To Fanfare, Prince William and Kate Middleton Marry

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With fanfare and flags under cool, gray skies, Prince William and his longtime girlfriend, Kate Middleton, were married on Friday in one of the largest and most-watched events here in decades — an interlude of romance in a time of austerity and a moment that will shape the future of the British monarchy.

Some 40 minutes after her husband-to-be, Miss Middleton rode to Westminster Abbey to offer a first glimpse of her wedding dress — a creation by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen in white and ivory, with a two-meter train, that had been the object of furious speculation. She wore a delicate veil with intricate lace on the neckline and a diamond tiara lent for the occasion by Queen Elizabeth II, and traveled in a Rolls Royce limousine with her father, Michael Middleton.

The service began with a hymn, “Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer.” The couple stood side by side before the altar. As she arrived to join him, William whispered to her, and onlookers said he seemed to be saying, “You look beautiful.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

Posted April 29, 2011 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Kendall Harmon wrote:

I enjoyed watching it—one cannot fail to be moved by the pageantry and especially the music and the words in the vows and the liturgy.

Tiny Brown did a superb job in commentary for ABC.

April 29, 8:25 am | [comment link]
2. Teatime2 wrote:

It was so beautiful! I loved the hymns, the epistle selection, the prayer that William and Catherine wrote, and Bishop Chartres’ sermon.

What never fails to move me about royal events that involve a church service is the sight of the crowds outside fervently singing the hymns. No matter what their faith, or lack thereof, the hymns are an important part of the national consciousness and unity. I envy that national pride and unity—we’re very fragmented in America. That’s what the apolitical monarchy does—represents the history, beauty, and unity of the country apart from the divisiveness of partisanship.

April 29, 9:12 am | [comment link]
3. Adam 12 wrote:

I had a vision of the Heavenly City as the royal couple marched down the aisle to Parry’s “I Was Glad.”  It was wonderful to see so much happiness, too, to see the respect the Queen has earned, and to witness the spectacle of smartly uniformed military with horse brigades and carriages that is equalled nowhere else. And yes, those crowds did sing! There’s nothing, too, quite like a men-and-boys choir, especially when the boys sing descants to the hymns.

April 29, 10:00 am | [comment link]
4. evan miller wrote:

My wife, daughter, and I got up early and watched the whole thing on BBC America.  Their coverage was absolutely superb.  What a glorious event.  Absolutely perfect in every detail.  God bless the happy couple.  Some things the British - CofE, Royal Family, and military - do better than anyone else, and this morning the whole world got a shining example.

April 29, 11:00 am | [comment link]
5. Charles wrote:

A stunning ceremony. I love it that the BBC says that “the service has run smoothly so far but there was a tiny moment of drama as the prince struggled to place the wedding ring on Miss Middleton’s finger.”

April 29, 12:31 pm | [comment link]
6. Chris Taylor wrote:

I found the initial comments about the purpose of marriage interesting.  I hope the ABC was listening!

April 29, 1:54 pm | [comment link]
7. evan miller wrote:

I particulairly liked it when the Bishop of London referred to marriage as between “a man and a woman.”  Probably made Sir Elton bristle if he was listening.

April 29, 1:56 pm | [comment link]
8. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

One of the best moments of the day

April 29, 2:20 pm | [comment link]
9. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

For those who want to watch it again, or perhaps were loafing in bed at 4am EST, highlights at various resolutions up to high definition can be found here and the full service is being rebroadcast here

April 29, 3:01 pm | [comment link]
10. Ralph wrote:

Kudos for the cartwheeling verger!

Mrs. Rafe and I started watching at about 5:50am EDT.

The sermon by +Richard gave me hope for the future of the Anglican Communion, and reminded me of his stern handling of the Dudley homosexual ‘wedding’ incident.

++Rowan, seemed quite flat during his part of things.

April 29, 3:48 pm | [comment link]
11. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

Absolutely 4.0!!  And all best to a very special couple… grin

April 29, 5:51 pm | [comment link]
12. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

I believe she’s “understated” and keeps her feelings to herself, but it was so nice to see HM the Queen smile and look so happy.  The feelings spilled over, and she was radiant.  grin

April 29, 6:15 pm | [comment link]
13. Ad Orientem wrote:

Many years to the happy couple!  And God save The Queen!

Christ is risen!

April 29, 6:44 pm | [comment link]
14. Ross wrote:

I’ve been watching the wedding on the rebroadcast on the web, and it’s just wrapping up now.  Beautifully done.

April 29, 7:04 pm | [comment link]
15. Ross wrote:

This is my favorite picture of the wedding.  And possibly of all time.

