It's been a difficult week here in the South. A couple of members of my family had close calls with the storms that tore through Alabama and Georgia Wednesday night, but thankfully no one was hurt. The same unfortunately can't be said for those who have lost loved ones, homes, and possessions. As my sister and I approached our tea party Thursday evening and early yesterday morning, our thoughts were with the people of our home and neighboring states....
The festivities began around midnight. After a round of Disney princess trivia, we watched two of our favorites - The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty. Around two, we took brief naps to power up for the early morning ceremony. Not long later, we were both wakened just in time to see Princes William and Harry leave their father's residence at Clarence House for Westminster Abbey. Seeing both Windsor men in full dress uniform proved to be a wonderful wake-up call! We were both delighted by the queen who arrived in a festive daffodil dress and hat.
All the secrecy surrounding Catherine's dress was well worth it! It lived up to its hype and then some, and Alexander McQueen seemed to be the perfect shout-out to British fashion. When I saw the lace overlay, I instantly thought "Princess Grace of Monaco," which seemed to be a subtle nod to American glamour as well. Kate's "something borrowed," obviously, was the stunning Cartier Halo Tiara, a Windsor family heirloom loaned to her by the queen. (Bad luck to the person who bet $10,000 she would wear the queen's Russian Fringe Tiara instead.) Her "something new" was a gift from her own family - the gorgeous diamond drop earrings designed to look like her family's official coat-of-arms. Kate's "something blue" wasn't Diana's sapphire engagement ring given to her by Prince William to mark their own engagement. It was a small blue ribbon sewn into the inner lining of her gown.
Kate's composure was other-worldly, not a hint of nerves. The Middleton family, too, held up very well - better than some members of the royal family. I didn't expect to be impressed with sister Pippa's performance. She looked as at ease as Kate herself and genuinely happy to be there. I especially love this moment, at left. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was experiencing their big day with my sister, too. (If you haven't seen the dress details, click to enlarge the photo. It's well worth the closer look!)
William looked quite nervous but endearingly so. I loved the banter between him and Harry. The moment that eclisped even the two balcony kisses as far as romance goes is the moment when William turned to Kate at the altar and saw her for the first time. Le sigh! At this point, I forgot all about my steamy cup of British Breakfast tea. The ceremony as a whole was perfection. Despite the fact that two billion people were watching their every move, it felt very intimate. The thing that struck me most about the vows was William and Kate's eye contact throughout (something we didn't see during Charles and Diana's nuptials thirty years ago). It doubled the already touching level of intimacy and sincerity. What does it matter that the ring didn't quite fit? The ceremony was magical and I'm thrilled I got to watch history unfold with such joy.
Here's my sister and me bedecked in our tiaras and pajamas drinking our tea waiting for Kate's exit from the Goring Hotel. We're both a little sleepy - but overall, thrilled (and frizzy, on my end)!