“But WHY do you care? They have no actual power!”
asks my deeply Slytherin husband. While an argument can certainly be made for a royal family’s continued importance to the economies and morale of the countries they reign over, and my anthropologist’s heart is tickled by the pomp, they’re mostly just the celebrities I’ve “known” longest. When you spend your childhood wondering if you could marry that cute blond prince, your adolescence watching that horrible funeral procession, and your adulthood ogling that lovely ginger beard, they somehow register in my emotions as… not family, but that friend of a friend you’ve run into on birthdays forever. I know I don’t know them, but I feel like I do. Watching them create continuity while transitioning toward modernity is fascinating. Also, the clothes. And jewels. And the delight of letting my Name Nerd self out to play for a baby I’ll never meet. (Louis? Really? His brother’s middle name?? I had you all set with Arthur Phillip Frances, guys!)
When Prince Harry announced his engagement to Megan Markle last fall, it felt like my own personal reward for surviving the usual family insanity over the preceding Thanksgiving weekend. Did I wear a celebratory floral day dress to work instead of my usual jeans and cardigan? Um, there’s no photographic proof.
Let’s talk about how to be ready for watching the wedding this upcoming Saturday, May 19th instead of answering that question. It’s going to be a delight, and 2018 needs those. As a member of the armed forces who served with Harry in Afganistan and is appearing in the festivities put it,
“It’s Britain, isn’t it? There’ll be flags, horses, a castle, men in armour, men in big furry hats, drums beating. No-one does it better.”
Decide How to Watch
Livestream? Network? Cable? First you must decide whether you do or don’t want an outlet that’s featuring bitter, distant Markle relatives. (I certainly do not… but if you live tweet it I’ll probably follow you.) I’m not going to run down all the details here when it’s been done elsewhere so thoroughly. Here on the West Coast coverage starts at 1 a.m. and the service is at 4, so I’ll be watching a replay later in the day. (Because I love sleep even more than I love crazy fascinators.) Hopefully I can get Mom and Grandma to wait for me.
Snacks and drinks
Even waiting to watch at a human hour, it will probably be a smidge early for a proper Pimms cup if I’m going to function the rest of the day. I grabbed some delightful Wedding Tea as a shower gift for an Anglophile friend earlier this month, but I’m planning a celebratory can of Trader Joe’s Lemon and Elderflower soda (the same flavors planned for Harry and Meghan’s cake!) and a package of HobNobs. Maybe scones if I’m feeling ambitious the night before. A full English breakfast would be the greatest, but nobody’s going to make me one, and I’m not going to want to take the time away from my laptop.
I wrapped that wedding shower tea in this delightful tea towel, and it would be lovely to spread out on a snack table. Tiaras or fascinators are definitely in order. For Christmas I bought myself (and the auntie who wears the replica ring) Kate Middle-Toe socks. Grandma and Mom got the QE2 version. They make me unreasonably happy every time I put them on, so I’ll definitely be wearing them. Are you taking a beach vacay? You need Harry and Megan swimsuits, right?
If you’re staying up all night to watch live in Pacific Time, you’re going to need a drinking game to go with that Pimms Cup. Heck, play with your cup of tea! These things get loooong if you stick around to glimpse every hat and count every Spice Girl in attendance.
Whatever you do, place your bets ahead of time, or at least Tweet your guesses so the world can see the time stamp when they discover you were right. Obviously pick a dress designer (Roland Mouret) and tiara (Cartier Bandeau), but also what color the queen wears (pink), which uniform Harry chooses (Royal Marines) who has the craziest hat (Beatrice, we’re all counting on you, girl) and how many times the camera catches George pouting (4).
Find Somebody Who’ll Watch With You
My husband’s no fun for stuff like this, and my kids will get bored and walk away five minutes in. Mom and Grandma will be good company, but won’t be sufficiently scandalized if Meghan somehow decides to wear the Spencer tiara (gasp!). This is what the internet was born for. I’ll be hanging out on Twitter (@BeaDeeH) and in the promised open post on Go Fug Yourself, the fashion blog run by the authors of The Royal We. Come hang out with me on the 19th? In the meantime, place your dress and tiara bets in the comments.