In 1981 Diana floated into the chapel in a cloud of white silk and lace with a promise of happily ever after.
We watched her transform from a shy, frumpily dressed, naive girl into a beautiful woman who eventually became a style icon. Diana's presence and approachability brought about a new interest in the Royal family, creating a more modern monarchy. But alas, poor Diana, championing for so many, yet who was championing for her? I always wondered, would she have had so many personal struggles if her marriage was stronger, if she had not been manipulated and hounded?
Like those of my parents' generation, who remember exactly were they were when JFK was shot, I remember exactly where I was on August 31, 1997 and what I was doing when we got news about Diana's car accident and untimely death. We felt like we knew Diana because she was always in the press. And I did identify with her on some level, being about the same age and the mother of two boys. It was heartbreaking.
The "royal watchers" are saying William will make a heartfelt speech at the reception about his mother and her impact on him. I'm sure her presence will be felt. Kate will forge her own path and have her own identity. She, like Diana, has an ability to connect with people. One wonders how these two women would have gotten along had Diana survived. Kate is extremely dignified, but will she be able to live up to the scrutiny that England will no doubt place upon her?
And most importantly ~ What will the dress look like? Long sleeve or short, embellished or simple? Can you imagine the pressure? This dress is making history! I know designers are waiting with baited breath to see the gown, so they can quickly knock it off (those that make their living doing so). That's something I've never understood or agree with!
So I will wake up early, put my facinator on, have a mimosa, and like tens of millions of people, watch the royal wedding. I understand Wills is 1/16th American, so those of us on this side of the pond also have a vested interest.
A toast: Here's to William and Kate. May they live happily ever after.
Damn it, where are my tissues??