It’s Amy March here, reporting for duty on my first ever Happy Hour. Why, do you ask? Well, because it’s an international holiday, otherwise known as Royal Wedding Eve. Or at least it is in my house. In the same way that millions of people inexplicably follow baseball and can tell you arcane and pointless details—like who won the World Series in 1987—I follow the royal weddings and look forward to adding to my collection of trivial knowledge. (Do you know who started the tradition of placing your bouquet by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey?)
“Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made.”
I’m too young to remember hearing those words spoken at the marriage of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles, but I can’t remember not knowing them. When we had to make dioramas of an important historical event in second grade, I chose Diana and Charles’s wedding, and my clothespin Diana was a sight to behold.
A royal wedding is living history in two ways. Watching it, indulging in it, is becoming part of a historical event. It’s something to tell your grandchildren about: “I remember when I watched Harry and Meghan’s wedding. We were all so excited, I even had a life-sized cardboard cutout of Prince Harry, and that’s why there are so many commemorative mugs in the basement.” Do I have a life-sized cardboard cutout of Prince Harry in my apartment right now? I couldn’t tell you. Just kidding, I can tell you. I totally do.
But it’s also a chance to watch a historical event take place in real time. Much will be made of how this wedding is new and modern and different, and all of that will be true. A royal prince marrying an older, American, divorced, biracial, actress? And the Queen is cool with it? That’s new alright. Much of the day, however, will be straight out of the historical playbook. The couple will participate in a carriage ride around Windsor in the Ascot Landau. The venue? Same as the groom’s father. The engagement ring? Includes stones from the groom’s mother’s collection. Traditions are just pieces of history that have lived on and taken on a life of their own. And weddings are one of the best places to catch those traditions in action.
There will be plenty of surprises tomorrow of course. What is Meghan going to wear? Will it be less traditional than previous royal brides? Will she skip the veil and tiara (please no)? Will George and Charlotte behave? How large will Camilla’s hat be? (She loves a wide brim.) What hats are Beatrice and Eugenie going to wear, and why did everyone mock them last time? Beatrice’s hat was an absolute delight.
So set your alarms early (go time is 7 a.m. on the East Coast, and the Royals run things on time) and enjoy. This is what a wedding looks like when an entire enormous staff of people make it their full time job. (You know, absolutely nothing like real weddings, so let’s enjoy the thrill.) As theatrical performances go, it promises to be top notch!
Looking for more Royal Wedding Reading?
Here are a few good takes:
And if you want some good live Twitter coverage day of, I like Omid Scobie @scobie, the Fug Girls @fuggirls (who are going to be in Windsor, and I hope you’ve all read their book because it is magic), Emily Andrews @ByEmilyAndrews, Chris Jackson @chrisjack_getty (Royal photographer and husband to Kate’s stylist), @KensingtonRoyal of course, and, for a more irreverent take, @garyjanetti.