There is only one woman in the world today who has absolutely no reason to sing that song! Today her Prince became her husband and the lovely Kate Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge. There is every reason to believe that one day her Prince will become the King of England and then she will become (I believe) the Queen Consort (or something like that!)
The story of Charles and Diana has shown the world that just the fact of marrying a Prince does not in any way guarantee that they will "live happily ever after". That hardly seems fair. Outwardly all the trappings of the Monarchy in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II seems like a fairy tale come to life. Upon closer examination, it is blatantly obvious that the royal lifestyle is fraught with the same difficulties, mistakes, conflicts, and stresses of any family, just on a larger and more public scale. It ain't easy being "Royal"!
Nevertheless, today is a day for celebration, joy, smiles, and happiness. His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales KG has taken a wife!
Just to make it clear, I did not rise this morning at 4:00 am to watch every second of the day's events. I bought no souvenirs, nor did I send them any wedding wishes. Being an American, I have a bit of fascination with the concept of a monarchy, besides most American women grew up on stories of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and other such lovely young women who each found their Prince and lived Happily Ever After and most of us at some point or other wondered what it would be like to be a real Princess!
I doubt that anyone was surprised that today's wedding seemed a bit more restrained than that of William's parents' wedding. Of course, William is not the first in the line of succession to the throne. His father, Prince Charles is still the next in line to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth. Whether or not he ever becomes the monarch is a matter of time and health. Her mother lived to be over 100 years old and Elizabeth shows no sign of stepping aside to allow Charles to assume the throne. But I digress. Due to the matter of succession William's wedding would not be tied to all of the pomp and circumstance accorded the next in line to be King.
Kate was a lovely bride, elegant and understated. Although it isn't really fair to compare her to Diana, it is difficult not to. Everything about Charles and Diana's wedding was larger than life and straight out of that fairy tale. Diana's dress was voluminous, the veil and train of a completely unwieldy length and style. It was very nearly a caricature of the penultimate Princess gown. The size of the wedding party was enormous. Everything seemed overwhelming.
Kate's gown was much simpler and it suited her beautifully. Tasteful and more a traditional wedding gown, it fit her like a glove, and she looked every inch a royal! William and Kate appeared more relaxed and at ease with one another. Of course they have known each other for a few years and their relationship seemed to grow from a school romance into lifetime commitment. They already know each other better than Charles and Diana did at the start of their life together.
Obviously Kate and William are different people than Charles and Diana, but I fear the comparisons will continue throughout their lives. Nonetheless, they seem much more connected to the reality of the world in which we live, it should serve them well.
There will undoubtedly be difficult times ahead, for the life of a royal is not as easy as it looks. They do appear to be prepared and ready to weather what lies ahead. Along with many thousands of others, I wish them good luck, joy, happiness, and love. And as has been true for his whole life, William and now his new bride, will have everything about them and their lives open to scrutiny by the whole world, so in addition to my earlier wishes for them, I hope that they will have the strength, courage, and fortitude to endure and survive with their sanity AND their marriage intact!
I raise my glass to William and Kate! Hip, Hip!!