The coffee table was set with our fine china, sterling silver, crystal, and a vase of flowers. The scones were ready, as were freshly washed and cut sprigs of grapes. The hot water was on the stove top, in the tea-kettle, ready to be heated up in the early hours of the morning. The container of hot chocolate and the Constant Comment tea bags were ready, too. It was Thursday night, April 28th, and the stage was set for our early morning viewing of the Royal Wedding…live.
As I read through Facebook messages that night, before heading to bed, I was pleased to find out many friends were preparing in similar fashion for this special day. I was also surprised to read that many people were, um, less excited about this event. As I read through the various comments, I began to wonder why I was excited. Why was this wedding worthy of my early morning rising and a breakfast fit for a queen?
One reason, I’m certain of, is because of nostalgia. I remember almost like it was yesterday, rising early in the morning as an eight-year-old girl to watch another Royal Wedding ~ that of Lady Diana and Prince Charles. For a little girl, fascinated by princesses and royalty and fairy tales, this real-life Royal Wedding “Fairy Tale” was thrilling. Now, thirty-years later, I was equally excited to share a similar experience with my nine-year-old daughter.
Why? Why would I be so excited, when now as an adult I know the reality of that tragic fairy tale? The unhappiness, the divorce…the death. As an adult, I know that fairy tales simply aren’t true. I know that really, there is nothing extra special about “the Royal Family.” They are people, just like us. People who make mistakes and have their weaknesses, and foibles, and quite honestly, make lifestyle choices that I would never make.
Some people watch it because of the history connected to it. The last time the “first in line to the throne” got married was thirty years ago. The next time will be when Will and Kate’s eldest son (or daughter, if they have no sons) gets married…many years from now. It’s almost a once in a lifetime event. That is definitely part of the reason I’m interested.
I think my main draw is more subtle. It’s symbolic. I think the grandeur and “fairytaleness” of it tap into something deep within us all. Dr. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, touched on the idea in his sermon that day: “In a sense, every wedding is a royal wedding…”
That phrase resonated with me. I love that he “equalized” us all. That he didn’t idolize the royal wedding as being any more special than any other wedding. I think of my own wedding. To me, it was a fairy tale in and of itself. It was magical ~ a day I’ll never forget. I wouldn’t trade my wedding, or my man, for one hundred royal weddings. And because of my experience, I love attending and watching other weddings. Each of them sacred and royal and special.
The phrase resonated with me for another reason, as well. We are all royalty…through Christ. We can become children of God, who is the King of Kings. And the bishop’s phrase captures to me a truth found in Ephesians 5:31-32: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery ~ but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Every wedding is a royal wedding because it’s symbolic of perfect union with Christ (or, as my bible’s footnote says, it is a “human echo of that relationship”).
The Bishop went on to say, “…this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.” Hope in so many ways. Not just hope for Will and Kate (though I do wish them the best and I do have hope for a happy future for them), but hope for all of us. Hope for good in the midst of bad. Hope for “happily ever after.” In other words, hope for heaven. Hope for things to be eventually returned to the way they were originally created to be. Hope that someday we’ll be back in perfect unity with and relationship with our Creator ~ the King of Kings.
Will and Kate represent us all. Kate gives us hope that the “commoner” can marry a king (kind of like the idea that Christ came not only for the Jews, but for the Gentiles…for us all!). That we commoners can become princes and princesses. And a reminder that many of us already are.
On my thirteenth birthday, my mom put together a little booklet for me in conjunction with their birthday gift to me, an amethyst necklace. In the booklet she wrote: “You have long been fascinated with royalty. You awakened before dawn to watch the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana ~ an event having all the majesty and magic of a fairy tale.” She went on to say, “Purple is a royal color…when you wear this necklace, let it be a reminder that you are a King’s daughter with all the rights and privileges of a princess: royal status and estate, access to the King, a kingly inheritance.”
Ever since, I have connected my fascination with all things royal to this idea ~ I am a daughter of the King. I am royalty.
My soul resonates, personally, with the beauty and grandeur of the Royal Wedding. The music, the wedding dress, the beautiful flowers amidst the gorgeous setting of Westminster Abby. Whatever heaven is like, I know it will be breathtaking. For me, an event like the Royal Wedding is just a taste of what is to come.
As I set the coffee table for a royal experience with my nine-year-old daughter, this is what I have in mind. She is a princess; a daughter of the king. For now, we will enjoy our scones and tea and hot chocolate. We’ll enjoy the wedding and the beautiful bride. My hope is that as I create this memory with my daughter, an event I hope she’ll always remember, I’ll be setting the stage for reminders that she is just as much a princess as Kate. She is royalty because she is God’s child ~ a daughter of the King.
“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:6-7