As one of the few British writers at TNB I felt it was my duty to record the historic Royal Wedding for the site. It also helps that we have a Bank Holiday so we can all watch it, and that due to time difference I was able to sit through it without waking up at a ridiculously early time.

What I’ve done is record my observations as they popped into my head whilst watching the coverage on the BBC. Hopefully this will make you feel like you’re watching it with me… get out the good china and pour a hot cup of tea…

Woke up late— started watching just as Kate arrived. My first thoughts are: she looks very grown up, her eyebrows are quite thick, and she looks absolutely amazing. The phrase ‘lie back and think of England’ has never seemed more exciting…

 

A few clips of previous Royal Weddings. Kate is easily the most beautiful bride since the Queen married Phillip back in the 1950s. Incidentally the Queen has lent Kate a Cartier tiara from the 1930s…

 

Jesus, how long does it take to walk down an aisle? We could be done by now if they picked up the pace a bit…

 

The vows: William sounds like a posh actor whose name I can’t remember. This is the first time I’ve heard Kate speak— she’s terribly well spoken for a ‘commoner’…

 

Oh… is the ring going to fit?

 

Only just!

 

This is way better than when Charles and Camilla got married. Prince Harry is wearing more gold than Mr T and William looks like an ostentatious Thunderbird…

 

There are trees inside Westminster Abbey. Everyone is standing and facing the bride and groom. It looks almost exactly like the end of Star Wars.

 

A very young man is talking about good and evil. It sounds like a very posh pep talk…

 

There are far too many hymns. It feels like a Christmas service. I’m not actually sure if they’re married yet or not…

 

The Archbishop of London addressed William and Kate from a high vantage point and talks about setting the world on fire. This is questionable advice.

 

Oh, it’s a metaphor…

 

They’ve exchanged rings so they must be married, surely…

 

Was slightly disappointed no-one had a reason they couldn’t be married…

 

Is the Queen asleep?! She’s definitely asleep! In fairness she’s hosting the reception and there won’t be a time for a nap between now and then…

 

The Archbishop has started talking about starting a family… that’s got to be a bit awkward for Wills and Kate in front of al those people…

 

I’m sure he was expecting more of a response to that ‘Amen’… tough crowd…

 

Interesting selection of guests. William has invited David Beckham and Elton John whilst Kate has invited the Indian couple who run the Spar in her village…

 

A Holy man keeps begging for mercy… ah, the Lord’s Prayer. This is getting a bit sombre…

 

No response for the ‘amen’ again…

 

This is the first time I’ve heard Jerusalem outside of a sporting event. I fucking love Jerusalem.

 

Best. Fanfare. Ever… followed by an epic sweeping shot of Westminster Abbey as everyone launches into the National Anthem… This is fantastic!

God Save the Queen… It’s got be kind of weird for Kate Middleton… it’s her wedding day and everyone is singing a song about her (grand)mother-in-law…

 

They’re definitely married now. They’re going off to sign the register… it’s illegal to film it so everyone is just going to sing hymns until the come back…

 

Getting a montage of previous Royal wedding certificates… and they’re back!

 

There’s a wedding theme. It sounds very John Williams. Everything about this is awesome.

 

Prince Harry is terrible at walking slowly. He’s almost skulking…

 

The William and Kate— no, sorry, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge— step out to the sound of wedding bells. Lovely.

 

A carriage awaits— it’s from 1902 and I think it was the one the Queen used at her wedding…

 

A whole convoy of carriages going down the Mall… it’s like a slow motion chariot race…

 

They’re approaching the finish line… I think William and Kate might just win it…

 

They arrive to the sound of the National Anthem… it seems no-one knows what happens next…

 

The National Anthem plays again… Good lord, Princess Beatrice is wearing a giant pretzel for a hat!

