Just something that's always baffled and nagged at me from that interview.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I agree with you, I don't think the Queen was told on the 16th but I don't know if she was in Scotland when they were there with Kate's parents for a shooting party. Maybe Michael kept quiet so that Kate could be the one to tell her mom? I doubt we will ever know the whole story but it's kind of fun speculating.

      Delete
    2. I don't think they told the Queen in Scotland. Every report was that they told the Queen on the day, BUT, I think it is reasonable to assume they may have told her before that--as the announcement may have been scheduled for earlier than the 16th-- but frankly, I do not believe they would have told her much before the actual announcement, if that is the case. In the engagement interview, Kate says that her father knew, but that she didn't know if her mother did and they didn't discuss it until they had gotten back from Scotland. Honestly, I think that if the Queen had been told, Kate wouldn't have beaten around the bush discussing it with her mom. I just don't see that attitude from Kate. Anyway, as you can see...a lot of "i thinks" going on here. As Lauri say, fun speculating. I can entirely believe, though, that it was hell in secret from almost everyone, including the Queen for the majority of those three weeks.

      Delete
    3. P.S> So, yes, obviously Michael told his wife--who wouldn't. but, despite how close they all are, Kate wasn't sure if that had happened, so just the fact that there was that awkwardness I think highlights they really were keeping it super under wraps...which is why I think the Queen was not in the loop.

      Delete
    4. Prince William, in direct line to the throne, has to ask the Queen for permission to marry. I'm thinking the Queen was in the loop. I can't imagine she wouldn't be, despite the conjecture that she didn't know until the day of the announcement. The Queen is pretty good a keeping secrets.

      Delete
    5. I'm Anon 5:16am. Good insight on Scotland! I had assumed, from the little I know, that they had visited the Queen at Balmoral in October to discuss things with her. I didn't know there was a Middleton family vacation!

      I had heard too that heirs to the throne need permission from the Queen (monarch) to marry (like the Queen saying "no" to her sister's first potential-fiance). BUT that doesn't mean that the Queen didn't give William permission prior and just be out-of-the-loop on when he'd pop the question. I also assumed William would have to ask for the engagement ring (out of some royal family safe or a personal safe), as I am sure it was safely stored and since everyone is ultimately loyal to the Queen I figured she would have known. Then again, they could have known he had permission and the ring, but not know when he'd do it.

      I like your insight Jane, that Kate waited for a private moment with her mom to share the news after being surrounded in Scotland. I remember Kate being really nervous during the interview (albeit doing well despite her first worldwide interview!), and she wasn't communicating all her thoughts clearly. Carole seems very discreet, so I believe too that Michael told her and she was just waiting for her daughter to approach her.

      This has solved part of my mystery! Thanks for speculating with me :-)

      Delete
    6. It's the Royal Marriages Act of 1772. It doesn't make any sense that he would spring it on the Queen the day before the announcement so he probably informed them all of his decision, was given the ring (had heard rumors that Harry was gifted the ring but passed it on to William because of this) and most likely told them that is why he was taking Kate to Africa. Sure, his family isn't as close as the Middletons, but it seems a lot of conjecture here that they are extremely dysfunctional and - post Diana - I just don't see that they are. By all accounts, Charles has been a good parent in the absence and shadow of Diana and by William's own words, he is very close with the Queen.

      Delete
    7. And I'm pretty sure the permission is just a formality ;) The Queen obviously approved of Kate and she is nothing, if not an intelligent woman. She has shown she isn't going to repeat the Diana/Sarah fiasco and puts her Grandchildren's (and in the case of Charles & Camilla - her children's) happiness ahead of royal appropriateness :).

      BTW Jane, I totally waited every day for your tour updates. Great job!

      Delete
    8. I don't think there was any conjecture about the BRF being dysfunctional. Just stating that the Middletons seem stable, supportive, and discreet. What I'm saying is we think the Queen may have known it was going to happen, just that she *may* not have known it did happen. William is a self-proclaimed stubborn guy, even when it comes to "The Firm" and granny (the Queen). We're all guessing, but I know we agree that the Queen and other BRF members knew it was coming...we just don't know when they got the official "we're engaged!" announcement.

      Delete
  7. Just an exciting anniversary!!! Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Jane what a beautiful post! This day was truly wonderful. I remember watching it with my mom and sister and we all gasped when she stepped out of the car. That was pretty much the beginning of my following kate, so happy, happy memories. I hope they ha've a lovely day and feel proud of each other when they look back on all they have achieved.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great post Jane, thanks so much!!! I woke up at 2am to watch the run up to and of course, the wedding. Kate looked so beautiful and happy stepping out of the car. Poor William looked a tad nervous, but so handsome in his scarlet uniform, so glad the Queen insisted he wear it!

