A Cringe-Making Soap Opera Re-Revised

After almost five years and in the light of what we've learned by now, I'd like to add Beebs Kelley's video    
As expected, this royal wedding wasn't like other royal weddings. Royal weddings are never zeitgeisty, never political and they follow since time immemorial a strict protocol.

This one didn't.

Not only did it do away with thousand years of tradition, it pushed a political agenda. It pushed it, for example, through the sermon by the clownesque black Episcopalian pastor swaggering folksily about "social justice" or a Gospel Choir embracing "diversity" to round out the picture of a Black Pride pageant.

Why? Because the bride is "black". As a matter of fact, she isn't any darker than most South Europeans. Her mother isn't all that "black" either. The daughter hasn't got any negroid features, her hair is straight. (Should she have straightened it, it would be a deplorable case of "cultural appropriation", because nappy hair is part of her heritage as any defender of the MoB's dreadlocks will be fond of saying, but to hell with logic or intellectual integrity. We are fighting racism, aren't we?)

Thus (and not just in this case) the despicable "one drop" rule from the times of slavery comes back with a vengeance. Why? BECAUSE IT MIGHT BENEFIT A SELF-IDENTIFIED MEMBER OF THE "MINORITY".

If I were black, I mean REALLY black, I would be disgusted by such a shameless attention-seeking travesty.

So far for politics, but there are other aspects as well.

The times when a bride with a royal background used to be conditio sine qua non are long gone. The groom's great grandmother wasn't royalty, but the daughter of a high-ranking Scottish nobleman. (The royal family probably hoped they might hit the jackpot again with Lady Diana Spencer because she came from a similar background. Well, they didn't.) In the meantime, the Queen's youngest son and the one of her grandsons; yes, the one who may one day be king, married young women from the middle classes, her eldest son and Heir to the Throne in second marriage a lady with a past and an upper class background and it worked all out splendidly. Her second son married a young upper class woman, again one with a past, which did, somewhat predictably, NOT work out well. So why bother in this case at all? Everything can happen, can't it?

Why bother? Because there are limits. The upper middle class Rhys-Joneses and the middle class Middletons were and are perfectly respectable people and Pa Middleton was a picture of dignity when he gave the future queen consort of England away. His good-natured calm and heart-warming pride not just during the wedding ceremony, but throughout the entire engagement, had made him a hero figure to fathers everywhere, and rightfully so...

but... THAT?

One more aspect? Here it goes.

The times when a virgin bride was expected at such events are over as well, last but not least, I suspect, because this particular scheme didn't, again in the case of Lady Diana Spencer, work out as hoped for the royals.

But what SHOULD BE required, so I think, is at the very least a modicum of respectability. This bride has ridden the cock carousel for about 20 years, has jettisoned her first husband with utter ruthlessness, jettisoned the man she was cohabitating with once she'd met Harry, her lauded acting career consisted almost exclusively of a supporting role in a Canadian cable-TV soap opera.

The Daily Mail regales us with this juicy bit of morsel. I spare you the pictures:
This one's a bit dirty, Harry!
... her latest role revelation might make the Royal family cringe, as it's been discovered that she once appeared in a very raunchy scene that saw her character getting caught performing oral sex on a high school hunk on 90210.
This is not, repeat NOT, royal material.

But whatever, let the show begin. The bride first, the others in no particular order.

She wore Givenchy. Many predicted she'd wear something unconventional. Of course she wouldn't. She's a clever girl. A mid-6-figure price-tag was rumoured. For much less than a tenth of that she could have gotten something REALLY nice from one of the upmarket prêt-a-porter lines some of which I've outlined here. But, IF one wears a fitted dress, shouldn't it at least... fit?

While white isn't anymore, and as far as we know never was, a symbol of bridal pureness, the veil undoubtedly still is. How a divorced woman, not to mention her sleazy past, could get away with it, mystifies me. As a Catholic, the "giving away" bit is alien to me anyway. The oh-so-misogynist and reactionary Catholics don't do it. (I think, though, it's a nice gesture if the bride is very young and marries the first time.) The meaning behind is, that the bride at that point leaves her own and joins the groom's family, a pointless exercise if the bride is middle aged and divorced, and I haven't even started to dwell on this bride's "strong feminist views".

