Westminster Abbey is an imposing place at the best of times. It’s like a London concentrate. You walk in and you immediately feel insignificant. The feeling of history that just hangs in the air is almost oppressive. It’s the perfect place for a solomn, yet celebratory day. And the course is in great condition. Everything is polished and the added shrubbery transform one of the world’s great landmarks, witness to coronations, weddings, funerals, and is the resting place for some of the western world’s most revered figures, into a festive, yet somehow sinister, Eden. I felt tense watching. Had I been there, I would have cried at the sight of it. This will be a tough one to crack.
Everyone brought their “A” game. Nothing was left to chance. Ties were perfectly knotted, vests in subtle festive hues of purple, light blue. For once, everyone’s collar fit. The women’s field was ready for the catfight, with each hat more outrageous than the last. My personal fave was the woman seated a few rows behind Her Majesty with a giant beige bow, standing one foot straight up, pinned to her forehead. Sir Elton John should have combed his hair. The GC favorites were perfectly turned out. Prince William looked perfectly natural in his RAF dress uniform, like he wears it out to the pub on Saturdays. Though he lacked the impressive medal collection of his grandfather, he will no doubt add to his palmares as the years pass. The pre-race favorite, the one with all the pressure, delivered in spades. Bearing weeks of speculation and expectation on her slender, lace-covered shoulders, Kate was stunning. The dress wrapped her killer bod in all the right ways, and Her Majesty was right to loan Kate her vintage Cartier tiara - the only thing sparkling brighter were the eyes underneath. I can honestly say, if for only today, the new Dutchess of Cambridge is the Hottest Woman on Earth. She has this sewn up.
How it played out:
The first three quarters of the event seemed almost neutral, with a few exploratory attempts by the choir boys and various bishops. Things really got rolling when the vows fired up though, with the only hicup coming when Prince William had a smidge of trouble getting the ring on. It’s not that Kate has fat fingers. It’s that the ring fits perfectly. These are, after all, pros. Things got mysterious for a while, when William, Kate, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, and Mr and Mrs Middleton disappeared behind the altar for what seemed an eternity. Would this break stick? Was this the winning move. Slowly but surely, the Middletons and the Windsors came back to the field leaving only the new royal couple off the front with some loyal domestiques, Harry and Pippa. When they came back into sight on the final lap, it was clear everyone else was fighting for table scraps. Pausing briefly for a formal bow to Her Majesty, Prince William owned the final 200 meters. He even had time to pick up his uniform hat from a fellow officer waiting at the finish line. This was no easy ride for the couple to be sure. They took their victory lap in a horse drawn carriage, so great was the effort.
We won’t see a spectacle like this for some years, I’m afraid. I’m glad I watched and I do wish the victors well.