One summer day when I was eleven, my mother woke me early in the morning. We lived in town called Alden, a small suburb of Buffalo, NY. I remember it was still dark outside when she gently shook me awake and urged me to follow her. Thinking back, I believe I may have been slightly peeved at her pulling me out of bed so early to watch some people get married. I am sure I was likely grumbling as I made my way downstairs to the family room.
Still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I sat on the carpet in front of the television while my mother tuned in to NBC. With a bowl of raisin bran in front of us, we had front row seats as Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw took us live to the beautiful spectacle that was Prince Charles, and Diana Spencer’s wedding. As soon as it began in all its glory, my grogginess quickly vanished. Swept away with the romantic illusion in front of me, I was in awe. Diana's splendid gown was, without doubt the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Prince Charles was a prince after all, and he brought with him the princely splendor a girl could only dream of. It truly was a fairy tale wedding and from then on, I was a fan. I loved Princess Diana and I loved everything Royal.
After the wedding, I like many people I loved everything Diana. If she were on the cover of People magazine, I would buy it. I dreamed of going to England one day just so I could visit the places I'd seen on TV and read about in books. When Princes’ William and Harry were born, I was thrilled. Their births only added to the happily ever after, the Royal family represented. When Diana died, a part of me died too. Glued to the TV, I was drawn to her, just as I had been for the day of her wedding. I was broken hearted and I cried for her. I cried for them all.
Looking back, I realize that wedding had a profound effect on how I envisioned love. When I first got married in 1990, the train on my dress was long, long, long! I never connected the dots at the time but I can see now why that long train swept me away. It was like hers. The poufy sleeves, the lace... the princess-like qualities I saw in its satin.
And here we are, just about thirty years later. I've paid attention and watched those boys grow to men. I have kept up with their lives, education, and romances just like I always have. When I saw the Diana's sapphire ring on Kate’s hand, it brought me joy. With the recent coverage on TV and all the retrospective glimpses of Diana's wedding I can see now, with my much wiser vision; there was no love between them. It is plain on each of their faces. William and Kate however, they wear their love openly and I hope their wedding is just as beautiful and memorable to me as his parents wedding was. I cannot wait to wake up next week and watch it, just like I watched his mother's wedding on that hot August day back in 1981.