 

 

Apparently it’s a whole hour before the traditional presentation of the bride and groom on the balcony… at least the Queen can sit down for a bit…

 

Now it’s just an hour of talking to people in the crowds… kids… Mexicans… Americans… Aussies… South Africans… but mostly people in plastic hats…

 

We have studio coverage. The historian Simon Schama is acting as a pundit. He liked the trees and the gothic vaulting…

 

Apparently there are five rooms in Buckingham Palace that can be opened up into one super-room. I wish I was rich…

 

There’s an announcement for anyone wanting to watch the snooker. Ding is playing Trump. Seriously.

 

The analysts are talking about the future of the monarchy whilst dancing around the phrase ‘she’s got to die eventually.’

 

An American girl has given one of the presenters her straw hat and is teaching him how to courtsey. This is lovely, they’re really enjoying this— no-one does this stuff better than us… Probably because we have the monopoly on gilded carriages…

 

There’s coverage from Kate Middleton’s home village of Bucklebury. There are about ten people there who didn’t get invited and they’re all incredibly fat.

 

There’s a sixty year old man wearing Kanye-esque shades!

 

Performance artists and incredibly camp Spaniards!

 

This wedding has everything!

 

The crowds marching on the Mall are pretty intimidating… they’re just flowing like water…

 

The place is packed like the front few rows of a Bon Jovi gig… I’m getting kind of bored now… Oh! Someone just peaked out of a window. Is it Princess Catherine?

 

No.

 

There’s going to be an RAF flyover in a minute. It doesn’t get any more British than this…

 

It was Harry at the window apparently…

 

The camera is now just fixed on the window and the shadowy figures behind the net curtains…

 

 

Here they come!

 

The Prince and Princess are on the balcony and waving. This is brilliant, the crowd love it!

 

The Queen looks sooo bored. There are some kids dressed like toy soldiers.

 

We’re still waiting for the traditional kiss…

 

There it is! It’s more of a peck on the cheek, but this is Britain after all… the crowd cheer regardless…

 

The BBC have a presenter in the Lancaster Bomber leading the flyover. There are all kinds of technical difficulties and the presenter looks like he’s about to throw up…

 

There’s a second kiss! A second cheer! The planes fly over right on time… magnificent…

 

A second wave of more modern fighter jets in tribute to Prince William who is a pilot himself…

 

They head back inside, but there might be an encore…

 

No, that’s it. It’s all over!

 

Y’know what? I think these kids are going to be alright…

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , ,

James D. Irwin is a British writer based in the Hampshire countryside. His work has appeared online, in print, and on stage. He can be contacted at [email protected]

75 responses to “It’s a Nice Day for a Royal Wedding”

  1. Tawni Freeland says:

    “The phrase ‘lie back and think of England’ has never seemed more exciting…”

    Ahahahahaha. Nice. I’ll have to try that one sometime. I’m so tired of thinking about the dishes and laundry. (:

    • Tawni Freeland says:

      Also: I now have Billy Idol in my head. But it’s better than the Poison song Richard put in there, so thank you.

      • I was struggling to think of a title until I randomly had that song in my head… I never listened to Billy Idol until that weird period at TNB when everyone was talking about him…

    • The phrase actually means something like ‘grit your teeth.’ It comes from the Empire/the World Wars when times got bad… Roger Moore uses it as innuendo in at least one Bond film…

    • Gloria says:

      Well, thinking about England would be more enjoyable for me than trying to remember what sex actually is like, if you know what I mean.

  2. But what happens if you call her Princess Kate? Will someone in a busby hat behead you?

  3. Becky Palapala says:

    I have heard rumors that Prince Harry is bowlegged and/or drunk.

    I wish I was rich…

    I, too, had this thought.

    I think a lot of people have this thought while thinking on this event. Between you, me, and everybody, I’d wager this accounts for 90% of whining & bitching about the royal wedding.

  4. Greg Olear says:

    I love that you did this.

    The Star Wars comment was my favourite. (See? I used the British spelling for the occasion).

    • I didn’t plan too. I started watching, posted three statuses about the wedding and slapped myself… it was pretty obvious really. An easy post to knock out… an easy few runs to use a cricket term no-one else will get…

      Thanks Greg, that was one of my favourite parts. And I appreciate the use of ‘proper’ English!