    You included pictures in this post that I haven't seen before, thanks so much for that!! I love the one of Michael lifting her veil as that wasn't shown on the station I watched, in fact I can't even find that moment on Youtube, does anyone else know where I might find a clip of that? Also, love the one of them with their parents walking down the aisle after the wedding.

    Looking back on these pictures, I have to wonder what was going through Carole and Michael's minds during that day. Here they are seated directly across from the Queen and her family and Pippa is directly across from the other crown heads of Europe, I bet they never imagined that in their wildest dreams. Such a surreal moment for them and they handled it all perfectly.

    Thanks again Jane, this is the perfect post to get us over our Kate withdrawls.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Jane,
    This morning I was drinking my cup of coffee about 9 am European time and thought to have a quick glance at your blog, before taking my son to school, just in case you have put something new and there it was: you had just put the post one minute before. Wow!!! It was 3 am in U.S., wasn't it? What a coincidence. However this post is beautiful (like many others :)) While reading it, I have come up with one little suggestion: since I am relatively a new reader (September 2013), I would like to have a look at your older posts (even the first one) and it takes a little bit of time to do that by clicking on "older post" all the time; so I was wondering if you could do a chart devided into years and into months to make it easier. I would really appreciate it if you could do that.
    Regarding to your love for France and if you are a French comedy film fan, there are to very nice and funny commedies I would recommend to you if you haven't already seen them:
    "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis" and "Rien à déclarer" both by the film director Dany Boon. (There is also an Italian version "Benvenuti al sud" by the film director Luca Miniero, also very nice and funny.)
    Have a great HRH Wedding Anniversary day!!!
    Greetings from Spain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello there! So happy to hear that my timing was impeccable! It was quite late here in the US, but if it makes you feel better, I was in bed. I had it on delayed publish so it wouldn't go live until the 29th in the US, but so that Europe didn't have to wait until American morning to read it! Sounds like that worked out quite well. :)

      Ok, so about the archives. Are you reading the blog on a tablet? Or some kind of mobile device? If you are then you won't see the bar, but if you are on a regular desktop computer, just go to the sidebar and halfway down, right after "Popular Posts" is the archive bar. It is all their by year and then by month. You can jump around very easily from that bar! Let me know if you have trouble with that and I will see what I can do!

      These movies you mention have been suggested to me on Netflix and I have never watched them. Now with your recommendation, I will have to try them! Thanks for the tip!!
      xoxo, Jane

      Delete
    2. Hi Jane, thanks for the help. I'm sure I'll spend a lot of time jumping around your older posts.
      I love your "Kate's" blog and your personal blog (I've just seen it :)))), so accurate and elegant both.
      xoxo from Spain

      Delete
  11. I love it when you do these sorts of posts. Congrats! Takes me back too.

    Kiwi Nic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good! And thank-you! I am stoked you all enjoyed this. I love sifting through royal wedding pictures, even three years on.

      Delete
  12. My daughter and I got up in the middle of the night to watch! We had tea and toast and, later, champagne. It was special for us, we felt a part of it in a very small way. We are both royal watchers, the kind that are not critical or judgmental but just happy to see the privileged doing good work. And, on their anniversary, we wish them all the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had a big middle of the night tea party, too! Such happy, happy memories. We had a ball. Thanks for your kind comments. That is the best kind of royal watcher. :)

      Delete
  13. Oh, one more thought (since I know you enjoy the Middleton family too). They get such a hard time in the press, but I remember this story that made me love them more. They invited several people from Buckleberry to the wedding, like the owners of the local convenience store. These people attended the ceremony, but not the Buckingham Palace reception. However, the Middleton's threw a reception at The Goring for their side of the guest list, and made an appearance before heading to BP. Very appreciative and generous! That's why that town has their back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That story is certainly one of my favorites from that night. They were so thoughtful in that gesture. And, you are right about the town being their safe haven. We don't get much info out of the tightlipped Bucklebury community. :) They are a very loyal town.

      Delete
  14. Jane, I just watched the BBC DVD of the wedding and was disappointed since I got up and watched the wedding live in 2011. One minor complaint was that the BBC didn't show William and Kate leaving in the neat little convertible. Do you know what the men in my family thought as they saw the wedding? "What neat cars and historic carriages." While we girls liked the fashion and romance,the guys liked other aspects. So, leaving out William and Kate driving slowly off to Clarence house was a mistake for the guys... and also for the gals because of the romance.

