Prince William arrived at Westminster Abbey by Bentley in his scarlet uniform looking relaxed and happy – his brother Harry with him, looking equally handsome in black uniform complete with golden epaulets, sash and belt. They worked the crowd like every guest was a personal friend, talking to them and shaking hands.
Then Catherine’s mother, Carol Middleton, arrived along with her brother, James. They were followed by a few Volkswagon Vans of guests. Then Prince Andrew and his two daughters who were wearing hats of unique design.
Prince Charles and Camilla arrived next.
They were followed by Queen Elizabeth – in bright yellow dress and hat – and Prince Phillip. Cheers never ceased along the way.
Pippa Middleton and the tiny three year old bridesmaids with flowers in their hair, arrived next, along with the little page boys dressed in red like William. Pippa, hair down, in a fitted sheath gown with a cowl neck line, held the hands of the little girls as they entered – the little boys following behind. Charming.
All eyes were on the canopy at the hotel Goring as Catherine entered the waiting car with her father, Michael Middleton. She was wearing a veil and tiara, long sleeve gown with full skirt, fitted bodice and lace overlay – designed by Sarah Burton. As she rode along the parade route from the Goring Hotel to Westminster Abbey, she held her bouquet in one hand – a sprig of myrtle in it for luck – and waved with the other to people cheering her, smiling the entire time. Her sister, Pippa, exited the Abbey to greet her as she arrived, fix the train behind her and give her that last bit of moral support.
Trees had been brought into the nave of the Abbey to line her pathway as she entered. Harry, being himself, glimpsed over his shoulder, snickered, and said something funny to William. William greeted his bride and her father with a huge grin. A lip reader reported that what William then said to Catherine’s father was ‘just a small family affair’.
I loved the hymn singing. This isn’t a pageant, but a serious religious ceremony and a proud moment for both families. We are reminded of this during prayer and spiritual contemplation.
At the altar, William blinked and blinked, as though tears were close while hearing his charge to Kate, undoubtedly thinking of his mother. Wouldn’t she have been grand today! I am reminded of how much we loved her in United States and internationally. I also arose early and watched her wedding. Then sadly her funeral. Same church for all of these events. Today’s service is happy. No mistakes in repeating vows and saying ‘I will’. Ring on Kate’s finger, hands tied in a golden cloth, symbol of eternal binding.
The couple were led to a pair of chairs to the right of the altar as James Middleton read scripture. Then a boys choir sang a beautiful hymn. It was soothing and moving.
“Be who God made you to be and you will set the world on fire,” quoted Rev. Chartres from another Catherine – St. Catherine of Sienna. A thoughtful sermon to the couple and to the world was given by him.
Another hymn by the boys choir in white robes with red collars, ruffles along the necks of the youth, ties for the older men. Another group of youngsters stand in the front in red coats, singing from floor level. A single voice sings in Latin and ‘Amen’ is sung. How many hours have they practiced, I wonder.
The royal couple are back in center stage at the altar, kneeling for the Lord’s Prayer.
The camera scans the audience – Sir Elton John, the Beckhams, the streets lined with people waving the Union Jack in Trafalgar Square. It is reported that only one pound per person per year is required to keep the Royals – quite a bargain.
Following prayer, the couple and their immediate families exited off the right to a private chapel where they will sign the wedding certificate.
Tis done! We have a new royal couple and all is well.
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