Diana Spencer's oldest boy got married Friday.
The queen was resplendent in yellow. The groom was dressed in a red uniform, with a royal blue sash -- and when I say royal blue, I mean "royal." The bride, of course, wore white. Yes, I woke up at the crack of dawn and watched the royal wedding -- and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Last week I lamented, in this very space, being left off the invitation list. That didn't stop me from tuning in Friday morning -- along with a billion other people -- while Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts described the scene. Robin Roberts is good friends with Betty Faith Jaynes, and I know Betty Faith, so if you figure in that six degrees of separation thing, I was practically walking Kate Middleton down the aisle.
You can say what you will about me, but I don't mind admitting that I thought the whole show was simply marvelous. I was a wedding photographer for 13 years, you know, and I consider myself quite the wedding connoisseur. This one was spectacular -- from the time the bride's sister, Pippa, walked into Westminster Abbey with the four flower girls until the future king and queen of England drove away in the horse-drawn carriage to Buckingham Palace.
It seemed like every bell in London was ringing when Kate got out of the Rolls Royce Phantom VI that brought her to the church. An admiring throng looked on from behind barricades, and for some inexplicable reason one of the barricades was adorned with an American flag. Kate's dress, we learned, was by Alexander McQueen, and since neither of my daughters has gotten married yet, I can say that she was about the most beautiful bride I have seen in at least 28 years.
It was thrilling to watch the bride's father escort her down the long, red-carpeted aisle, and I couldn't help but wonder if they planted those trees inside Westminster just for the occasion. I bet the people sitting behind them were a bit ticked if they did. I had a better view of the proceedings than they did.
I was impressed that William stood at the altar during the processional and didn't even turn to peek at his bride. Brother Harry did, however, and saw something that made him laugh. Or maybe he was just laughing because he still has a full head of hair. His brother is going to be the King of England one day, but the whole world was being made aware that at the age of 28 he already has a huge bald spot. We have to take our small victories where we can find them.
I loved the music. "Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer" was the first hymn. I think they sang that at Diana's funeral. I grew up singing that song in church. I haven't heard it in a while, though. The ceremony itself was surprisingly simple and straightforward, and quite doctrinal. A lot of the words and phrases were the same as the ones my lovely wife, Lisa, and I used in our wedding -- except when William bestowed Kate with all his worldly goods, she got a danged slight more than a single-wide trailer and an '82 Monte Carlo.
The Archbishop of Canterbury performed part of the ceremony, and he did pretty well. The Archbishop of London finished up. He wasn't bad, but if Queen Elizabeth -- or whoever picked up the tab for this shindig -- had sprung for the price of a plane ticket, they could have probably gotten John Byers, who would have been decidedly more eloquent.
I particularly appreciated the priest's remark that, in reality, every wedding should be a royal wedding with every husband and wife being king and queen of creation. He also said that the more we give of ourselves the more we receive and he warned that a marriage could only flourish if each person remembers that their goal is to transform, not reform, their spouse. I wished I had my Lisa wake up and watch the thing when he said that.
Kate's brother read one of my favorite scriptures -- a selection from the 12th chapter of Romans. Lord, if we all went by that chapter the world would be a great place to live! I also loved the original song the congregation sang after the scripture was read and found myself wishing I had a copy of the words so I could sing along.
Most of the lyrics came straight from the Bible, but they sort of skipped around. I did notice that Elton John was able to keep up. And I don't mean to be ugly, but I also noticed that once she had officially become Princess Catherine Elizabeth, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate's expression looked a little like that of a poker player who had drawn three cards from the deck to fill a royal flush.
I have no idea how William and Kate's marriage will turn out, but I wish them all the happiness in the world. God knows that society needs for a prominent couple to live happily ever after for a change. I do know how their fairy tale wedding went, however, and I only have this to say. Walt Disney couldn't have produced a better one -- and that's walking in pretty high cotton, even for royalty.
Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his past columns at www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.