Precinct 333

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Royal Wedding

What can I say about the wedding of the Prince of Wales and the newly-minted Duchess of Cornwall -- they used all the fairy dust up on Prince Charles' 1981 wedding to Princess Diana.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall - the former Camilla Parker Bowles - knelt before the Archbishop of Canterbury for a blessing of their union Saturday, after a modest civil ceremony that sealed a love affair ignited at a polo match more than 30 years ago and blamed by many for poisoning his marriage to Britain's beloved Princess Diana.

Beneath the towering Gothic arches of St. George's Chapel at ancient Windsor Castle, the royals nervously pledged their undying love and confessed "manifest sins and wickedness" - a phrase from the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer - under the solemn gaze of Archbishop Rowan Williams.

After enduring years of criticism and even ridicule, Charles and Camilla's shared affection appeared to finally to have won them a measure of acceptance from the British public. It remains to be seen, however, whether the bride will ever be known as Queen Camilla.

I guess I don't see the reason for the charade of holding two ceremonies. After all, the Anglican Church exists as a separate entity because Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon so he could marry his mistress, Anne Boleyn. Why should the divorces in this case present an obstacle for the Church of England -- which Charles will one day head as King of England -- today?

The tacky moment of the day has to be watching all the royals scurry on to rented buses for the ride to the reception. It was enough to make one wonder if they were holding it at some local hotel rather than on premisies at Windsor Castle. But like I said, they used all the fairy dust in 1981, so rather than a Royal Coach and a caravan of limos, we got that sad spectacle.

And I will never forget one pricelss moment after the blessing ceremony was over. One of the royal watchers providing commentary for CNN said it was the triumph of middle-aged love. My wife nearly choked to death on her soda as she blurted out "Middle-aged love? OH MY GOD! Look at them -- they're nearly sixty. Someone at the palace must have paid her off."

The whole thing made me thankful for the Revolutionary War.


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