I'm honestly trying not to be unfair, catty or snide here, but I think this middle aged face under veil and tiara looks ...incongruous, to put it politely.

Not even the Duchess of Windsor in all her shame- and ruthlessness, who was, by the way, 41 and thus only 5 years older than our bride when she married the Duke, went to that length. The dress was powder blue by the way.
Oh yes! And all those moronic equations between the two women get my goat and increasingly so. They were respectively are, both American and both tarts, but that's where it begins and ends. The Duchess of Windsor at least had been no CHEAP tart. She had impeccable taste, knew her etiquette and came from a RESPECTABLE American family.
I'd never thought I'd ever say anything nice about that woman.

Her Majesty the Queen looking dejected in one of those awful neon green outfits she sometimes chooses.
Reportedly, she wears those colours to stand out in a crowd, however, it wouldn't have been necessary here.

The Prince of Wales with the MoB. If I weren't convinced that he is a nice man anyway, I would it now. How he looked after the MoB without the slightest trace of condescension was touching - the essence of good manners.
MoB's dress and matching coat by Oscar de la Renta are very nice and appropriate, but dreadlocks and nose-stud... well, what can one say. The usual argument is that "it's her heritage", which makes it worse.
I may be wrong, and it didn't occur to me when I wrote this the first time, but I think her mother was mainly invited to lend some credibility to the thin "bi-racial" claim. Different from the bride, one couldn't confuse her with a Caucasian, although her skin isn't all that dark and certainly not "black".

The Duchess of Cornwall, classy and elegant as always in a splendid light pink and with her lovely pearls. (There is a reason for mature women to wear necklaces like that, not neccessarily pearls, but I won't spill the beans.)
She overdid it a bit with that hat, though.

The Duchess of Cambridge three weeks after the birth of her third child with little Princess Charlotte. Classy, picture perfect, yet unassuming as usual. She had worn a dress in which she was seen twice before not to "upstage" the bride. THAT is class!

The Middletons, as usual perfectly apropos to the occasion, dignified and unassuming - royal in-law-material as it ought to be in spite of "humble origins".
They did bring up their daughters well.

Her sister Pippa with new husband and a VERY nice dress (£495 from The Fold) that echoes the spring feeling.

The Princess Royal with her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. Nobody would ever accuse her of being well dressed, but...

...it could have been worse, MUCH worse. (Picture from the Royal Wedding 2011).

The Clooneys, in fact in spite of all the media-hype the only REAL Hollywood-A-listers attending.
That woman would look good in a potato sack, but here she got it SO right. That yellow dress by Stella McCartney is perfect in each and every aspect, colour, material, cut, style and she is one of the few women who got the hat size just right.
But George! GEORGE! Did nobody tell you that a gentleman never, NEVER wears matching tie and pocket handkerchief? And wasn't a royal wedding, however tacky, important enough to get morning dress? You look cheap and out of your depth in your ill-fitting lounge suit, not to mention the shoes which look bedraggled and unpolished.
In the meantime I've become a follower of the (so far unproven, but likely) theory that people (and even crowds - there ARE "hire-a-crowd"-organisations) are paid to show appreciation for the new member of the Royal Family. 

The bride was no Hollywood actress, no previous connection with the Clooneys is known, the Clooneys own a house not very far from this fancy gathering. WHO is paying them (should they have been paid) is open to speculation. But isn't, as her followers are fond of pointing out, the bride very rich in her own right?
Just sayin'.
Since the wedding, the Clooneys have turned out to be dedicated champions for the bride who, that has become clear by now, hadn't been on their radar before. Can somebody spell "social climber"?

