Musings of Anna1liese

Dream Hope Breathe Believe
APRIL 30, 2011 6:51PM

Balcony Afterthoughts

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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. 



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This is so beautiful. I crossed fingers, and dove in, having said initially that I would not watch. But of course, since the coverage began at 1 a.m. for wasn't so late, or so early, so...I couldn't resist. And when it was over, I was glad I did. This was so much more than just a wedding, and there's so much to say--I will, tomorrow. But it won't be any better than this. I second these emotions. Wholeheartedly!
I'm so glad you wrote this.

So much Righteous Anger in these pages lately about this event - thanks for seeing to the heart of a loving union, and share the layers, the outermost being hope, the innermost being none of our d... business.

I didn't know about the ring, and I missed the choirboy - I saw a balcony photo today with on of the flowergirls (?) leaning on her crossed arms looking decidedly grumpy about the whole business - and I know K is not only the oldest but the best educated princess England has known - & that her PhD was on Lewis Carroll :-)

Where was Princess Anne though ?

ps. Your piece at Truckstop is still my favourite, not just for Larry's walk-on role either.
on/one ... only 2. I'm improving !
Very nicely done.

p.s. Kim, Princess Anne was definitely there.
how sweet is this summary! thank you, i had not watched, but now I wish I had heard the bishop's words.
Keka, Thank you. I started writing as I watched. So much caught me up and stayed with me. Glad you watched and glad you will share your thoughts.

Kim. I am so glad to hear your words. I looked about yesterday and ... I don’t know. I felt so all alone. I think I needed to write the first piece at the Truckstop for me before I could reach to this. So many connections for me. Personal connections. So many waves float before my eyes, through my heart. This boy was born to be king. He was the first in that position to be born to a mother who simply wanted to love him and be sure he knew how loved he was. If only Charles had had any sense of that from his mother when he was young. Part of Charles has always known that. Part of him honoured Diana for the way she raised their sons. After her death, he did his best. I think. Surely, I think, they feel that.

Part way through yesterday as I listened to hymns I knew, I remembered I knew them because they are mine. Not because I learned them growing up. I learned them in my new home, the home that welcomed me, the home that ... well, home. I was home in this wedding. I was with family. I knew the people. I knew the stories. I knew some of the histories. As everyone sang God Save the Queen, I heard the words in my head, and though I don’t really forget, I remembered. She is my Queen too. If I live long enough, William and his Kate may be my King and Queen.

And yet, that is not what draws me to the people here. I, like many others at the time, felt such a kinship with Diana. I, like many others, watched these boys lose their mother to tragedy before the eyes of the world. I understand why William is so wary. Who, in his place, wouldn’t be.

On and on and on I go. They are like family to me. They are her sons. Didn’t she somehow leave them to our care. I thought that would be what everyone felt. I understood Rita’s words yesterday.

No one seemed to notice the choirboy. It was only a phrase but it was a solo phrase. It was his solo phrase and he seemed so perfectly calm and sang so clearly, so beautifully as all the world watched. William gave Kate Diana’s engagement ring, the sapphire and diamond ring. When interviewed together afterward, he spoke those words. He is wise beyond his years. I think. I do hope for them and I wish them so very well.

Thank you, Kim, for seeing what I see. It matters. I know you know.

Tell me about K and I’ll tell you about Anne. K?

I watched the little girl on the balcony again today. It was the noise of the second fly-past, the modern jets. It hurt her ears. I think. :)
Kathy, Thanks. Shh. Don't tell Kim now. I want him to tell me about K.

dianaani, If you look online at BBC, they have a fair few highlights there. The Bishop of London was wonderful. He began with a quote from Catherine of Sienna, "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." How perfect for them to hear this. And then he went on. When he mentioned Chaucer as a "poet from London", he quoted these words: "When mastery cometh, the god of love anon, beateth his wings and, farewell, he is gone." Mastery is not a part of marriage. To whom was he speaking these particular words, I wonder. What thoughts were going through the minds of all the main players. So many tenses, so many layers. And more. Sorry, so easy to be carried away here. Thanks for your words.
This is so lovely, Anna...I for one, found it all to be breathtaking, as weddings are, small or large...and yes, Kim, Princess Anne was there...wearing a really striking violet floral dress and coordinating coat...she looked divine...xox
The more I read the more I wish I had watched this wonderful wedding. I was sad and down and thought wrongly it would make me sadder. After reading this I believe I was wrong and would have enjoyed the ceremony, the joy that shown through.
Thankyou, Kathy, and thankyou Robin.
anna1liese, you know I'm sure about the author's prediliction for photographing young girls ; that he carried a collection of pins to help hoist their skirts as they frolicked in the water ; and that such things are looked askance upon these days - I'm curious, is all, to see what the Duchess made of it all in her ( as yet unpublished ) Angels for Heaven thesis.
It can't have been too scandalous : all the royalties from Alice continue to flow to Oxford.
Reminds me of a sepia-toned Johnnie Depp film, I can't remember the name. Maybe it was about Conan Doyle, anyway.
I'm glad Anne was there.
Lovely and appropriate summary and wrap up. Strangely enough, I was with family last night and my youngest brother stayed up very late watching it by himself the reruns..... hmmm. I guess there is a romantic in all of us.
Robin, Thank you. Love your description of what she wore.

Lunchlady, If I could show you all the smiles I saw, perhaps the joy would lift you. Glad you were able to hear joy here.

Kim, For some reason I was thinking of Princess Alice. Yes about the author and no about her thesis. Til now. How did you know she wrote about LC. Now I wonder too.

Anne was there but in the glimpse that I had, I thought she didn’t look happy and wondered why. Pensive moments, I think, midst so much joy.

Rita, Thank goodness for the romantic in us all. Thank goodness.

I saw the Duchess of Kent for the first time in years. That made me smile. Caught a glimpse of Princess Michael. That made me think again about her name. I used to know her given name but always she has been known by her husband's name. I hope I am right about our Kate's title. I hope somehow William has sorted that one out.

Remembering for now their smiles.
It was lovely and wonderful. Thanks for this.
(the almost redheaded boy with the face of an angel, yes, i noticed, and wondered how he kept his cool in such a crowded place)

when young i scorned weddings, but find myself teary eyed at all the others that have come after
indeed, the layers added

i was struck by Bishop's words, when he said that as the world watched a royal marriage we all should remember that every wedding is a royal union, every groom a prince, every bride a princess
(oh, yes, very very teary-eyed)

and yes, lot of angry and disparaging words about this wedding out there, perhaps we should allow people their traditions, and as long as royals remember their noblesse oblige and in their powerful positions help those who need it
(i think Diana did that very well)
Beautifully written. You think this through; you find the depth--the layers--in this splashy but yet private event, hearing echoes of the past and hints of the future. You exalted the wedding beyond fairy tale dresses. I'm so glad I read this.
Thank you sweetfeet.

Dearest one, speaking of kindred spirits. I think the two anticipated your thoughts themselves when they composed the prayer read out by the Lord Bishop. Perhaps in the years they’ve been together, they’ve allowed themselves time to look ahead. They seem to have both feet firmly on the ground. Hopefully, for them, each has found a gem. Couldn’t help thinking that should he have his turn as king, he’ll also head the Church of England. Lovely then to have offered in this moment a prayer to help guide them in their life together, a life of service to their fellows. Lovely to hear your thoughts. And yes about the little boy. I hope he felt the love we sent.

Pilgrim, Thank you for your lovely words. It caught me far more closely than I thought it would. It brought me home. I am glad you read it too.