Why Yes, I *AM* Staying Up to Watch the Royal Wedding

One of my fondest memories as a very young teen is waking up at 3 am (Wisconsin time), crawling into bed with my Gramma (’cause we didn’t want to wake anyone else in the house) and snuggling down and watching the “wedding of the century” as Lady Diana married Prince Charles.

We cuddled together, me in front of Gramma, and peered intently at the grainy picture on the 8″ black and white television. Oh, we had color TV, but that was downstairs and my Grampa slept there (he slept in the big chair, the only way he could breathe with his emphysema).

I was young, barely 13, safe, and at my “summer” home, Gramma’s house in Kenosha. I can still remember it, her arms wrapped around me, her cheek resting on mine, the faint smell of her Jean Naté clinging to her as she pointed out who was whom, and told me the names of the places the carriage passed as the wedding party made its way through London.

It would be years before I’d see those places in person, and I think even when I did see them I had the echo of her voice in my head as she told me a bit of the history of each as she knew it.

When Diana emerged from the glass coach we, like everyone else, ooh’d and aah’d over the dress. We didn’t notice its wrinkles. We only saw a nervous bride on her way into this ancient church.

It was a 13-year-old’s fantasy wedding for a 13-year-old who never fantasized about weddings. I remember thinking that I’d rather we wearing Charles’ outfit than Diana’s.


Together we winced as the nervous bride mixed up her groom’s four names, using instead his second name instead of his first. I felt bad for her, knowing that if I saw it in the US, others would tease her about it. At 13, teasing was the worst possible thing. Gramma chuckled and joked, “that doesn’t bode well, is she now married to his father?”

I dozed off as the wedding droned on, but woke again as the party exited the church. We waited for the “balcony scene” to happen and when it did, I was a bit envious of the flower girls, but even moreso of the page-boys and their uniforms.

Oh, how telling that was.

Then we cheered (quietly) when the couple broke hundreds of years of tradition and smooched, right there in front of God, the Queen, and everyone.

I am certain this match is a far better one than that which begat the groom. I believe that, and I am delighted for them. In one tiny way, I am happy to share in their celebration.

So. I have my alarm set, and I have the TiVo set just in case, but I have absolutely no doubt that when it all begins, I’ll be curled up on the couch, waiting for it to begin.

And wishing Gramma were here with me, her arms wrapped around me, whispering little bits into my ear.


2 Comments on “Why Yes, I *AM* Staying Up to Watch the Royal Wedding”

  1. Tammy says:

    How was it? I was sound asleep in the hotel room at 9:15pm. Clearly, New Zealand’s timezone doesn’t agree with me. Thankfully, everything else does!

  2. Cags says:

    Ah nice memories. 🙂 Truth be told I remember thinking “what a hideous dress!” and it’s no surprise that I didn’t get married in any shade remotely close to white (although it was a 3/4 length dress and girly in its own way.)
    I remember going up to London on the day before the wedding, with my parents and twinnie. We bought flags to wave and just took in the atmosphere. It was amazing – the only other times I’ve experienced anything like as feel good as that was, the two times I saw gigs are Wembly (old) stadium, and at AT5! We stayed late for the free concert in Hyde Park and the fireworks afterwards but watched the ceremony on TV at home the next day.

    So did you stay up and watch? What did you think? We made be fairly stoical most of the time but when we go for it, us Brits do pomp like nobody else.
    I do think Kate and William are well suited and obviously very much in love. Love makes a massive difference; you can get through most testing times with love on your side. And the royal family have learnt a lot about since those Diana days, so I have hope this is a union made to last.