I read somewhere that there have been over 100 million blog postings about a certain wedding in a small, insignificant country off the coast of Europe (the one that lost its empire but still does pageantry rather well). I will not mention the name of the country or the lucky couple for fear of turning up in search engine results. I can’t handle more dedicated followers and wish to keep the experience intimate.
Before leaving to do something useful (work out at the gym), I watched a bit of the blanket coverage. The wedding has certainly been a boon to the flag, bunting, hat, and dodgy souvenir industries.
I now know where the phrase “the last shall be first” comes from: this country’s protocol. The least important people arrived at the church first and were forced to wait the longest. The most important person, not counting the bride, arrived last. Who can blame the old lady for not wanting to sit around in a drafty cathedral and wait?
It was interesting to watch how people arrived and how they were greeted. The least important had to walk, followed by slightly important in buses, followed by members of less important royal families in large vans, followed by members of the home team in limos, followed by the families of the bride and groom, followed by the boss lady, and finally the bride. I spotted a bit of unconcealed snobbery, which was surely intentional. The mother of the bride is, after all, a mere commoner (the more snobbier remind her constantly of being a stewardess, because working is frowned upon in aristocratic circles). She was allowed to arrive in a less posh limousine (Jaguar, not a Rolls or Bentley). All others had red-uniformed penguins stationed to open limousine doors: not her. She waited inside until some guy in a suit noticed that something might be amiss, when all others ignored her. Boy, did that put her in her place!
I also have a wedding coming up in a few weeks. Fortunately, the world media have not noticed or been informed, surely distracted by all the pomp and circumstance not far from here. Our guests—a discreet bunch of non-celebrities—have kept quiet and can look forward to being able to act however undignified they wish. There will be enough wine to tempt even the most dignified. And, we won’t have horses and carriages...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.