I have been avoiding and pooh-poohing the hype about the royal wedding, even the tv docs that have been showing. The enormous fuss about the dress Kate will wear, the hair on William's head, the fact that his mother Diana's absence is overshadowing the whole event is a bit too much.
But then last night I caught a doc on tv about the Queen, and about the long 60 years she has reigned. It suddenly struck me that, despite her role being more or less a title, she has had to go through the most drastic and revolutionary changes any of her kind have gone through. I wonder how Henry 8 or Richard the Lionheart would have coped. So much of the change was social, by the people for the people. Would those others before have been able to accept such change, or move with it?
Anyway, the whole hoohah about the royal wedding has been putting me off. More so, the American fascination with them - and their seeming lack of understanding about the weight of royal ancestry and tradition. It's like a reality show for them.
But I thought of my own experience of this, during Diana and Charles' wedding. I think I was in London just after the time, travelling with my parents, as a 7 year-old, I think. The coins, mugs and plates we came across seemed so joyously important to everyone at the time. I was most taken with how pretty the princess was, and how english storybook-like a character Charles was. My reaction to Diana's passing took me by surprise - I was quite affected, in most part because she had become such a figurehead of compassion for the needy, and was caught in between her obligations to a family she didn't belong to anymore, and her need to be normal, I guess.
In a sense, my memory of Diana was all the more poignant because I had been somehow involved in the hoohah that had been her own wedding. We had a history, even if it was only my own!
I also do not want my kids to take my disregard of the Wedding Hoohah as a disregard for matrimony in general. Although I got married without any doubts in my mind, with hindsight, I realise that getting married is a huge and courageous undertaking. Firstly, it is about trust, and secondly, it is about claiming each other and declaring that you will both "make it work". Married couples who work hard at their marriage are everyday heroes, as far as I am concerned.
And although I feel disconnected to William and Kate, I do feel the burden that the public places on them, even if they might not feel it themselves, having practically grown up with it.
I wish them all the luck and love and happiness... and maybe we'll watch the whole day-long coverage today. After all, it's raining, and it's tv.