April 29, 7:23 pm | [comment link]
16. Jeremy Bonner wrote:

Not least for the severe looking cherub on the left smile

April 29, 10:08 pm | [comment link]
17. Cennydd13 wrote:

God bless them both!

April 30, 1:19 am | [comment link]
18. Larry Morse wrote:

One thing I did notice: this wedding was not about a establishing the line to the throne, which is ordinarily a redefinition of the transmission of power and authority, this wedding was about and for women. The issue of greatest importance was not the royal lineage, but about Kate’s dress, of all things. It was all Kate Kate Kate and at last Kiss me Kate.

April 30, 9:09 am | [comment link]
19. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Well #18 Larry, as you know many men wouldn’t notice if she wore a white meringue, but to the girls, and a great many wedding dress makers, these things matter.

April 30, 10:26 am | [comment link]
20. Katherine wrote:

Pageantmaster, if she’d worn a white meringue men would indeed have noticed, and for all the wrong reasons!  I was particularly happy to see her in an elegant and graceful costume suitable to the occasion and to the commitment she was making.  I hope more brides will come to their weddings in both appropriate dress and appropriate state of mind.  So many of them, at least in America, seem to be vying for Playmate of the Month rather than making a serious pledge to a new life in the sight of God and their families.

April 30, 11:31 am | [comment link]
21. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

Larry, I’m a girl, and I very much enjoyed the big picture and not just “dress, dress, dress”. 

But that said, I don’t mind getting a little girlie.  grin

The white meringue comment is too much an opener for me so I will lay off that one.  grin 

The duchess’s dress was wonderfully elegant and tasteful.  She has a PERFECT body to dress, and lace suits it.  Lace can really “add weight” so it looks fantastic on slender people.  She and the designer did 4.0 work in the construction, fit, and wearing of the dress.  I can speak to the experience of tall, skinny women—a “princess” or “A-line” dress has to be correct for you, else you and your figure will rather “get lost” or overwhelmed in it and it will not flatter.  Years ago I ended up(happily) choosing a sheath gown with a cathedral train, similar in length to HRH’s.  And HUGE KUDOS to Pippa Middleton, as all of the coordination and “DRESS OPS” sometimes are not easy to handle, and she executed all that perfectly.  My best friend/maid of honor got me back four years later at her wedding, with me as the honor attendant, because her train was as long as mine but her dress was princess-style, ie, huge skirt as well.  We enjoy our girlie stuff, but men are lucky that their clothes usually weigh a lot less and are not as cumbersome!!  grin 

I’m just a peon, but the Duchess has accidentally validated me, as I thought she would choose a gown similar to Pamela Roland’s sketch seen here,,20444144_20446629_20884369,00.html

The Roland sketch, with its lace boat-neck instead of a v-neck, would also have looked beautiful, but I like the Duchess’s choice of an A-line skirt rather than a trumpet-style.  My own gown was very similar to the Roland sketch, it was just sheath with train instead of trumpet-style. I’ve seen much comparison of HRH’s dress to Grace Kelly’s dress, but I think the dress yesterday was even better, flowing over the bride’s figure, rather than being severely “cut in half” by a tight cummerbund-type sash.  No offense to the late, beautiful Princess of Monaco. 

Why does any of this matter? Well, it really doesn’t, but it’s fun, and so many of us American girls would love to see a return of wedding dresses with sleeves.  The “strapless” thing has been so overdone here.  I for one was married at the end of November in the northeast and thus was grateful for my sleeves. 

I have a lot of priest friends and have also been to a lot of weddings.  Brides would do well to follow the Duchess’s style—tasteful and elegant yet still very fashionable, instead of bad strapless, those who are truly WAY too well-endowed to wear strapless, and/or too many views of surgically-altered cleavage. 

Your Royal Highness, I raise my glass to you.  grin

April 30, 1:13 pm | [comment link]
22. Teatime2 wrote:

I absolutely love the dress and its design. It was gorgeous and perfect on her. But I’m having these horrifying images of American Bridezillas who don’t, shall we say, share her lithe figure and thin limbs trying to stuff themselves into reproductions of it because it’s now trendy. Ewwwww!

April 30, 7:18 pm | [comment link]
23. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

I think what came across was the enormous attention to detail in everything about Friday, as well as the concern that people could get to see what was going on.  With the ceremony being put on Youtube by the palace, we have come 180% from the Coronation in ‘53, when broadcasting was begrudgingly permitted on sufferance.  It was a slick operation, but didn’t lose sight of the needs of everyone.

