Royal weddings can be a nightmare for a journalist, but worth every moment
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I personally hate weddings.
For me, they require vodka . . . lots. Plus olives.
Insufferable chitchat. Dreadful music. Shoot me.
But a royal wedding?
Pomp and circumstance? Well, that’s another matter.
Pitch me the pomp!
Look, it’s a nightmare to be a journalist covering a royal nuptial. A bloody nightmare!
But despite abysmal traffic, crowded restaurants, swollen souvenir stores, tourists in black ankle socks, gamboling gawkers, and too many Americans asking for directions . . . I LOVE royal weddings!
The English way.
Not only do my father’s English roots immediately untangle from my mother’s Irish family tree, but “Michael” the IRA bomb-thrower becomes “Michele,” the descendant of England’s last King Edward IV, the last of the Plantagenet line.
It becomes a sappy, happy time to be in England! Bouquets are tossed, not Brexit brickbats. Ladies sprout hats big enough to hold a turkey . . . plus carrots and peas. Sneed’s even been known to wear a dress and a hat in London.
The pubs are filled; the watercress sandwiches taste better than ever; stiff Brit upper lips are smiling “dearie;” and wedding face masks are prolific! I’m told Meghan Markle masks outrank Prince Harry’s as the best-seller. And those realistic cardboard cutouts of the royal couple are such cutups, one might ask for directions!
Confidentially, I still have my fussy Lady Sarah Ferguson powder compact wedding souvenir purchased when the saucy redhead married Prince Andrew in 1986.
It resides near my blue Prince Charles and Camilla wedding mug; my Prince William and Kate playing cards and gold Westminster Abbey wedding cup; as well as the King James version of the Bible printed to commemorate their wedding.
(Remember. That’s confidential because I’m much too serious a journalist to really want anyone to know I would buy such things even standing in a LONG line to do so. And, frankly, I did NOT include them in my expense account. Just saying.)
It’s also not fun paying usurious prices for hotel rooms; triple the cost when heirs to the royal throne get hitched and hie to canopied beds. And, indeed, add $20 extra for porridge and cream.
The country acts like they are part of a national wedding. Tent pitchers, pub dwellers, balloon sellers; all chitchatting residents of the carnivals parked in front of Buckingham Palace and/or Windsor Castle; all gay and in the sway of the historic moment when an heir to their country’s throne is getting married.
And this time a biracial American woman is becoming a member of the British royal family line.
I won’t be there this time to assess the nation’s mood. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to wonder why Markle wants to walk down such a magic aisle. But surrendering one’s American citizenship gives one pause. And an American curtsying to an English monarch? Well.
It wasn’t easy leaving London after the last click on my computer in 2011, when Prince William married commoner Kate Middleton.
I was feeling so English, my Irish still back in Chicago. So I headed to the famous American Bar at the Stafford Hotel before the flight home for a drink and a little chat. It houses an old WWII bomb shelter, which is now a wine cellar.
So I will raise a glass to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Windsor — royal newlyweds on Saturday — for giving a desperate world a Cinderella moment and hoping their carriage never turns into a pumpkin like Prince Charles and Diana and Prince Andrew and Fergie’s did.
But I will do so with a journeyman’s drink.
A glass of Irish Guinness.
Is Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr., 51, hoping to walk his sister down the aisle now that their dad is “sick” and can’t come?
Not invited to the royal wedding, Markle admitted writing a letter to Prince Harry to dump his half-sister claiming this was the biggest mistake in royal wedding history.
Well. What a relief. London’s Daily Mirror, a best-selling trash tabloid, is setting the record straight.
Markle now claims “I was wrong,” and his sister is not a “phony” who wants “to imitate” the late Princess Diana, Harry’s mum. And she is “going to be one of the best things ever to have happened to the royal family. She will be the perfect modern princess.”
Of course, Markle also blamed the royals for not giving him “guidance.” He told the paper: “My letter wasn’t intended to cause hurt or upset. I’d hoped my letter might shame the palace, I guess, into getting in touch.”
The lesson: Stop, while you’re ahead, bub . . . although you apparently never were.
Sneedlings . . .
Today’s birthdays: Tina Fey, 48; George Strait, 66; and Reggie Jackson, 72.