Still yawning a bit today after staying up to watch Royal Wedding.   Finding there really is no way to recoup those lost hours when you have 3 children.   So today I am thankful that Left Brain is home and watching the kids so I can write this post, a napping baby, and my Keurig machine is now fixed again and brewing lovely brew.

But, about that Wedding?

I remember getting up early 30 years ago to watch Prince Charles marry Lady Diana Spencer.  To a little girl of 10, it seemed a fairy tale.  That dress, the horse carriage ride, a kiss on a balcony.   Dreams DO come true.    Now, years later, and although it may be unfair to compare, the differences are startling.   While Diana's dress was the epitome of every girls' vision of a Princess wedding gown, Kate's --- or rather, Catherine's, was the perfect blend of traditional and modern aesthetic.   Plus, it suited HER and thus, she looked completely comfortable, radiant and relaxed.   Whereas Diana, while one cannot deny her own radiant beauty,  looked nervous and unhappy:  although one can only see this now with the benefit of hindsight; and numerous video replays.   And that is was struck me most about this Royal Wedding.  How relaxed and at ease William and Catherine appeared.   As a result, everyone involved echoed their ease and it appeared to be the wedding just like any two other people that you might attend.  (okay, minus the numerous police and security presence.)  There were many personal and intimate touches, that we see now, were so glaringly absent in his parent's ceremony.    And therein is the difference:  the first one was all ceremony, while this recent one, was more reflective of them.  A couple, in love, starting their lives united as one.

The bride and her dress were stunning, the groom was dashing, handsome, AND attentive (here one, if they were were single and not mother to 3 children, might pontificate about the perhaps even more dashing, handsome and oh so captivating, mischievous-eyed younger Prince Best Man....ahem), the music was beautiful, the procession romantic (loved that she bowed her head in respect whenever the Prince saluted), and the kisses did not have a stilted, stiff, formal vibe.  He blushes!!   Can you imagine Prince Charles blushing when he kisses?  Certainly not, by jove!
But what really struck a chord with me.  What I think really sets them apart, yet truly shows the strength of their bond: and mostly, that thankfully, there is enough of his late mother in him to overcome the straight-jacket of tradition and duty.......they wrote their own prayer.   In lieu of vows, they wrote the following wedding prayer

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Indeed.  Sounds like a young couple who have their Royal Act together.  They could have stuck with traditional vows - but they opted for this instead.  And I believe it to be heartfelt.   The couple did not have to invite those individuals involved with their charities - but they did.   Or the local butcher and convenience store clerks from her small hometown.  They did not have to decline gifts, and request charitable donations - but they did.   Prince William, as the favoured Grandson, could have requested Her Royal Highness, Princess Catherine.....grandma would have probably obliged.  In fact, he requested NO title, other than his current Prince of Wales, for himself either.   And the newly titled, Duke of Cambridge did not have to drive his lovely new bride, the Duchess of Cambridge off into the sunset himself. (okay, granted, we all can't have an Aston Martin to accomplish this.)   They looked so relaxed and like they were having FUN!  Imagine, having fun on your special day.   Perhaps his parents story might have been different, if it had been thus.

So, while the lofty expectation that William and Catherine will be the saviours of the Monarchy might be unfair... .methinks this couple is the real deal, and quite possibly not only have the strength of bond to go to the distance.   They may just yet fulfill the words of St. Catherine of Siena, that the Bishop of London opened his sermon quoting thus:

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

It is no wonder that they also broke with tradition in bestowing the Bishop, a dear and trusted friend of Prince Charles, and spiritual mentor to the boys since their mother's death, over the traditional Archbishop of Canterbury.   Whether they knew the content of his speech prior, I don't know.  But it seems to me that the Bishop knew the heart and mind of this young couple.  That amidst the pomp and circumstance, celebrities, fancy hats, and Union Jacks; they did not want shrink away from Christianity - as so many in the West have done - but rather, wished to proclaim it.    And I for one, also pray, as we should we pray for our current and future leaders, that God will Bless them and their marriage in precisely the heartfelt manner in which they have prayed.

And yes, if you are wondering, when they visit Canada in July, for their first official trip.....I will want to see them!

And now for fun, The Dress:

And, of course, The Fascinators!! (my top 3 favourites)

Zara Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne

Sophie, Countess of Windsor
Princess Letizia of Spain
And just in case, you only want to see the highlights....