With a royal baby on the way soon and nearly a year since a former army man and an actress tied the knot, let’s look back on the big day with (a modicum of) British pride.
On 29 April 2011, Prince William of Wales married longtime love Catherine Middleton in a televised ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, England. It was a day of national celebration; having been declared a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom, bunting was hung up around the capital, there were thousands of street parties up and down the country, and in true British fashion, everybody was shit-faced before Catherine had even made it down the aisle. This really was a day to remember (unless you’d hit the Pimms too hard); a young future King, after courting her for an entire decade, had married his Queen.
Let’s fast forward seven years to the 19th May 2018; it’s a Saturday, a swelteringly hot day in the UK and the nation is preparing for the wedding of Prince Harry and American former Suits actress Meghan Markle at the historic Windsor Castle, in, well… Windsor.
Of course, there are crowds – no royal wedding is complete without them – but nowhere near as many as there were for Will and Kate. Had they married in London, we may well have seen slightly higher numbers, but let’s be real here – those us from the capital don’t really care what happens on the other side of the M4, much less venturing down it on a Saturday morning… and quite frankly, as we didn’t get a day off work for it, the general consensus was that Harry, Meghan and Theresa May could all go bugger themselves.
And on that romantic note, let’s dive in! I’m not even going to bother asking people which dress was their favourite between The Duchess of Cambridge and The Duchess of Sussex, because let’s be real here, personal views aside on both women, there is only one clear winner.
Meghan’s dress was… plain and underwhelming, to say the least. In a way, I sort of commend her for that; with the greatest of respect to her, it wasn’t her first trip down the aisle, so maybe she was looking to dial things down a bit, which is totally understandable. However, it was the veil that confused me; although stunningly handcrafted, it was about ten feet too long and I can only imagine the young bridesmaids and page boys threw some washing up liquid on it and used it as a slip-n-slide in the gardens of Windsor Castle after the ceremony. I didn’t see the necessity for such a long piece of fabric and aren’t veils meant to signify purity and innocence? When you’ve been married (twice?) before, it’s somewhat laughable. I also didn’t like the cut of the dress; it was loose around the middle and looked more like a flour sack rather than something that had been designed especially by Givenchy. She also insisted on carrying her bouquet like a flag, which was somewhat off-putting also.
Meghan’s hair was also coming loose not-so-gradually throughout the ceremony (I know— shocking) which made me wonder, for the 90th time since they got engaged, whether this woman had ever heard of hairspray or not. By the time they got off the processional route, Meghan looked a bit like she’d just spent twenty minutes sitting in front of a wind turbine. All in all, the whole look was a miss for me.
The best moment, however, had to be expressions of the Royal Family when the American preacher got over-excited and started shouting at them all. Camilla, William and Kate practically had tears in their eyes from trying not to laugh, Charles looked baffled (nothing new there then) and Harry was also either trying to stifle laughter or hold in a thunderous fart in front of his bride – it was a bit difficult to tell.
As for the guests, let’s be real here, it looked like the inside of the 2018 Oscars and there’s no way Ginger and Nutmeg actually know all these people. The Clooneys, The Beckhams and a tonne of other celebrities that neither Harry nor Meghan had ever clapped eyes on, let alone actually held a conversation with, all took their seats up front and center for the “wedding of the year”. At one point, I had to actually turn the channel over when they did the fiftieth shot of Tom Hardy’s bald head, staring off vacantly into the distance. (I mean really, when have Tom Hardy and Meghan Markle ever hung out?).
Quite frankly, I think most of us were just scanning the crowd for Harry’s ex-girlfriends and various other women he’s shagged over the years – more notable ones include Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. Chelsy’s expression was unreadable; she either had a bad case of heartburn or was seriously regretting not letting Harry put a ring on it – I couldn’t really tell. Cressida had an expression of joy and pure relief on her face – probably after witnessing how quickly Harry was losing his hair and thinking of what a narrow escape she’d had.
And among the crowd, there was a notable absence; Meghan’s entire bloody family. Her mother seemed to be the only relative she had in attendance, and there were no actual close friends to speak of either, save for a few of her Suits co-stars and that irritating brown-noser Jessica Mulroney. Even her dad seems to have bullshat about having a heart attack just to avoid going – although to be fair, I’d feign an illness so I wouldn’t have to take part in that circus either.
It was all such an utter shambles that even up until two days before the big event, the palace, and perhaps even Meghan herself, still had no idea who was walking her down the aisle. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, and about thirty BBC Breaking News alerts later, it was confirmed that Prince Charles had taken one for the team and agreed to walk his future daughter-in-law down the aisle— which I would’ve thought was sweet, had I not been so fed up hearing my phone go off every two sodding seconds.
Following the ceremony, the couple had a carriage procession through the streets of Windsor, which I must say, was somewhat pointless. I saw little need for them to get in a cart, trot around in a huge circle down the high street and arrive back where they left from. Shouldn’t a procession actually be going somewhere, like The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s between the Abbey and Buckingham Palace? It looked a bit stupid, smacked of self-importance and coupling that with the F-bomb Meghan dropped towards the end of the ride when she saw the crowds, it lost it’s sheen a bit.
All in all, the event was a 4/10. Some good music, the chapel looked lovely (after Meghan had given it the once-over with her air fresheners, of course) and the Princes both looked handsome. But otherwise, there was no royal vibe to it at all and if I attended a wedding where the bride only had one person on her side in attendance, I’d be prompting the groom to ask some serious questions. The royal family all looked bored out of their minds; Prince Philip seemed ready to doze off for most of it and I could’ve sworn Kate was looking at her phone under the hymn book at one point as well while Harry and Meghan were taking their vows — ouch!
So it was a shambles, but it’s ok — better luck with the next wedding, eh Harry?