Two irreconcilable thoughts.
First, the British Monarchy (all monarchies, actually) is a ridiculous, anachronistic holdover from feudal days that has held the British Isles in its thrall for centuries. Why do the otherwise reasonable Brits continue to support--and supplicate to--these aristocrats? What is the fascination?
On the other hand, I totally understand the fascination. I watched the nuptials of Kate and Williams with rapt attention, rewatched on the internet, then pored over almost every still photo I could find. With bated breath, I watched as Kate emerged from her Rolls to reveal "the dress," and sat entranced as maid of honor Pippa Middleton and, presumably, the dress designer, Sarah Burton, fussed over the train. Oh, lovely, elegant, modest, classic, contemporary. Stunning lacy jacket with a becoming high collar and V-neck.
(Trivia point: the conservatively dressed woman in the blue hat in the passenger seat of the Kate's limousine was Scotland Yard detective.)
My East Coast intellectual aunt years ago asked an English classmate during their undergraduate days why the British continue supporting the medieval notion of a royal family. This otherwise reasonable woman sniffed, as Rosalie recounted, "We British love our Royals."
I cried at the thought of Diana, Princess of Wales and the pride would have felt seeing both her sons in uniform at the head of the aisle in Westminster Abbey. I so wished she could have been there.
And the hats. The HATS! OMG, THE HATS! Involuntarily, I burst out with, "You've got to be kidding" at the cartoonish protuberance on Princess Beatrice's head, or rather, forehead. It looked like a prop from a surreal production of Alice in Wonderland. Princess Eugenie's hat: also a fashion misstep, looking like a sinking ship carrying a load of grapes and with a feather in place of a flag. (They are the daughters of Fergie, a.k.a.Sarah Ferguson, a.k.a Duchess of York, and Prince Andrew. Incidentally, the are fifth and sixth in line to the British throne.) And what about the Beetlejuice number worn by the pregnant Victoria Beckham, a.k.a Posh Spice? (And those spiky platform shoes are downright dangerous to a woman five months' pregnant.) Barbara Walters helpfully pointed out that the wedding invitations required ladies to wear hats, but let's be reasonable. Wheres is the storied British reserve?
My prediction: come Fall 2011, hats, the more outlandish, the better, will be the next must-have fashion accessory here on this side of the pond. I can't wait!