So there is about to be a big wedding across the pond and the whole kingdom is abuzz! Prince William finally popped the question and everyone is ready for a fairy tale ceremony, the likes of which haven't been seen since William's dad and mum got hitched back in 1981.
I remember that wedding well because I was engaged to be married myself at the time and my lovely wife-to-be Lisa paid an extraordinary amount of attention to Diana's preparations, although I don't know why because their ceremony and our ceremony would have nothing in common -- except a beautiful bride, of course.
Their wedding took place in St. Paul's Cathedral -- although I hear that William and his honey prefer Westminster Abbey -- and our wedding took place at Rockdale Baptist Church. Don't get me wrong. Rockdale is nice and all, and we got married in December, so the sanctuary looked real pretty, all gussied up for Christmas. But Rockdale Baptist isn't exactly St. Paul's Cathedral. And Lisa had a nice dress, but Diana's train was longer than the aisle in our church.
People said back then that Lisa looked a little like Princess Di, and I have always been a prince of a fellow, so we did have a little in common. Plus Bonnie Prince Charles and I watched the Georgia-Kentucky game together one year -- along with about 75,000 other people. Honesty compels me to admit that I saw Charles close up and he looked a little wormy to me. I was much more impressed with James Brown, who was also in attendance that day. You can have the Prince of Wales. I'll take the Godfather of Soul every time.
They say that 750 million people watched the royal wedding worldwide, which is a considerably larger number than witnessed our nuptials. If memory serves me correctly, Charles and Diana left on their honeymoon in an antique open carriage pulled by a team of matched horses. We left the church in a brand new Monte Carlo. It wasn't open, but it did have T-tops, which we removed the next day. And I bet my Chevy had more horsepower than their team.
Charles and Diana went directly to Buckingham Palace after their ceremony, and thousands of people waited outside until the couple appeared on the balcony and shared a kiss. Our first stop was at a convenience store in Opelika, Ala., for a bottle of aspirin -- the first of many headaches Lisa would have. Our second stop was at a Wendy's in Auburn for a hamburger. We spent the night at a Holiday Inn in Montgomery. I hope nobody was watching what we did that night.
Charles and Di's wedding cost millions. Ours didn't. But we are still married.
It is only natural that comparisons to THE wedding of the 20th century would come up and poor Kate Middleton, William's bride, will be living in a fish bowl for the next five or six months -- not to mention the rest of her life -- and will probably have as little to say about her own wedding as any bride this century.
The British people apparently can't get enough news about the upcoming event and gambling houses in London are setting odds on such things as the designer of the dress -- Daniela Issa Helayel is the early favorite at 3-1, Stella McCartney is the dark horse -- and who will bake the cake. And some people in the Mother Country are already wondering who will foot the bill. In these hard economic times, many are insisting that the grandmother of the groom dip into her own rather stodgy pocketbook to finance the affair, but that, apparently, remains to be seen. I think that would be appropriate, though. Grandparents are probably better fixed to finance a wedding that their own offspring -- Charles probably isn't worth more than a couple billion pounds. Besides, it would set a marvelous precedent for the rest of the world, and, yes, I unashamedly say this as the quite broke father of two daughters.
The folks in Britain seem quite upset that even if the Royal family pays for the wedding the taxpayers will have to foot the bill for security, which might run as high as 20 million pounds -- and that's a lot of bobbies on bicycles, let me tell you.
Makes you kind of glad we don't have royalty in this country doesn't it? We can watch their wedding from afar and enjoy it just as much without having to pick up the tab. Of course we will have to get up at 4 a.m. to watch, but it will be worth it.
And I have a soft spot in my heart for the monarchy, so I am willing to pitch in and help them out. I used to be a wedding photographer, you know, and still have a Canon Rebel that works. All they would have to do is fly me to London and buy the film. It's the least I could do for the country that gave us Winston Churchill.
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.