First, a confession:
I’ve not watched the entire royal wedding. I’ve seen Meghan’s dress, Harry’s getup, and many pictures of the family and wedding party. I’ve also seen video clips here and there, as they come across my Facebook feed. So I don’t have anything to say about the sermon or the vows, both of which I’ve heard various opinions about.
We are full of opinions, aren’t we? It’s humorous that millions upon millions of people watched the Royal Wedding, yet each one of us seem to have a differing opinion. Opinions of why the dress was beautiful – or not. Opinions on whether the sermon was theologically correct – or not. We are a judgmental lot, aren’t we? We like to look on and judge whether things were right or beautiful or worth our time and the Royal Family’s dough.
It takes such bravery for a princess or duchess to stand before so many people, to be judged as we judge. I mean, clearly, not one of us knows Meghan or Harry. Nor did we know William or Kate. So mostly, we judge externals, although we have opinions about their character as well.
Well. Here’s what I thought:
Meghan’s first dress was lovely, if not a little bit plain. I’ll go for plain over immodest and flashy any day. I thought it was a good style for her, and she wore it well. The second dress? I’d never wear it. High necks and missing sleeves don’t make sense to me. Why would one cover a neck but not arms? That style of dress, whatever it may be called in the professional world of fashion, to me, is odd. Unbecoming, even if the model of the dress has a perfect figure. Just my opinion.
Going back a few years …
I thought Kate’s wedding dress was to die for. Class, elegance, beauty, modesty, and all things that should become a bride on her big day was on display. In my mind, she’s the picture of propriety, class, and elegance. Not just in the way she looks, but in the way she acts and interacts with people of all walks of life. I like her – from afar. As well as anyone can like anyone from afar.
Princes Harry and William? Oh, were they at the weddings? I hardly noticed. I’m sure they were dashing. Harry’s display of emotion at the altar was sweet. They both seem like sweet boys to me, even if they did go wild a bit after their mother’s death. They’ve grown to be respectable, kind men who want to carry on the best of their mother’s legacy. They’re notably noble. Yay. Now once the Queen passes, can we put William on the throne and skip Prince Unfaithful all together?
The bridesmaids and flower girls?
Oh. So sweet. Princess Charlotte is toddler perfection. My favorite picture of her on Harry and Meghan’s big day was the one where she has her leg lifted up, in spite of her ruffled skirts. Sometimes a girl just has to practice her gymnastics, and if it’s at a Royal Wedding, so be it. I like her sass, her flare, her individuality. I hope she never loses those qualities. Or that adorbs wave she’s always giving the cameras as she walks up stairs. Walk up a few stairs, turn, smile, wave, and be gone. She knows the drill, and performs it perfectly every time. Prince George is also dashing, if a bit temperamental. He seems a bit more offish than Charlotte, and I don’t blame him a bit. I hope all the Royal kids have a childhood that’s as normal as possible.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
What is normal about riches and daily, grinding, non-stop expectations from the public?
No. They won’t have a normal life. But I hope that at times, they get to ditch the cameras, play in the mud, drink from a garden hose, and poke a garter snake with a stick.
Why do we love to watch the Royal Family? That’s been my question this last week. Not just for myself, but for all who watch and follow them throughout the year. I follow them on Facebook, even though I’ve never seen or talked to them. They don’t even know I, a poor (in comparison to them) commoner am alive. I mean, here I’ve been writing this blog on Patheos for over a year, and for what? The Queen and her brood still don’t know me from Hogan’s Goat.
But I “know” them. I probably am privy to all the information they will allow the public, and why? Well for me, I enjoy observing class. It’s something America is losing with our demand for mass approval of immorality. With immorality comes bad manners. We can simply watch a gay pride parade or a pro-choice rally to know what I’m talking about. There’s shouting, trash throwing, spitting, cursing, and people half dressed if dressed at all, or dressed in vaginas costumes.
This is not universal in America. No, I’m not saying that. Not every American is guilty of rude and insensitive behavior. I’m saying a large majority of our culture has allowed manners to slide. Dress has become frumpy and downright gross sometimes. Speech has become hurtful. Social media has fueled much of it, but if our hearts were pure and sinless, social media would only serve to spread love to one another. So we can’t blame social media. The heart of the problem is always a problem of the heart, as our Pastor likes to say.
But take a Royal Wedding. Do we love them just because we want to tune in and judge? I can’t say for sure. I only suspect that beauty, kindness, manners, and even some good old fashioned pomp and circumstance are to blame for the high television ratings. We love a good love story, sure. But a Royal Ceremony has more beauty than usual, more pomp than usual, more goodness and greatness than usual. And while the kind gestures and manners of the big day may be well thought out and highly staged, they are what they are:
For when is a display of manners or a kind gesture ever bad?
Never. It never gets old. I’ve never had my husband tell me to stop it already with the thoughtfulness, or with making our house a home by keeping it clean and as beautiful as our budget allows. As people, we adore – even crave – everything Royal Weddings put on for the world to see. Prince Harry’s tearful moment seemed kind and gentle, even though I don’t know the reason for the tears. Meghan’s beauty and class no doubt had an effect, as little girls wondered how they can emulate her modest style and behavior. Dashing William and Harry are healthy role models for boys wanting to become men. Even the Queen shows us much: how to live in a difficult role gracefully, how to grow old and still be kind, and how to influence and direct a family without being overbearing.
And so on.
So while half of me thinks that nobody should be watching Royal Weddings, because all that money shouldn’t be spent on such frivolity when, in third world countries, people are starving and could be fed with what it took to decorate the church entrance, my other half says we should have at it. Royalty should put on the display and the world should watch, so the world can see what beauty is, that modesty is still awesome and serves a purpose, and that nobility and manliness mixed with tenderness is acceptable. Not only acceptable, but highly desirable.
As for Americans, I guess we will continue to sit around thinking Miley Cyrus, angry women sporting vagina hats, and man buns and saggy drawers are classy. Or at least acceptable.
We should watch Royal Weddings to glean from their goodness. They aren’t perfect weddings with perfect people. But it’s difficult to deny that they consists of a few rare jewels that sparkle amidst a declining, darkening culture over here in America.
You may be thinking that if we all had as much money as Royalty, we could sparkle, too. I disagree. The success of Royal Weddings don’t have to do with money so much as they do with class and dignity. I paid a total of eight hundred dollars for my wedding. I had just had open heart surgery, followed by a pacemaker implant six weeks prior. I wasn’t up for a big shebang, nor did I have the money for a big shebang. So my Dad bought my dress for five hundred, and with the remaining three hundred, I bought a few flowers, a dress for my one bridesmaid, a tux for our one best man, a dress for our one flower girl, and we (just very close friends and family) all met out on a cliff near Telluride, Colorado to do what we wanted to do before I found out I had to have surgery asap. We said our vows on a late September afternoon, in the sunshine and crisp mountain air, in God’s creation with God listening. There was very little pomp and circumstance. Very little money – but much love, respect, honor, dedication, and tenderness. So it doesn’t take much money to be classy or beautiful. It just takes the right heart attitude.
The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.
Congrats to the dashing Duke and Duchess of Sussex. May the love and respect displayed toward each other on their wedding day live and shine forever.