  5. Stefan Kiesbye says:

    “Y’know what? I think these kids are going to be alright…” Exactly my thoughts … in 1982.

  6. What fun James, tons better than a birdseye view, which is what was provided here in America. I really enjoyed your subtle humor and “rich” use of irony.
    I sorry, I have to disagree with Stefan, I never really thought the kids were alright in 1981. Catherine is no Diana, as Princess Diana was no Queen. Of course it’s hard not to compare, but it’s not fair to the new marriage. My hope is they fare far better than their predecessors.

    • We had all kinds of camera angles… there’s a massive makeshift studio outside the Abbey and all sorts of cameras set up. Every angle covered…

      I was going to disagree with Stefan but it was hard to do that without looking like I didn’t get the joke. When Charles married Diana he was still in love with Camilla and Diana, I doubt, didn’t really like him. The whole monarchy was still a little stuck in tradition and outdated etiquette.

      William and Kate have been together a good long time… and the media focus and pressure was far less intense during that time… they’re younger and more modern, the monarchy have kind of realized it’s the 21st century and it seems a more equal partnership. There was a big thing made about how they cut the promise to ‘obey’ from the vows and how it embodied the progress the Royal family had made…

  7. Matt says:

    The phrase ‘lie back and think of England’ has never seemed more exciting… Oh you cheeky fucker…that had me howling, and I was rolling on the floor by the end of it.

    If only you still had a Twitter account; this would have been great to see roll out live.

    • I started out on facebook… it did occur to me that it would have worked well on Twitter… but then I wouldn’t have been able to improve jokes or correct spelling errors…

  8. Nathaniel Missildine says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought the Queen looked bored. Also I didn’t realize the pretzel hat wearer was Princess Beatrice. The French commentators over here seemed to get bored themselves and kept veering off topic. The channel I was watching had color commentary by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. But once the newlyweds stepped into the carriage they all swooned.

    • The Queen looks bored most of the time she’s out on these engagements now. I don’t blame her. A lot of people have a go at the Queen without realizing she works pretty hard— especially for a woman of her age.

      It might have been Eugenie in the pretzel hat… it might have been somone else… I guessed, but I’m fairly sure it was Beatrice…

      I’m surprised the French televised it… there wasn’t a lot to comment on really, a lot of our commentary was very boring…

  9. Zara Potts says:

    Nice one, Jim! I thought of you last night as I sat on my couch with my tiara and brandy snaps watching the wedding.
    It was just magnificent.
    I mean, I’m a sucker for the Royals anyway, but this wedding just made me happy.
    William looked handsome, Kate looked beautiful, The Duke of Edinburgh looked dotty, Harry looked naughty and those horrendous Sarah Ferguson girls looked foul.
    I don’t know if you caught a glimpse of Earl Spencer’s three gorgeous daughters – but they were stunning.
    It was weird for me to watch this, as I clearly remember watching Charles and Diana getting married and I was just transfixed on her. I don’t think Kate has the same charisma as Diana, but I think William does.
    It didn’t seem at all like C&D’s wedding. William looked genuinely happy, whereas his poor mother looked like a doe in headlights at her bash.
    Like you -I think the kids will be alright.
    (And don’t you think Harry should make a grab for that Pippa? She looked pretty damn foxy.)

    • I wasn’t going to watch it, but I’m glad I did. It was a lot of fun. Also it’s weird that you’re talking about something that happened this morning occurring at night…

      I didn’t see the Earl’s daughters… but I do remember being quite taken aback at how good Pippa looked… Rather mindblow, if I’m to tell the truth. It’s an unofficial tradition that the best man and bridesmaid get together… Harry did look rather bashful.