    But a more significant complaint is what short shrift the BBC DVD gave to the Middleton family. The BBC DVD barely showed them, yet who has greater emotion at a wedding after the bridal couple themselves than the bride's parents on the day their first daughter marries. Also, all of us watching could so easily relate to the Middleton family, as we are not "royals". I never saw coverage of Michael Middleton lifting the blusher veil--such a sweet moment! How was that ignored?? Nor did I see the neat shot you posted of the bridal couple following out with Michael escorting Camilla and Charles escorting Carole. In my opinion, that shot is the best picture of the day. If only Kate's brother was in the picture, it would be absolutely perfect.
    Is there a better, more complete DVD of the Royal Wedding than the BBC version that treats the Middleton family more respectfully?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't seen this BBC DVD, but I agree on the Middleton snub! I'm still angry that Carole and James had to enter the Abbey before the lesser royals (I had no idea who any of them were!). I get royal protocol, but I thought it was so disrespectful to the Bride and all the Middletons brought to the table that day (ahem, the bride!, they paid for various wedding expenses, etc). Of course, they were gracious and smiled and proudly walked in, but I feel they should have been given more prominence.

      Delete
    2. A better video of the wedding is the Royal Channel one---still on u-tube

      Delete
  15. Hi, Jane,

    I'm a first time poster but a long time reader.

    Thank you so much for this post and your superb tour coverage. It was wonderful. I find your blog to be engaging, fair and very interesting.

    It's a happy task to look back after three years and see that Kate has more than fulfilled her early promise. I hope she and William continue to make such splendid sense of where they find themselves in a life with a very special destiny. I hope they can find joy and happiness together, especially now that Gorgeous George is on the scene.

    Funny how we can trick ourselves into thinking the money and status make everything so easy for them. Of course it sets them apart but I'm not sure I would want to have to remember there was a camera aiming for me every time I step outside. I think she and William bear the drawbacks of a very public life with considerable grace.

    I suppose people like me could just quit reading about them-but I don't want to!

    I look forward to many more of your excellent posts.

    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just like when Diana and Charles wed, I got up early to watch from beginning to end. What a beautiful wedding it was. One of my favorite moments was when the newly married couple came out on the balcony and Kate was completely taken aback by the huge crowds. The look on her face was priceless. I loved that she was in awe of her own wedding. Also, did you hear that Harry and Cassida have split? I hope this link works. Sorry if it does not. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/prince-harry-cressida-bonas-split-kate-middletons-lifestyle-scared-bonas-away-1446479#.U2ALeqz4jB8.email

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knows, Will & Kate split :-) BUT I've thought she's so young and "wild" (personality wise, in a good way), and I suspect he's looking for a wifey who needs to be up for the good and really bad of that family. I'm really hoping Chelsea's had some time to herself, and she'll get back together with Harry!

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616166/Prince-Harry-splits-Cressida-breaks-separate-ways.html

      Delete
  17. I remember the wedding like it happened yesterday. Lucky for us in Australia it started at 6:30pm! My daughter (then only 3) was so excited to watch the Prince and Princess marry Lol. Even now she remembers the wedding and loves Kate as much as I do!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Jane, what a beautiful post, so well written, thanks,

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just got a chance to read this, and it's beautiful. I was visiting my mom (also a royal watcher) and we got up early to watch it live on the West Coast. I think it was on at like, 4am! We drank champagne and toasted the beautiful couple, and it was so great. Thank you for all the pictures and the wonderful commentary on this. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jane, this is really good! Love the tone of your blog, (and the photos) your comments are very interesting and well-written!

    ReplyDelete

The rules for commenting are simple: be polite. Please be respectful of the BRF/Middletons, even in criticism; please be respectful of your fellow readers, even in disagreement. Vulgarity will disqualify a comment.

Debate is welcome, direct and personal insults are not. Topics we tend to avoid here: "does Kate work enough?" and "Is Kate too skinny?" Everything is subject to approval.

I (Jane Barr) moderate all comments. If a comment is live, I approved it. If you find something offensive, or think my approval was an error, please email me at princesskateblog(at)gmail.com.

At times, an acceptable comment just goes missing. If you felt your comment should have been approved, but did not show up within five hours, again, pop an email to the above address.

Happy chatting!