While a great many people both in England, and around the world watched Harry and Meghan tie the knot in St. George’s Chapel, we stood on the touchline of a rugby pitch in Aylesbury cheering on the Royal Air Force and Metropolitan Police rugby teams, and being hugely impressed by the air force police dog demonstrations.
We finally got home late in the afternoon, and re-wound the events of the day in Windsor on the BBC – skipping the three hours of interviews, fawning, bowing, and scraping, and hitting play as the cars approached the church.
Windsor is familiar to me. I’ve taken several friends to see the castle over the years, and sometimes walk along it’s edge in-between railway stations. Curiously, I’ve never been to the “Great Park”, but I imagine most people will have at least seen it previously via “Fenton” – the video of the dog chasing the deer that went viral a few years ago.
There were flashes of pride – of being English. Seeing the machinery of state kick in, and produce a spectacle that few countries can parallel was perhaps the most powerful. Hearing the trumpets announce the arrival of the royal wedding party at the church, and their departure. Seeing the immaculately presented mounted cavalry escorting the happy couple through the streets back towards Windsor castle.
Here’s the funny thing – I’m not a royalist at all. Not a staunch republican either. I tend to think people that stand atop soap-boxes ranting at the establishment, or waving national flags have a little bit too much time on their hands. There are far more important things to worry about than if a hereditary monarchy is a benefit or a burden.
I will admit to giggling a bit when the BBC rolled out their usual “experts” to talk about Meghan’s dress, or how sunny the day turned out to be, or what they might be having for dinner tonight. I will also admit to smiling to myself while wondering just how insanely jealous Trump might be – having the attention of the world taken from his poisonous, cretinous behaviour for a few hours. You can’t buy a thousand years of history, and we have no need for a “@realElizabethII” Twitter account either.