      I also forgot to mention that the Middleton’s are from a village not that far from where I was born. The school Kate went to was pretty much in Swindon but it was a posh one just outside the town…

      William is wonderfully charming and fairly normal for a future king. Kate seems to be doing okay, I think she’s more likeable than Diana and likely a stronger woman. As I was saying to Robert earlier the change in vows said quite alot… Kate looks much more confident and less likey to sleep with rugby captains… They make a better team than Charles and Diana, I think. More equal…

      • Zara Potts says:

        Oh, and I forgot to say Simon Schama is the bomb!

        • I miss watching his TV shows in history class. Although I think my teacher preferred David Starkey… he’s less intense than Schama.

          I miss doing history actually. I still love a good historical documentary. Even docu-drama…

        • Zara Potts says:

          Yeah, I just finished Starkey’s Henry VIII books -Hmmm. They just seem a little dry. I love Schama’s unadulterated enthusiasm. Have you seen his History of Britain series? It’s incredible.

        • I think I’ve seen one part of the History of Britain. The thing is I tend to prefer war-centric history, although I always end up enjoying other time periods.

          Last year my computer broke and my university house was empty so I got up just before 12pm each day to watch a series on Auschwitz… that was usually followed by a History of Britain.

          I also like Peter and Dan Snow, especially when they team up. When I was studying Vietnam at college much of what we learnt came from their series on it…

          I’m going to have to catch up on History of Britain. I do like a bit of ye olde England… the Romans and the Victorians are fascinating… I’ve lived in both Roman capitals…

        • Zara Potts says:

          Fascinating stuff.. and for me – a good reason why the monarchy should continue. It’s so old and the history of it is just incredible.
          I like to imagine what the world would have been like if the Roman Empire hadn’t fallen….

        • The Monarchy is good for three things— the incredible history and heritage, the massive tourist appeal, and the fact that the Queen can dissolve the government on a whim…

          I think the Roman Empire would have to have fallen eventually. It would have been terrible as well, they invited and modernized an awful lot, but… well, we wouldn’t have had a monarchy or The Beatles… or America or Australia as we know them!

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I didn’t catch Earl Spencer’s daughters, but he married Victoria Lockwood, a model I knew in NYC, who was described by some notable designer or the other — I think it was Ralph Lauren — as “the most beautiful girl in the world.” I don’t know that I’d go that far, but she was certainly beautiful, a little like a tall, thin Helena Bonham-Carter. She moved to Paris just before, I think, she married Spencer. I tried and tried to get in touch with her when I was visiting Paris at the time, and we finally spoke on the phone in my final hours in town; she’d been in Africa or someplace on a photo shoot. In addition to being beautiful, she was very sweet. Yeah, I really had a thing for her, and as much as I wanted something to happen, it never did. She was clearly destined for places guarded by velvet ropes that would never admit the likes of me.

          I watched a little of the wedding online, and read the usual stupid Salon piece complaining about the stupidity of the wedding and anyone who would pay any attention to it. I guess some people just can’t get it through their skulls that we’re hierarchical animals with a natural interest in those ranked highest, whether unfairly because of birth or empty beauty, or fairly because of extraordinary talent. Meanwhile, I find many ceremonies, including weddings, moving, if only because of the respect they command, and the temporary harmony that results. For just a moment, people set aside their differences and unite. That’s got to be worth something.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Oh, Victoria Lockwood was very beautiful -in quite an unusual way. She was also anorexic and this made her face so very haunted.
          I don’t think she was aristocratic though was she? Or maybe she was a Lady? She just terribly sweet and beautiful and I remember her wedding dress was so fragile and old-fashioned, just gorgeous.

          I love your comment, Duke. Because there seems to be so many people banging on about how the wedding is just a waste of money and why do we need a monarchy and they’re all living off the public purse and why are people even interested in two privileged people etc etc etc. (Funnily enough, the people who complain about it ad nauseum seem to be the people who are most interested in it.)

