Yesterday another chapter was added to history! Prince William finally got his Kate, and together with what is now confirmed to be nearly a million people, Val and I paraded around the streets of London to join in the festivities. Although we would have loved to stand outside Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace, there were no big screens there, and we decided therefore it was not worth the wait to stand for 10 hours just to see the newly weds for 10 seconds. Therefore, we decided the best bet was to watch the wedding live from two giant screens at Trafalgar Square, which is only a stone’s throw away from the royal wedding procession route. Here we could see the whole wedding and procession, while at the same time get to experience the incredible atmosphere of the crowds and become a part of this historical day!
For Val and I, this was also an unmissable opportunity to finally wear hats and dress like all fabulous posh British ladies do! Hence we were up already at 4 am in order to get dressed and ready (while listening to “It Should’ve Been Me”…), and we arrived at Trafalgar Square already at 6:30 am in order to get prime spots for the live screening. I hope you can’t tell that we only had 3 hours of sleep…
Val wore a dress from Top Shop and a fascinator from British Home Store:
I wore a dress from H&M and a fascinator also from British Home Store:
Because we had made such an effort, we got interviewed by tons of reporters and journalists from various magazines and newsagents while the square was still relatively quiet, including The Telegraph, French Grazia and Radio Canada. They all wanted to know where we were from, why we were dressed up and what we wished for Will & Kate in the future. I won’t lie and say I did not enjoy the attention, the posing and what is probably less than 2 seconds of fame! (Will see if I can find any of the photos/interviews in any of the thousands of newspaper articles on the wedding that are already online).
These two lovely ladies also received a lot of attention from the press, obviously hoping to switch places with Kate at the altar:
By 9 am the square really started filling up, and the excitement was brewing:
And then finally…!
The crowds (including us) went absolutely nuts at the sight of the Queen, Prince William and Kate as she emerged in her gorgeous dream of a wedding gown! It was so timeless and regal – and very Grace Kelly’ish. Probably my favourite of all royal wedding dresses.
And here is another photo off the internet just to give you a better overview of the crowds at Trafalgar, which were estimated to about 10,000 people:
As you know, our plan was to run down to Buckingham Palace later to get a glimpse of the royals. However, Green Park, The Mall and the Pall Mall were all sealed off, and there was simply no way getting around this massive crowd:
So while Will & Kate sealed it with a kiss, Val and I sealed it with afternoon high tea and champagne at The Gallery at Fortnum & Mason:
So, to conclude…do we need the monarchy? While the Norwegian monarchy is relatively modern (only 106 years old) and is thus not strongly intertwined with our history, I would say that in Britain’s case…Yes. People can be as cynical as they want to, but I would dare say that most of the British culture and history is centred around the monarchy, something you realize when tourists are to list things they view as being quintessentially British: The Crown Jewels, The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guards, THE QUEEN… From a Scandinavian view at least, and probably from an American and European one as well; pomp, ceremony and pageantry IS Britain, and if Britain loses its monarchy, it loses what it does best. I read so many comments in the newspapers on how Britain needs to get rid of the monarchy – however I don’t think they realize just how much of their culture will be lost with them.
Also, to refer to an article I read in The Telegraph: What politician or dictator could ever manage to get 1 million people from all over the world to run out in the streets of their own free will and break out in spontaneous cheering? Political leaders absorb our cynicism and displeasure – while the politically neutral monarchy absorbs our affections, no matter what state the country is in. It was so wonderful for the nation to enjoy a day of celebrations in the midst of these difficult financial and political times.
CONGRATS WILL & KATE!