Is all of life composed of layers. How many layers came together yesterday. “Innocence of a wedding day” I heard Simon Schama say. The Bishop of London spoke to the now royal couple of hope. All is cherished. All possible.
Chaucer, a London poet, made a wry appearance when the Bishop of London addressed the two as though only the three of them were there. Layers. To how many did he speak.
William himself is the one who wanted to include Diana in his wedding day. How close he was to her. How not to want her to be part of such a day. He is the one who brought her in. He has never let her go. Bond of love. Mother and son. From the very first moments they shared.
And yet. Even as he placed his mother’s ring upon his own beloved’s finger, he began his care of his chosen one in his very next words. No one will be expected to take his mother’s place. No one ever could. Kate, his Kate, will make her own place and be his comfort, his soulmate. As he will be hers. What a gift he gives in those words. Who understands more what the gift is meant to give.
Life and its layers. History in most every face. Who were we then. Who are we now.
I loved the words of the Bishop of London as he faced the newlyweds. Each will draw the best from the other. Each will help the other find his, her own best self. What freeing and uplifting words. For them. For us. For all. I think.
You need to be no one else. You will live together as day by day you find yourselves, allow yourselves, become yourselves.
Surely, surely if ever so quietly, Diana’s wishes are here. Perhaps as well by now, his father’s wishes for his son.
There may be weight, responsibility, but we welcome and look forward to the future we celebrate in you today.
Most everyone in the public crowd soon made the walk down the Mall, gathering for the balcony appearance.
The eyes. The smiles.
Watching footage of Diana and Charles. We forget. Diana so wanted her father to walk her down the aisle. He was so glad for her, so proud. But there was some concern that he would struggle down the aisle. St. Paul’s aisle. She supported him as much as he tried to support her.
No such worry yesterday. Another proud father took his daughter’s hand and walked with her in front of all the world. Not an earl father this time. Not a titled Lady on his arm. An earnest, watchful, loving father handing his daughter not only to another man, but to a man about to make his daughter a royal princess and possibly one day a queen. Two families merged in these moments as the two before us spoke their vows.
This prince and his brother, groom and best man, have known so much, lost so much, gained and grown so much, and now begin to give so much. William looks so much like her. Harry so resembles her father, the earl.
Perhaps Diana is the one who was allowed to make sure there wasn’t any rain. I suspect she smiled too as Kate remembered the order of all William’s names.
One arrives in an automobile. One leaves in an open carriage. The smiles are precisely the same.
Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus. Not only Wales now, but linked by name to all the Isles.
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn.
Perhaps we’ll know them best, for now, as Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales. William and his Kate.
A fly-past. For them. Over the balcony. Past and present tense. Layers.
The eyes. The smiles. The love. The kiss.
And then again.
Their day. Their moment.
For moments now, for a lifetime to come, happiness, joy, love. Hope.