I hadn’t intended to watch it, but then I thought, it is history in the making, and there might not be another one for 30 years, so why not? Then I discovered the live stream on Youtube, and it was fantastic simply because it had the live video from the BBC, but no commentary. That meant it was possible to watch proceedings in full and take in the atmosphere and ambience without it being interrupted by tittle-tattle. No gossip, no useless information, no “expert” opinions, no interviews with random members of the public who were foolish enough to sleep there for a week. Instead, Youtube viewers were able to see the ceremony as if they were there, except that they had a better view than anyone who actually was.
Anyone who was watching will know what happened, and anyone who wasn’t won’t be interested, so I won’t repeat what is already reported elsewhere, and instead just add a few of my own observations, rather as if I was commenting on the live broadcast, in fact!
It was good to see Kate Middleton and her father travel to the Abbey in not a horse-drawn coach, but rather a quaint-looking 1970s Rolls Royce, not least because this was the car that a bunch of idiots vandalised during so-called protests last year. Well now billions of people have seen it looking splendid and shiny, while the stupid people who attacked it have gained nothing except notoriety, and must learn that civilised society will always triumph.
The choices of music for the ceremony worked out well. People who can afford an entire orchestra to play at their wedding are fortunate, as it’s so much better than making do with “Here Comes the Bride” bashed out on a mouse-eaten organ. Particularly welcome was the version of Jerusalem in Elgar’s arrangement, the same arrangement as performed at the Last Night of the Proms. But as the camera panned across the congregation, one surprising fact that emerged was that it seems Elton John can’t sing. While his partner David Furnish, and other guests such as David Cameron (in his morning suit), were seen singing with gusto, Sir Elton seemed to make a poor job even of pretending. He had the programme with the words in front of him. Perhaps he wore the wrong glasses. I felt a little sorry for guests such as Ken Clarke who were seated behind the choir, as during the choir performances, they were inevitably caught on camera and looked rather bored.
The newly wed couple then set off for Buckingham Palace by carriage, past many familiar landmarks. They cut through Horse Guards Parade to reach The Mall, rather than passing through Trafalgar Square and Admiralty Arch, presumably to avoid having to close the former to traffic completely. Someone now has the fun task of shovelling up the sand and gravel they had put down in Whitehall in front of Horse Guards.
There was a long wait for the couple to appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, I suspect largely to allow the crowds to have time to be positioned before the gates. It was interesting to see the way the lines of police officers slowly and calmly moved the crowds along the Mall, then around both sides of the Queen Victoria fountain. Crowds are so much easier for the police to control when they aren’t throwing things. Also, the police all looked like old-fashioned bobbies, resplendent in their traditional helmets and tunics. The sad thing is, 99% of people would much prefer the police to dress like that all of the time – and probably have more respect for them – but it’s the hardened criminals and thugs that make stab-proof vests and fluorescent jackets necessary. Thinking about it, can’t we just deport all the thugs and so-called student protesters permanently, so that the rest of us can enjoy a pleasant country inhabited by the sort of people who turned out to watch the wedding procession?
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
It was announced this morning that Prince William is to be the Duke of Cambridge, and so his new bride the Duchess of Cambridge. That had been the favourite in the running for possible titles, and it’s lucky they are being given a title, or else we’d have Princess William of Wales, which sounds a little silly, and the newspapers would never get it right.
The previous Duke of Cambridge, Prince George (1819–1904) believed in marrying for true love, and said that arranged marriages were doomed to failure. He instead married the woman he loved, but it was not recognised as it wasn’t approved by Queen Victoria as royal marriages must be. Thankfully the royal family seem to have learned their lesson in that respect, and have avoided repeating the mistake that was made with the marriage of Prince William’s parents. Given that the new Duke is going to have little say over any aspect of his future life, it’s happy that he’s been able to make this one choice for himself, so that one day he can discharge his duties as King with the help and support of the woman he loves.