This is the Michelin Man in a condom Oprah Winfrey in Stella McCartney. Words fail me at least about that outfit.
Like with the Clooneys, there is no previous relationship with the bride on the records.
However, it seems that she and the groom get on since the wedding like a house on fire, as they are making a documentary series about mental health together.
On her eponymous talk show Winfrey routinely endorsed faux science and fake spiritual hucksters. In 2006, she commended one of the most anti-intellectual products of the decade: a book and video called "The Secret", which promises that anyone can have anything they want as long as they visualize it. It went on to sell 20 million copies internationally.
Logic, reason and empathy don’t guide that woman, money does.
Another step this eminent family takes downward from royal- to celebrity status.
Good luck Your Royal Highness.

Here we have the lovely Lady Kitty Spencer, cousin to the groom, who came in my book a short second to Amal Clooney dress- and lookwise, in Dolce & Gabbana. Maybe Amal comes just a tad more unselfconsciously elegant across than Lady Kitty.
(No idea who the baleful-looking thang with scraggy hair in the obviously home-crocheted horror is. Besides, ankle straps are unspeakably common.)

Lady Jane Fellowes née Spencer, aunt to Lady Kitty and the groom, reading at the service. She wears a Shibumi Nehru Coat in Duck Egg.

Emilie Van Cutsem (first row, second from the right), widow of Hugh van Cutsem, wears a Shibumi Delphine Coat in Flame. The lovely Shibumi pieces are in a three-figure price range.
The van Cutsem family are long-standing friends of the Prince of Wales and his sons. Mrs. van Cutsem's sons William and Nicholas are godfather to Prince George and Prince Louis respectively. The van Cutsems are Catholic.

Earl Spencer, who hasn't aged well something that often happens to serial adulterers, with a VERY self-consciously elegant version of the caped crusader or Cruella De Vil, i.e. the third Countess Spencer in a boringly monochromatic custom Pamella Roland outfit and a daft-looking matching tie.

Sir John Major, who HAS aged well, with his wife Norma.
Sir John, whose father was a Music Hall tight-rope walker, was the only politician invited, because he was appointed special guardian of Prince William and Harry after their mother's death.
The couple couldn't have turned out better. Another prime example of how "little people" (which used to be the epithet for them when John Major came into office) can sometimes outshine their "betters".

I don't know who that is, but I sometimes feel a burqa isn't ALL bad. Keep her away from the buffet or she might spontaneously combust!

Serena Williams and husband.
And no, dear co-commentator, her "fitted Versace dress with the gathered detail at the waist", did NOT give her an "hourglass shape". It highlighted her enormous mammilae and natibus, which made me ask myself how she lugs them across Wimbledon court. As a tennis expert put it: "Things I'd rather do than watch Serena Williams play: A. Drink Bleach B. Take a bullet C. Lose all of my limbs."

The stylish and beautiful Cressida Bonas (29), former girlfriend of the groom, wore a fully bespoke cotton dress made by hand in the EPONINE Atelier in South Kensington.
SHOULD her intention have been, which I can't believe as she is in a totally different league, to upstage the bride, she did it successfully and in the most classy and reserved way and that's why she gets a second picture.

The Beckhams. Victoria wears her usual pout and one of her own creations. I like the latter. It's modern yet chic and classy. She got a lot of flak because of both, the pout and the dress, although some other women wore dark blue as well. I've got a lot of time for that woman because she comes across as competent as businesswoman as well as as wife and mother, AND because she isn't the kissy-huggy-type who craves for approval. AND because she has been married to the same man for donkey's years now, whilst living in the scumbag world of  "celebrities".

But, dear David, you committed the mortal sin to wear your pocket handkerchief in a straight line on top. That's a BIG no no, even though Prince Philip wears it that way! Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.

This is some polo player whose name I didn't catch. He is wearing half a pint of salad oil in his coiffure and an ill-fitting double breasted (DOUBLE BREASTED! YUCK!) lounge suit. Maybe he couldn't find a buyer for that pony so he couldn't afford morning dress. His tie is tied crookedly and he's committing the same mortal sin as David Beckham with his pocket handkerchief. His armpiece either wears a nightdress or the bedroom curtains.

