After months of speculation and hype, Prince William and Catherine Middletonare married! 2 Billion people were watching around the globe, due to the interconnectedness of the internet and Cable/TV networks. Prince William & Catherine Middleton did not disappoint! Their wedding has had all the royal pageantry that one would expect and at the same time seems simpler and more down to earth than Royal Weddings of the past.
Catherine’s dress is beautiful as expected. Ivory though, not white. Possibly a more modern choice? Her train was not as long as other Royal Brides but this is more practical because every foot of train adds another few pounds of fabric and is very heavy to carry. Catherine’s veil was short (fingertip length) and edged with intricate lace. A more traditional look than I expected and the veil was not a light fluffy material so it clung to her hair rather than floated above it. This may have been on purpose because the wind can blow Catherine’s hair around a lot and she did decide to wear it down rather than up, which was more modern also.
The wedding dress itself was a very conservative design that felt like a modern take on a very traditional look. (almost a modern medieval revival feel to it, kinda also looked sound-of-music to me) The lace overlay on her shoulders and sleeves was really amazing and most likely hand made. The dress did have lace around the edge of the skirt and train but it was not visible from afar. Only in pictures showing it up close.
William looked happy and at times concerned for Catherine trying to navigate in and out of carriages in this dress. Catherine’s dress did have less fullness to the skirt than many royal wedding gowns in the past but it is still a challenge for anyone who runs around in jeans or skirts to navigate in a floor length gown with a train and petticoat. I found it to be cumbersome and difficult to move in, and mine wasn’t nearly as long.
Prince William and Prince Harry both looked very royal in their military/royal uniforms. The Queen, Camilla and Mrs. Middleton all looked very casual in comparison to William & Kate. All three of them wore very pastel colors and had a just below the knee length to their dresses/jackets that looked like something to wear to Easter Sunday Mass. I think this may have been an attempt to be less formal than in the past and also stand apart from the couple getting married. The photos on the balcony after the wedding also showed that the families were off to both sides and Kate & William were in the center alone. I’m not sure why that would be, except to let them shine, yet it didn’t look like the family was very close.
There are so many interesting details to this wedding that were different than what you would have anticipated. One is that the carriage they rode back from the ceremony in, was open. No covered carriage with windows or bullet proof glass like in the past. This looks more accessible and down to earth. Catherine’s bouquet was a small bouquet by royal standards, made of Lilly of the valley, sweet William and hyacinth. Very non-traditional wedding flowers, and no sight of the Royal Myrtle talked about in tradition. One thing about that bouquet, it was likely very fragrant.
Another interesting design idea was bringing in live trees in pots to line the abbey isle to give the feeling of being outside and bring nature into the ceremony. These trees will be replanted, and they specified that the other plants that can’t be replanted be donated to charity after the wedding. It is nice that they have taken some cues to respect nature in the process of the wedding and also do things like donate to charity and ask for donations to charity instead of gifts. It is a new take on the Royal Lifestyle.
Another twist on tradition was to drive off in Prince Charles vintage Aston Martin convertible after the procession was complete. I think the public identifies with an image of a just married couple in a car together more than the formality of a carriage. And its a nice twist that they used a car they already had. Saves a little bit on the budget.
I am so happy for Catherine and William. They have put together a wedding that was both royal and down to earth at the same time and despite all the hard work and planning that must have gone into it, they look like they were pretty relaxed and happy. Congratulations you two, we all wish you the best of health and happiness together.