Something old, something new

by Andrea Elizabeth

Up until the actual wedding I was mildly curious about how Prince William was doing since the death of his mother, Princess Diana, and about what type of person he was engaged to. I’m not much of a TV watcher these days, so I missed a lot of the pre-wedding hype. But I happened to wake up at 4:45 Friday morning, though I did set my alarm for 4:55 because I honestly wanted to see the Royal Wedding.

I ended up getting quite caught up in the beauty of the couple, her siblings, her gown, Westminster Abbey, the service; as well as the not so beautiful aging Prince Charles, bad hats, female clergy, and a famous homosexual couple.

Generally people were pretty impressed with all the gorgeous traditions preserved and polished that England was so proud to show off. American commentators seemed to question our propensity for the garish new and not so improved innovations. But like so much in the Anglican Church, the new is equally embraced with the old. On the surface it all seemed so old, except for the female clergy, the acceptance of homosexuality, and the hats, but if one looks at the new Duke and Dutchess’ relationship, it is quite new. Or at least newly accepted, or newly publicly acknowledged and accepted. I’m not sure it is unquestioned though. It was subtly brought out that they’ve already been living together at their new home in Wales for a year. They’ve been in a relationship for 7 years.

At first I was charmed by how Prince William kept his eyes averted from Kate until she reached his side, in order to be surprised by her perfectly chosen, pure white gown. It was much later that I thought that that’s the only surprise he had left. I can’t help but think the couple is a little sad about that. The standards for Prince Charles’ wedding to William’s mother were much more strict. For her anyway. She had to be a virgin. Her predecessor, however, was invited to her wedding, and that was almost all poor Diana could think about on her fairy tale day. The acceptance of Camilla that has come about lately is also new.

Despite the above, it is obvious that Prince William loved his mother and loves his new wife, and will not commit the atrocities against Catherine that his father did against Diana. This is also possible because of new standards for letting Princes choose their own brides.