It is all the radio and newspapers can talk about, there are metal barriers lining the Mall and people are camping on the streets already; tomorrow it is the Royal Wedding. Across the country, the British people are looking forward to another four-day weekend and whether excited, indifferent or actively rebellious, the wedding bells will shape their day.
Today I read an article that made me smile – Victoria Coren seems to cut to the heart of British sentiment and its odd relationship with the Windsor family. She recalls the outpouring of grief when Diana died, and I remember Mum and I sitting on the living room carpet crying at the bowed heads of William and Harry – much too young to lose a mother in front of the world arena. The tragedy of her death touched the world, and, fourteen years later, the British public seem drawn like a magnet to another royal occasion. Whilst I do not agree with a system that is hereditary and out-dated, and dislike the thought of their restrained, dysfunctional family arrangement, they are part of what makes Britain. Like an old fashioned jacket, they sit unnaturally in our normal lives, wheeled out at odd occasions; but we are too used to them to send them off to a charity shop just yet.
Writing this, the entire day seems to be almost too large to contemplate; it has prompted fierce debates about republicanism, modern society and politics, and even fiercer debates about The Dress. The radio tells me that the invitation to the Syrian ambassador has been retracted and the newspaper comments that Elton John will sit alongside world leaders who would imprison him for being gay. Feminists have written tirades about Kate’s fairytale wedding, souvenir shops have a roaring trade in memorabilia, the television flicks with endless programmes on the romance. I like to think that right now Charles is giving William a pep talk, awkwardly patting his shoulder, whilst Kate perches on the edge of a gilt bath shaving her legs.
Tomorrow, no matter how ironic or indifferent people are, they will still watch a little bit of the coverage. Perhaps there will be warm champagne, slices of cake on Union Jack paper plates, jam and icing sugar fingers. I hope that the sun will shine tomorrow; we are going with millions of others to Hyde Park to drink Pimms and wave flags.
Kate and William, all luck and happiness.