"Can somebody show me the way to the buffet? It's urgent!"
Sarah, Duchess of York in a navy suit dress with pink piping by Emma Louise Design, a Windsor based designer, which would be very nice if worn by somebody else, no matter who, even the stable cat.

Well, what can one say? Maybe they wished to have at least SOME old queen crying at the wedding.

The much overlooked Countess of Wessex, absolutely perfect in every respect in her satin weave skirt with embroidered grey top by Suzannah with a matching Jane Taylor hat. It was a bit difficult to find a picture. I guess because she isn't within the "glamorous" league anymore and not vulgar.

Zara, Mrs. Michael Tindall, the Queen's pretty granddaughter, with her rugger star husband Mike a couple of days before the birth of her second child.

Nobody would her, like her mother, accuse of being particularly well dressed, however, her hilariously funny account of the wedding in the Daily Star beats that of all other attendees hands down. To summarise, Zara Tindall didn't enjoy the wedding, because she was uncomfortable, and she was, she said, particularly unimpressed with the Episcopalian bishop, even admitted she couldn’t wait for the sermon to end. "I think my face was probably caught at the point when I thought: 'Right, he's going to finish now', and then he went off on another little story, and it was like, 'Really'?" Explaining how the seats weren't very wide, the heavily expecting mother added: "My bum sort of slid over either side and Lena [the baby] kicked the hell out of me for an hour. It just wasn't comfy at all and it probably showed on my face."

Zara is, like her mother used to be 40 years ago, one of the best three-day-event-riders of her generation. She runs a professional eventing stable and is, again like her mother, a thoroughly tough cookie.

And here she is, the mother, on the Queen's Goodwill, at Badminton Horse Trials 1973. 

At her own wedding, Zara wore an indeed lovely off-the-peg ivory silk dress designed by Stewart Parvin.

No, dear glossy magazine gutter scum, this is NOT Sofia Wellesley, the grand-daughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington, with some singer as her armpiece, this is James Blunt, an officer, gentleman and close friend of the groom who happens to be a singer now with his armpiece and wife Sofia Wellesley.
Her Red Valentino dress isn't exactly butt ugly, but with its textured macramé-embroidery it looks like something to survive a harsh winter in and wow - DO I hate the coy Peter-Pan collar. Some idiot fashion commentator (a tautology if I've ever seen one) said: "This look is very sophisticated... she gets it just right for a spring wedding." Yep! For a spring wedding in Siberia.

Above the Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York with their father The Duke of York. Eugenie in a bespoke Jackie-Kennedy-esque dress by Gainsbourg and pillbox hat to match, her sister in a bespoke turquoise Roksanda Viola dress with billowing transparent sleeves and a hundredweight of little beads.

Nobody will ever accuse them of being well dressed either, although it could have been much, much, worse if you look at the above picture from the royal wedding 2011.
Point made and that's it. Targeting those girls would be shooting sitting ducks. I'll save my snide remarks for the Hollywood exhibits.

So some more fashion commentator idiocy?

When Meghan's friends arrived there was a definite sense that here were some ladies who meant business.
[You bet your arse they did.]

With their bold tailoring and confident struts there was an unmistakeable non-Britishness going on.
[I guess one can put it like that. Good that somebody noticed.]

"I loved all the American glamour-zons [Gosh, how embarrassingly punny!], who showed up. They were just so much better groomed than everyone else."
[Words fail me.]

Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra wore a pale lavender Vivienne Westwood skirt and blazer and Suits star Abigail Spencer [left, NO relation] stood out in her forties-inspired polka dot tea dress.
[The one on the right looks like another Michelin Man in a condom with an overflowing icecream cone on top, the one on the left looks at least not vulgar, just ridiculous. (Notice the ankle straps, the very epitome of vulgarity.)]

"Abigail Spencer looked just divine in her Alessandra Rich dress... Polka dots never go out of style, and she just nailed the look."
[Yep! As the divine Schoolmarm Goddess of Frumpyness.]