          My take is this: The British Monarchy is one of the oldest institutions in the world. The history of it is incredible. To get “rid” of it would be counter productive. Yes, Royal weddings cost money but this particular one was paid for by the House of Windsor. (Ah, yes but that’s the public purse inevitably, right?) Yes, but think of how much money has been injected into the British economy from this. The last I heard was around 2 billion dollars. The monarchy is the main tourist attraction (!) in Britain. Without it (and its accompanying palaces, castles and historical places) what would be the attraction of England. England’s history is the monarchy and it will and should continue.

          My own personal feeling on William and Catherine’s wedding is this: What harm does a beautifully choreographed pageant of pomp and ceremony do? For a few hours we get to watch uninterrupted coverage of an event that is not disastrous or horrible. We get to look at a young, beautiful couple and stop thinking of all the other awful things going on in the world. Nobody complains when news networks stream hours and hours of live footage dedicated to natural disaster or terrible events, so why should we complain about seeing something nice?
          Also, Prince William flew to my devastated city of Christchurch a few weeks after the earthquake and spent time with many of the affected people. It served as such a morale boost for my city and I think it was wonderful of him to fly all that way simply to show he cared while in the middle of his wedding preparations. For that alone, I don’t begrudge him anything.

          I agree with you. For just a moment, let’s unite and be happy about something lovely and simple. Two people, in love, getting married. It’s that simple.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          I’m sure there are people who could find good reason to disagree with you about the tourism money generated by the Windsors. I don’t know on what grounds, but anyone with smarts and a way with words can always pose a convincing argument.

          I’m only certain of this: even if all of the monarchies in the world were eliminated, their specter would rematerialize. The Roman kings were replaced by the Caesars. The French Revolution produced Napoleon. The splendor of the czars gave way to Soviet May Day extravaganzas. And so on. Rationalists — and they’re always rationalists — who want to do away with institutional hierarchy are lacking, in my view, the most fundamental grasp of human nature. We can amend hierarchical institutions — and the British monarchy has certainly been amended — but, one way or another, they’re going to persist. It’s much better to work with that in mind, I think, and not waste time with pie-in-the-sky fantasy of what we could be if only we could rise above our pie-in-the-sky illusions of the kind that rationalists detest. Their kind is okay, of course. But, then, I suppose their own pie seems to them within reach.

          It’s funny that you say Victoria was anorexic, because when I first met her, we were talking about something — I don’t remember what — that had nothing whatsoever to do with weight, yet she turned to weight as a way of buttressing her point: “It’s like, you may think you’re fat, even though you’re not…” and so on. I knew practically nothing about anorexia at the time, even though people constantly discussed it. But I tuned all that out as, you know, girl stuff. Later, when I started listening, I in fact thought of Victoria and wondered if she’d been anorexic, and now you confirm it. Huh.

          I don’t think her family is listed in the Hoyle book, no. Her English friends were mostly upper middle class, so I always assumed she was the same. The English middle class can be extremely snotty, as you know — all that anxiety about not being one thing and not being the other — but she wasn’t snotty at all. Her biggest fault, socially speaking, I thought, was that she hung out with a few fashionista remora fish, which happens quite a bit with models. In that way, I don’t much envy Tom Brady.

          Victoria did have a haunted look about her. I remember spotting a photo of her in an advert in the New York Times. It was taken by Deborah Turbeville, whose photos I could instantly recognize after much commentary about them from one of my girlfriends, and Turbeville specialized in that haunted look. I called Victoria and said, “Hey, you’re in the Times! And photographed by Deborah Turbeville!” She said, “Oh, well, it was good of you to notice.”

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I had to google Victoria Lockwood.Well… I didn’t have to, but I did. She’s certainly very pretty.

          I’ve read several times that the Royal Wedding cost a fraction of the 2012 Olympics and brought in the same amount of tourism and tourist money.

          It was brilliant. And, judging by the groups in facebook, Pippa Middleton’s exquisite derriere has finally gained the recognition it so richly deserves…

  10. Laura says:

    I LOVE THIS, Irwin!!!
    I guess I am not as much as anglophile as those who woke at 2am to watch on TV, nor the other Americans whom planned the trip to London months ago to stake out a spot along the route 3 days ago….but I love Britain!!! Love all the history, all the pomp and circumstance. I love the Queen! (Charles and Camilla make me feel uncomfortable), But most of all, I love a real life fairy tale, so I love this couple, Kate and Wills!!! They are beautiful and as real as Royals can get.
    Long Live the British Monarchy….. (says the American).