If the country and the CofE were run with the same concern and attention to detail that the monarchy has, we wouldn’t have the problems which we do.

God likes us to pay attention to detail, I have come to the conclusion, in the church, and in our own lives.  If you look at the order of creation, you can see that enormous attention to detail; chaos and mess are not of God, but a sign of the work of the opposition.

April 30, 8:07 pm | [comment link]
24. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

Teatime, that is a fair point.  Two shows we have over here on the TLC network are “What Not to Wear” and “Say Yes to the Dress”.  The former(and one of its hosts is Clinton Kelly, who gave royal wedding commentary over here) is a very good show where fashion experts aid “regular” people in dressing appropriately the bodies they have, rather than the bodies they might WANT to have.  And, even if people(usually women on these shows) are larger in size or really tiny and petite, they can look VERY nice as long as they dress best for THEIR body type. 

Take, e.g., my dress that I described—I like being “social” with others, and the ladies in my bridal salon were very nice and personable—I remember them telling me that my dress sometimes made them sad, as it was beautiful but they CONSTANTLY had itty-bitty petite women trying to wear it or put it on because they liked it, but when they did, they looked about two feet tall and were disappointed.  There are a lot of petite women that cannot wear a sheath gown.  I haven’t been petite since I was a pre-teen. Even at my thinnest I was never smaller than a size 8, because of big shoulders and hips—in the 80’s I never had to wear shoulder pads to achieve the “Dynasty” look; my shoulders were big enough as they were!! grin  And yet, I probably would have not been able to wear a dress like Princess Diana’s, as I would have been swallowed by all that frilly detail.  She probably carried it because she was 5’10”(and I’m only 5’10” with heels on) and she liked it; I’ve always preferred more tailored looks, even in wedding gowns. 

Point being, women have to wear what suits them, and what FITS!!  “What Not to Wear” always stresses that and it’s a wise point.  That’s also why Diana looked so lovely(of course, it helps to be so toned, blonde, and tall) most of the time; all the clothes were cut right to her figure and had the undergarments built into them; not to mention all the extra fabric reinforcement that prevented wrinkling.  That last thing, though, is hard to deal with if you live in a hot climate like I do, if you are someone who has to dress professionally or do a lot of public engagements. 

“Say Yes to the Dress” is a bridal show set at Kleinfeld’s in NYC, one of the largest salons in the world.  They do dress all shapes and sizes.  The problem(for some) with it is that it’s by no means inexpensive.  I am literally sad when I see these big girls walk in there for a gown and say they only want to spend $2000.00; that may only buy your underwear in that store, and the bigger a lady is, the more expensive the dress will be because of more material.  And, you’re talking about a high-end store that deals with mostly natural fabrics—silk, satin, chiffon; I wouldn’t consider salons like that one “polyester stores”, and the better fabrics cost money, too. 

Hopefully a consultant would be able to steer a bride away from yesterday’s dress if it would not suit.  And/or, it might suit if it FIT, and the girl could try on “the dress” in her size.  Lace can be tough, though, because it does add weight and probably looks best on lithe people, like HRH Kate.  When I was shopping, I tried on a full-lace sheath with a train, too, and even at 5’7” and 125 lbs, my satin one looked much better. 

But sometimes this can be “fudged” as well if, like Mrs. Wales’ dress grin, the materials are “mixed”.  But if I were a more Rubenesque girl, I think I’d skip all lace or a full-lace bodice.  I thought the Duchess of York looked beautiful in satin with a scoop-neckline.  But I don’t think she could have carried off a ton of lace.  And, Grace Kelly was another one who was reed-thin at her wedding, with a “mixed” gown but nearly full-lace bodice. 

Girls just need to shop around, do some good fashion reading, and hopefully get savvy fashion advice from astute salespeople.  We all know it can be a fun experience. 

And, worse, you don’t want to know what spills out of strapless bridal gowns here in America—for me, that’s an even worse “Eeew”—we really don’t need to see more of brides than we should see!!  grin  I’d like to see the styles become more varied again. 

I agree with what Pageantmaster says about order and detail; the devil does love chaos.  And, it’s also why I watched mostly BBC commentary yesterday; it’s tasteful and not overly “talky”.  A nice compliment for her that I hope gets back to her, but too many American hosts were salivating over here about how “hot” Pippa Middleton looked.  She did look great, but that’s not the best time for men to act like a panting dog, when you are supposed to be narrating a wedding!! 

I’m still glad it was such a nice day for all of you.  grin  We enjoyed watching…

April 30, 11:02 pm | [comment link]
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