Posts Tagged ‘royal wedding’

Quick: where were you when the Pope came to Ireland? Me, I’ve got no idea. Before I’m excommunicated, I should point out that’s because I’m not Irish, and wasn’t living in Ireland at the time of the papal visit.

Ask me, though, where I was for the Queen’s Silver Jublilee (two years before all Irish babies started being called John Paul) or where I was for Charles and Diana’s wedding, and I’m sorted. I can describe the bunting, my dress (no, I wasn’t invited, but that didn’t stop me dressing up), our village street party, the works.

Here’s the thing. I’m not Royalist, but I’m hugely pro big, communal events. It’s a relatively unfashionable stance, but I ADORE those nation-binding moments.  The non-demonstrative English most often break down the reserve (and break down) at sporting events. Jonny Wilkinson’s last-ditch drop kick in the Rugby World Cup. Tiny Michael Owen’s mazy run against Argentina in 1998 (if only I’d had to Google that date; but alas, no).  These are times when we drop our polite ‘each wo/man is an island’ masks and stand together, roaring our heads off. For me, nothing can beat that sort of collective emotion.

It’s something I’ve always liked about weddings, too. Whenever I’m on my way to a wedding, I think about all the other people who’ve woken up that morning and thought, ‘today I’m going to see X&X get married’. There’s something incredibly rousing about the collective spirit, the joint goodwill. I have no idea why it moves me so much, but it always has.

All together now...

(image c/o scripting.com)

God, even at the London marathon a couple of weeks ago, 24 miles in and feeling as if I was encased in a steel tube, I looked around at the crowds yelling encouragement at hordes of random strangers, heard the band playing (yes, really) and beamed a Cheshire cat grin of ‘I’m bloody DOING this’. Running long distances is the world’s dullest thing, usually. Running long distances with 40,000 other people and a crowd of probably double that is incredibly uplifting (though not so uplifting that I’d ever want to do it again).

It’s in that same vein that I’m looking forward to the Big Day today. I’m hardly going to be in my wedding finery, and I’m certainly not going to be down at Trafalgar Square, but it’s an Occasion, one that nobody is escaping, cynical or not. In this day and age, there’s a lot to be said for that.

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Himself and Herself

Amazing what you can come across in the children’s section of Dubray Books while innocently browsing for a small girl’s birthday party present. My luck was in on Saturday with this Dress Up Dolly book, starring Kate Middleton in a vest-and-pants combo not dissimilar to what you once saw on the back of Bunty. Her husband-to-be is depicted displaying a common form of patriotism, namely modelling his underpants on his national flag. He’s also got on shoes which are about twice the length of his face.

I’m surprised there’s any market for happy pair dolls this side of the Irish Sea. I certainly haven’t seen any mugs, teatowels or commemorative porcelain statuettes for the buying – but perhaps there really are children just slavering to get their hands on this lavish production. I haven’t seen the itinerary for the Royal visit in May, either – I don’t suppose anyone will. I wonder how alarmed the Queen would be if we were to wave her through the streets of Dublin with cutout dolls of her number one grandson in his underpants? I can’t quite see a smile creasing her lips.
Any Royal gear in your local shop?

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