Saturday, April 30, 2011
Like many young girls, my daughter used to dream of dating Prince William. Now it seems that wasn't too far-fetched after all. She tells me that if we had just sent her to the right school, who knows what might have happened. This is my daughter, photo-shopped into this photo with William (thanks to our son-in-law). While I can laugh, I secretly realize I would never want this for her. Is Kate's mother feeling the same for Kate?
I'll admit it: I watched 'the' wedding; just as I watched his mother and father's wedding 30 years ago (except that I could tape this one to watch it on my time - yeah to progress). In 1981, I got my 4 year old daughter up to watch it, feeling history was in the making. The importance of the event never did hit her but she joked that she was going to get her 3 year old daughter up to watch this one in the spirit of what mothers do with their daughters.
As I watched Diana's wedding, I was creating advice for her in my head. I felt at the time that the similarities in our lives were astonishing (okay - maybe they were more in my head, too). I also married young; to a man just a few years older but we had different tastes in music and other things, just as Charles and Diana experienced. It was a stretch, I recognize now with the benefit of maturity. I really can't think how I imagined my life paralleled Diana's beyond that.
Watching this wedding, I was thinking more of Kate's mother than Kate. How strange to sit across the aisle from your daughter's new family and realize her new grandmother is the Queen of England. All I could think of is 'My God, she'll never be able to talk to her friends again." You know how we talk as women (at least to our most intimate friends); we share the trials and tribulations of our children; our difficulties with our spouses ... We talk to feel better. We say things we don't really mean in the process of figuring life out for ourselves. Kate's mother's intimate circle just become much smaller.
I was also struck by how overwhelming all of this must be for her mother and father. Successful entrepreneurs they may be but what could have prepared them for this immersion into royalty? I wouldn't be surprised if the 'princess classes' that Kate is taking extend to protocol classes for her entire family.
While each of us may think of our daughters as princesses, there's will actually become a Queen. They will have to curtsy to their daughter one day. At least they get to ease in to it while Kate wears the role of Duchess first.