    <3

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Thanks Laura!

      I’m not sure I’d have bothered if I’d had to get up at two in the bloody morning… I very nearly missed it, and then forgot until I went downstairs and found my housemate watching it.

      It amazed me to see so many people from so far camping out for days along the route… and they looked like they were having a great time. It is one of those increasingly rare moments where I found myself incredibly glad to be British.

      I like Charles and Camilla. My way of looking at it is that they were clearly in love since before Charles even knew Diana. The monarchy used to operate a certain way, to certain codes and that meant marrying someone young, single and suitable rather than a divorcee. There was still a bit of a hangover from that with regards to their wedding— they couldn’t get married in a church and it was very, very low key. There was something quite romantic about that, I think, even if it is far less fairytale-esque.

      The Monarchy rule! (pun very much intended)

  11. Laura says:

    I kept wondering what was going through the Queen’s mind as they sang “God Save the Queen”…then I thought of what Prince Philip thinks every time he has to sing it…. She looked quite bored during the song, actually…..

    • James D. Irwin says:

      I like to think the Queen makes Phillip sing it at regular intervals and threatens to behead him for treason if he fails to comply. I like Prince Phillip… a man who embodies casual institutional racism but somehow gets away with it because he’s old and part of the monarchy. He says the most inappropriate things but it’s always quite funny because of just how inappropriate he’s being…

  12. I’ve only read three paragraphs so far, but I just wanted to mention that Elizabeth was indeed well fit back in the day.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Steve! I’ve been meaning to e-mail you… I got an e-mail from Matt the other day and… well. I hope you’re okay.

      Wasn’t she just?! Especially when you consider how a lot of the other Royals turned out…

      • ‘Ello! I’m not bad, thanks. I have a rib that clunks audibly when I lean to the left.

        Thanks for the event coverage – all I saw was the flypast, which went over my building. I made a very sketchy video, but at least you can hear the six Rolls Royce Merlin engines.

        Sketchy video

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Sorry to hear that my friend. I can’t say audible rib clunking sounds very pleasant.

          I liked the video. The TV coverage had some good shots, but they didn’t have any looking up from the ground… Apparently they flew over my parents house on their journey. They were at a pub or something and everyone suddently went outside to look up…

  13. Aw, I loved this! I tried to watch it, but I fell asleep right after Elton John walked in. I did wake up for a second during the ceremony too, but the wine had gotten to my head. Thanks for the retelling!

    • James D. Irwin says:

      You must have been up pretty late, right? I think I’d have fallen asleep if it wasn’t in my time zone…

      Also it was a bit early for wine where I was. More’s the pity…

  14. pixy says:

    dear james:

    first: when you mentioned her eyebrows, i had to go google image that shiz to see what you were talking about – i’m always curious as to what people think are “too much” eyebrow. you’re right, it’s like she had 2 caterpillars on her face.

    2: harry is my favo(u)rite.

    thirdly: i think the star wars reference is the most apt reference to this thing i’ve heard

    finally: this was awesome.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      First: They were pretty thick, but not neccesarily in a bad way. Apparently larger brows are coming into fashion again… maybe? I don’t know. It would have been too much eyebrow for a lowly commoner, but the thicker brow is quite the thing amongst the aristocracy.

      2: Totally. He’s one of the more normal ones too.

      3&4: thanks!

