Friday, April 29, 2011

Modesty is Always the Best Policy

So whether you have The Royal Fever or not, you must be aware that a pretty big wedding took place today. Prince William and commoner Catherine Middleton were wed in Westminster and so begins their life as the new heirs to the Throne of England. We could get into terms like primogeniture, blood royal and Queen Regnant but I will spare you the years that I spent studying the pomp and say these few things... Prince William will become King only after both his grandmother (The Queen) and his father (Prince Charles) pass away. Catherine (Kate) Middleton is the only one in true line to the Queen's throne. Because of Princess Diana’s passing, Camilla respectfully uses the term Duchess of Cornwall and upon Charles’ accession to the crown, she will most likely be styled a Princess, technically never really being able to be Queen.
Nerdy enough for you? Also know that none of it is truly set in stone and the Royal Family can change the line of succession at any time.

So basically the newlyweds are now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who will eventually, God willing, become King and Queen of England. I would think that this would be odd for a girl of 29 to take in. She is where all girls dream to be if you are of the princess liking sort. But really, she has entered a whole other world where the word privilege really doesn't even encompass what she is in for. That is one lucky girl...

Despite my jealousy, I have these few comments to make about the wedding. The English Garden theme she chose was simple and elegant-two of my favorites. I absolutely loved her Alexander McQueen wedding dress. It was amazing, classic and all that it should be. I loved my own wedding day, my dress(es), my husband, and it was a fairytale just like all women deserve it to be.
I had a fairly "modest" affair (very rare in TX) because that is how my husband and I are, but really, no expense was spared.

However in these crazy times this Royal wedding was planned on a budget. Kate and the Royal Family were smart and put on a air of modesty this go round. Though the cost-cutting cannot be seen with a glance, these are turbulent financial times and they recognized this with many of the wedding details. Let's dissect, shall we? Her train was markedly different from Diana’s 25ft. dazzling stunner train in 1981. Diana and Charles also enjoyed a 3 month long honeymoon. Interesting to note in 1981, the stock market had also sharply fallen yet the show went on and the rest is history.

It's 2011 and times have changed. Kate Middleton planned wisely & chose to get married at the Abbey just a 5 min. jaunt from the palace arriving by car. They saved royally because the family already employs a hefty staff of caterers, cooks, chefs which are big expenses for most weddings. This is not a state occasion so much of the wedding bills are handled privately by the Royal Family and the Middleton’s. Both families were very involved in the details and seemed to respect the financial distress, unemployment and overall disenchantment of the world today by trying to keep things low key and less opulent than weddings in the past. They created their own affair characterized by the world today, both good and bad. The biggest expense was on security which is rumored to have cost over $10 million.

Despite all the cost cutting tactics they used, this event made my own fairytale wedding look like a frugal fiesta at the JP. They delivered all the pomp and circumstance the world expected and some people are disgruntled by this seemingly waste of funds but it does also pump plenty of much needed cash into the British markets. Sales on memorabilia, hotels, and food will bring in a large flow of cash to the economy. This event also makes the world focus on the positive for a while. It is a needed distraction for everyone because who doesn’t love a wedding! Especially one you can go to from your couch.
Though I did not suffer from Royal Fever these nuptials did make me think. I thought about my own wedding and how my views on spending have changed.This economic climate has forced us all to. I must admit that I had coordinators for my wedding to make it as wonderful as it was. I was not so involved and did not make truly conscious shopping choices for our big day which I regret. I can now admit my wasteful behavior over a decade later. I admire Kate for the choices she made to keep her wedding appropriate for the times we are in. She was able to mix luxury and modestly on a budget. Not an easy task and she will make a formidable Queen, no doubt.