Breathe easy, ye closet royalists. The wedding’s over — went off without a hitch, far as I could tell, except for a few moments distinctly American enough to give the queen indigestion, which may be why the usually smiling monarch looked so grumpy in her bile-green (officially “lemon-lime”) outfit.
Start with some housekeeping:
I understand why we (not the royal “we”) must curtsy to Queen Elizabeth. She’s a king’s daughter, who has reigned longer than any monarch. But Kate (“Catherine,” please; nicknames not allowed, except for Harry, whose real name is Henry) is the daughter of two airline flight attendants (not a pilot, as previously reported) who made millions selling party paraphernalia online.
BTW, I didn’t notice bows as the bride and groom passed the queen, seated near the altar. Thought that was de rigueur. Other details were attributed to “Meghan’s touch … she’s a strong woman, who knows what she wants.” Like a gospel choir singing “Stand By Me” — the hands-down hit of the hourlong spectacle.
You go, girl!
Meghan and Prince Harry’s curriculum vitae suggest multiple talking points: She is biracial, from what sounds like a dysfunctional family (as was Harry’s); an actress (as were several royal mistresses, historically); divorced and American (as was Wallis Simpson, for whom King Edward VIII gave up the throne). But then, Harry stands six rungs down the ladder of succession.
A parade of guests filled the hour preceding the ceremony, with lesser-knowns strolling first, then up the food chain to George and Amal Clooney. Poor George worried so about being upstaged that he opted to attract attention in a business suit instead of a morning coat, the sartorial mandate for royal weddings. George, with scruffy beard, looked more uncomfy than a parrot in a flock of penguins.
Oprah, in a skin-tight bubblegum-hued frock, obviously forgot her foundation garments.
Who cares, really? Only Meghan’s wedding dress mattered. Nobody had a clue until she disembarked from the royal Rolls. Dead silence. Fashion reporters were rendered speechless by plain, simple, structured, classic with nary a bow, sequin, smidgen of embroidery or lace. Both tiara and train (OK, Amal, you win) were squeaky-modest. Tiny earrings. No necklace. Bling confined to a narrow diamond bracelet shouted the understatement.
Wisps kept escaping from an equally plain neck bun hidden by the veil. That way, eyes focused on her lovely collarbones and shoulders — which, according to royal protocol, must be covered in church.
Like, maybe Meghan relinquished her American citizenship but she’s not knuckling under to the dress code. Let’s see if she wears stockings, another requirement.
In comparison, Kate was Bridey Barbie and Diana’s, straight from a Reddi-wip can. Either way, these gowns are rumored to have cost in the low six figures. Blimey.
Harry’s uniform, based on a black tunic, appeared positively drab compared with some of William’s ceremonial outfits.
The ceremony was sweet, with Harry tearing up a bit. He’s weathered some rough times — as has Meghan, whose doe-eyed devotion seemed genuine if ever-so-slightly enhanced by stagecraft. Her American accent stood out, as did their hand-holding, considering PDAs are forbidden by The Firm, as the royal family is affectionately known.
The morning after, journalists were hailing the nuptials as signaling a remodeled, rejuvenated monarchy peopled with beautiful young things who wear fantastic clothes, parent storybook children and champion the downtrodden.
Maybe. But young or old, plain or fancy, dressed up or down, give them this: The Firm really does know how to put on, as Ed Sullivan would say, “a really big sheeew.” And pay for it, too.
Contact Deborah Salomon at email@example.com.