      • pixy says:

        i feel remiss for only having seen this now!
        1. i find that larger, thicker brows come in and out of fashion fairly frequently. i mean, i will never be the person that sharpie’s in their brows, but i like to keep them neat, so it surprised me one day when someone told me i had brooke sheilds eyebrows. i had no idea what that meant. so i had to look it up and realized that, “oh, that’s someone who doesn’t look like they accidentially burned their eyebrows off while taking a bong hit” or “oh, that means i don’t look like axl rose!” sweet!
        i like that she did her own makeup. she was smart to be a little heavy on everything knowing that many cameras were going to be trying to get photos from far away. overall, i thought she made a glowy bride.

        2. yes, i worry that he may be too normal (and handsome) and that he might actually be that hewitt bloke’s kid, but i’ll not say anything further because i don’t want english ninjas to send in furry white rabbits with sharp teeths to eat me alive while i sleep.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I’m not much of a fashion expert. All I know is that an eyebrow has to get pretty thick before it becomes off putting.

          I didn’t know she applied her own makeup, although that makes sense. The newspapers made a big fuss when she was picture buying cheap, normal person underwear.

          The more I see Harry, and the more I see William the more I suspect that Harry is not Charles’ son. It doesn’t really matter though. Apparently he gave his best man speech in a fez…

        • pixy says:

          aw… normal person underwear. i want to get an american express black card so i can, one day, go into a super person’s underwear shop. i’m very curious about that sort of thing. are they all primary colors? do they all have emblems on them? do they make your pee ACTUAL gold?

          and i heard about the speech. i’m all for anything done in a fez. : )

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I imagine it would be fun to have underwear emblazoned with a crest or coat of arms… I’m not sure what you can do to fancy up underwear…

          Fez-related festivities sound like a blast… certainly.

  15. Hmm… I guess I missed this wedding thing. I was away for the weekend and when I got back everyone was talking about the death of Osama bin Laden. Which is a bit more exciting than a royal wedding, I suppose. Still, as another of the handful of Brits here, I feel a bit bad for not even realising it was this weekend. Or caring. Or having any desire whatsoever to go back and watch any of it.

    But still, this was a great post. Very entertaining, and, I’m sure, more fun than watching the wedding itself.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      A friend of mine didn’t even realise it was the Royal Wedding until the day before and he didn’t understand why everyone was talking about having the next day off university…

      When I woke up this morning I assumed the Osama thing was an internet joke I didn’t really understand…

      Thanks— the wedding was actually a lot of fun, but only if you had people to watch it with to make fun of everything…

  16. Gloria says:

    I’m with David – wedding’s are bollocks but your description of them are not.

    I think it would be fun to have you along as a sort of personal commentator of my life. All of the unpleasant (and pleasant) things would be much more enjoyable if I had you in the background with a microphone describing them in a whisper. You could tweet them and blog them, too. I love this idea. Let’s talk…

    • James D. Irwin says:

      I’ve actually thought that that’s the thing I’d be best at.

      I wouldn’t charge much— shelter and living costs…

      Also the next time I have to write a CV I’m editing this out of context into what will sound like sincere testamonial as to what a brilliant person I am… Thanks for that…

      • Gloria says:

        I’d totally give you food and shelter if you came to America. You know this though. You wouldn’t even have to attend behavior meetings at the boys’ school or visits to the gynecologist so that you could commentate them!!! (if that ain’t love…)

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Seriously, I’m coming as soon as I stop being poor.

          Which will be a while, tragically.

          I could commentate on school visits. I wouldn’t have an issue with that. The gynecologist though… that would be a touch awkward.

          Although rich with comic potential, I’m sure, if sitcoms are anything to go by…

        • pixy says:

          i have a feeling that his gynecologist commentation would be the best. : )

        • James D. Irwin says:

          it would be hilariously uncomfortable for all concerned…

        • Gloria says:

          Which is what my awkward joke making tends to make it anyway…

          Funny how this is the comparison I came up with for the royal wedding. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be welcomed in England again.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          You’ll alway be welcome on these shores Gloria!

        • Gloria says:

          I guess the point is that a wedding is only fun for two people – four tops – and the rest of the people there just suffer. At least, that’s how it seems to me. Clearly Duke likes a good wedding. I just don’t get it. If my mom hadn’t ripped my dress off my body in the middle of my ceremony (’cause she was drunk and trying to be “helpful”), I’m pretty sure I would’ve felt like I’d wasted a bunch of people’s time. At least there was entertainment value there.

