Friday, 29 April 2011
I have to admit, I'm a little excited about watching the royal wedding this evening. I'm actually surprised that I am excited about watching it. I'm not a royalist or a royal watcher. The only time I've followed the Royal Family in recent years was when I worked on a weekly gossip magazine and it was part of my job to know what they were up to.
Thinking about why I might be excited, I was instantly reminded of Charles and Diana's wedding. I was the same age as Lil-lil is now. I remember watching it while wearing a pink dressing gown that I was certain made me look like Lady Di. I thought it was the most amazing, wonderful, magical thing in the world. I thought she was beautiful, a real-life princess. About year later, I received a porcelain doll for my birthday, which I named Diana. When the Windsors visited Australia with baby Wills in 1983, I desperately hoped that they'd make a surprise visit to my school. Alas, they did not.
As the years went by, my interest waned, but Diana was always there in the background. A constant. I doubt there was ever a week when she wasn't on the cover of at least one Australian magazine. I'd forgotten until this week just how intense the interest was in her. We watched their family grow, her increasing sadness, their holidays, family events, the scandals. Even if you weren't interested you couldn't escape it.
I remember coming home from my year 12 formal and hearing that Charles and Diana had split up. In July 1997, I remember sitting on the lawn in Kensington Gardens just outside of the palace and looking up at the windows and imagining what room might be her bedroom. Thinking wouldn't it be great to get just a glimpse of her. In reality she was probably with Dodi on a boat somewhere in the Med. I remember a month later hearing she'd been in a car crash and then going to see a movie thinking: 'Poor Di can't cop a break, she'll be so sad losing her new love'. Then coming out of that movie and learning she'd died.
I'm going to sit up and watch the wedding tonight, eat some choccy, soak in the pagaentry, wish Will and Kate the best and then go back to my right royal indifference tomorrow. I'm sure I'll also get a little nostalgic about that other wedding 30 years ago, when a little Sydney girl in a pink dressing gown dreamt of being a princess...
Are you going to watch the wedding?