Predictably, the media gushed about all this but virtually nobody seemed to notice that particularly the royal family, maybe with the exception of the Duchess of Cornwall, markedly dressed down. The men, apart from the Duke of Cambridge as best man and the groom, didn't wear uniform, the Prince of Wales' morning dress was of the variant where all parts (coat, waistcoat and trousers) are of the same colour and material, which is considered less formal.
Her Majesty wore nothing she wouldn't have worn at any less formal event, the Duchess of Cambridge had probably recycled again one of her outfits.

 Another marked difference at this wedding had been... THAT:

Neither red nor blue for this bride. I hadn't noticed it. Cordial thanks go to the Banana Baroness blogger!

Apart from members of the Spencer family and Sofia Wellesley, I haven't spotted any entries from Burke's Peerage or Debrett's, but maybe that is because the glossy magazine gutter press was too busy covering the antics of the Hollywood dregs to notice some boring, fuddyduddy old gentlepeople.

To stress my point, here is a video of the wedding of the Duke of York to Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey [sic!] in London 1986. As fourth in line at that time there wasn't a higher probability of Prince Andrew inheriting the throne than in the case of Prince Harry, who is sixth. However, the difference in the staging of the two weddings is stunning. Just a few glimpses at this almost three hour video ought to be enough.

As an aside, I was amazed how likeable and genuine the young Sarah Ferguson comes across in an interview early in the video. But that's an upper class young lady for you, who hasn't attended "acting school", whatever hash she may have made later of her marriage.
The other marked difference, and this must be obvious to everybody with functioning eyesight, was, that for Sarah it was all about her man.

This part of the guest list from Wikipedia is interesting as well. Granted, Prince Andrew is the son of the Monarch, Prince Harry the grandson, the difference is still stunning.

But back to our latest wedding, glossy magazine gutter press and showbizz dregs.
There was much brouhaha about all the Hollywood A-listers attending. I'm not "into" this sort of entertainment anymore, so I may be wrong, but apart from George Clooney I didn't spot any A-listers and I'm not into "celebrities" generally, but according to many comments in the social media, it seems that there is no credible previous connection between the bride and Oprah Winfrey either. I am wondering now, how many of those superfluisms (I made that word up not to slide down into vulgarities) had been paid to attend.

There are, as far as I can make out, two British "leading etiquette experts" of ubiquitous media presence. None of them seems to find, apart from little details like, for example, "Meghan's" style to wave at the public (it has got room for improvement) anything objectionable about the latest addition to the royal family. One even had the nerve to gush over her "adorable giggle" (yes, that of a woman fast approaching 40) and that, of all things, just after he had appreciatively mentioned in the previous sentence that she went to, yes, "acting school". Maybe they couldn't, in their professional capacity, dare to be more censorious, but somebody please explain men to me.

Why all this could take place at all I have discussed here already.

Now, after the fact, I'm additionally asking myself why it could happen in the way it did. Did the royal family fear that their name would be mud had they not submitted to every whim and fancy of the bride-to-be? After all, the accusation of "racism" has become, whether justified or not, a razor sharp tool in the hand of the proverbial ape, i.e. the judgemental politically correct public and media.

When all is said and done, it seems that the more traditionally minded part of the public does NOT seem to be so enamoured with all this (at the peril of being accused of racism). I wonder whether the Royal Family has chosen their side wisely.

Is this really all that important? Let the gutter media lie about how wonderful the wedding had been, how heartwarming and "inclusive" the service, what mega-important people had been there, how glamorously even the most vulgar obese old trout had been turned out. Why not, after all?

Well, I'm afraid all this is part of a larger picture. Looking at it with dispassionate eyes, it seems to be of rather secondary importance whom and under what circumstances the nth in line to the British throne marries. But as a spectacle like this finds huge public attention worldwide and because people are dumb, gullible and in search for a vicarious life, it IS interesting how such an event is handled by an increasingly manipulative, politically correct and "progressive" media that sees itself (maybe not even always consciously - here we have the dreaded "zeitgeist" again) more and more on the social-justice-warrior-side and not on the side of someone whose job it is - to report.

This gushing approval of everything that goes against tradition, established, proven and tested values, dignity, common decency and good taste, THAT is the frightening bit.