        • pixy says:

          gloria, that’s what vegas is for! so that the only 2 people having fun don’t have to impose their awesome time on anyone else.

          my dad promised me $5000 cash if i got married in vegas. that’s when i was 7 and didn’t know that $5000 would be getting him off easy. i should figure in inflation if the dollar survives the time it will take me to get married.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          I’m trying to picture a situation in which, even without sobriety, ripping a dress could be thought of as a helpful course of action.

          I really want to go to a wedding now. Not my own, somebody elses. I’ve been to two, I think. A cousin of mine married a french girl who turned out to be crazy. That was a good wedding. There were fountains laded with fresh snacking vegetables and all the kids found a place to play football— England v France. My first ever international game…

          I’d certainly go for the financially crippling wedding if I ever have to make such a choice. I would ensure it would be fun for everyone though. And include an open bar. Treat others as you’d like to be treated and what have you…

  17. a) I love Simon Schama. That guy’s awesome.
    b) My feed went crazy with English people talking about how much they loved the shit of Jerusalem
    c) We used to have to sing Jerusalem in school assemblies. It was OK, I guess. Pretty sweet, really.
    d) I love that you shoehorned a Bon Jovi reference in. Stalwart work, dude.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Every now and then people launch campaigns to get Jerusalem to replace out national anthem… it is more… I don’t know… it builds up like a Bon Jovi song and thus has a more epic feel to it.

      I don’t even have to try with the Bon Jovi anymore…

  18. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    I’m tempted to track down a video of the morning’s events and read this while I watch! Very funny! Although I was not a girly-girl and have never dreamed of getting married, I did wake up early to watch Prince Charles and Diana’s nuptials when I was a kid. Who knows why. I’ve only seen snippets of this one but did enjoy the wacktastic hats and pageantry. You guys really know how to throw a shin-dig.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      It was quite enjoyable viewing. It is social history as well. It was all very exciting.

      If there’s one thing Britain does well it’s over the the top celebrations of a patriotic bent…

  19. angela says:

    james, this is great! now i don’t feel the need to watch the wedding myself.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Thanks. I was a bit worried that this wouldn’t work without actually seeing the wedding…

  20. I want to live in a country where someone named Pippa Middleton is widely desired. All our famous derrieres have names like Megan and Jennifer. Also, they played the Sex Pistols? Hey, I think the mocking of pomp on this side is pretty tiresome. I love a wedding. What’s wrong with a little harmless ritual? Nothing, as you’ve ably proven.

    • dwoz says:

      I think the entire world fell in love with the vision of perfection that is Pippa. English girls aren’t exactly giving the latino girls a run for the money, but Pippa is a GEM.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Pippa Middleton is an absolutely fantastic name.

      There are an awful lot of people on this side who are comlaining/mocking the pomp and pagentry of it all, but it’s harmless fun. And I got a day off.

      It’s exciting. I don’t think those who complained realized that this is actually a moment of history. It’s the future king and queen of the country. Their faces are going to be on our currency…

  21. Joe Daly says:

    Well done, JDI! A very nice little blend of humor, sincerity, awe, and information. While it’s certainly easy to get swept up by one of the extreme takes on the affair, I have to admit that the sense of tradition is fascinating and you’ve captured it all so effectively from your everyman’s POV.

    Bravo, sir.

    • James D. Irwin says:

      Thanks man. I’ve said already to a few comments that I only started writing this a little way in because, well, it seemed to work and it’s not often that I can bring something uniquely British to these pages.

      I made a lot of jokes, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t find myself quite full of national pride by the end.

  22. office furniture…

    The Nervous Breakdown…

  23. ventajas de fumar…

    […]James Irwin | It’s a Nice Day for a Royal Wedding | The Nervous Breakdown[…]…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *