As the great day approached, we decided to call round two other families for a lunch in the garden and a shared tv watching moment to take in the royal wedding and were very pleased it didn’t rain. We set the sitting room up with seats in rows – trying in light-hearted mode to set up a version of the old photograph of families gathered round the old tv set for the coronation, we found the atmosphere of an awe-struck audience came naturally however. We were certainly captivated, charmed and fascinated by the whole spectacle, pageantry and sense of history on display – curious to think it was being watched by some many millions around the world. I would have like to have watched people arriving more and found out who everyone was, but I was a bit busy with the champagne at that point. While I thought the BBC coverage good, I am told by a good friend that the Skytv commentator Alastair Bruce spoke with great knowledge and authority – that was rather missing from the BBC line up.
The architecture of the abbey was magnificent, elevating and a ‘national’ shrine. There is always something cheering about a wedding, but add the elegance of the bride, the uniforms, music and carefully orchestrated ceremony, and something undoubtedly moving occurred. It made all the grown-ups of our party think wistfully of our own weddings, nearly two decades ago now, and otherwise we devoted the rest of that sun-filled day to a long lunch for a dozen in the garden and party games – the daughters had made bunting from old curtains and we found some union jacks in the local co-op and one larger one in our own garden shed, so we felt we had entered the spirit and enjoyed ourselves. Us Cambridge dwellers gave the couple an extra champagne toast all round to celebrate their new title – very English, very smart and young. As we walked the dog in the evening, we came across some street parties still in party mode at 10pm!