I have mixed emotions about watching the Royal wedding, mostly because of family history. My grandmother was very careful to instill in us that we were Scots and not under any English queen but also that our family had worked in Balmoral Castle and in particular one cousin, a certain ghillie for Queen Victoria, one John Brown. I also know that Margaret MacGregor, my great-great grandmother emigrated to Canada from Balmoral. Since that isn’t exactly a hot bed of industry there were probably other family members in service to the royal family as well. I know Grandma didn’t think much of her cousin, he was “No better than he should be.” Which I suppose maybe he was naughty with the queen as a lot of people think. I know she was buried with his picture and ring.
For all I know it’s where my great grandfather’s family learned to be bakers. And how a MacGregor got all the way to Aberdeenshire when they were prone to getting in trouble in the South I don’t know either but my Cumming grandmother had no love of the English. On the other hand my mother, her daughter loved anything with Queen Elizabeth II. Her excuse was that the Queen was ½ Scottish again. Anyway anything on TV from the trooping of the colours which they used to show here to Diana’s wedding and Funeral we had to watch no matter what time of day it was on. I didn’t care it got me out of school or whatever else we were doing. “It was educational” was always the excuse. Just like going to wherever the Queen’s Massed Bands of any sort were touring Southern California and playing. My favourite one of those was when one of them played the Hollywood Bowl when I was small and they had a lone piper up the hill in the chaparral play at dusk. It still gives me chills. Mom would always dress us up in our kilts and paraphernalia to go. I was always glad because it meant I wasn’t wearing a dress. A kilt is not a dress or a skirt and it feels very different to wear for some reason. Maybe the way it sways but it makes you stand up straight. I was always watching the male dancers because I had taken Highland dance and there had only ever been one boy in any class. And there were a whole load of them dancing when the bands came. And the men were sooo much better than I ever was.
By the time Alison came along we were allowed to go in jeans and a dress shirt and sweater, thank heavens, although because I was wearing a tie with my blue button down shirt and FairIsle sweater some stupid lady thought I was a guy in the restroom line at Paulie Pavilion and told me to go to the men’s room. At which point a very proper, elderly Scottish lady told her to be quiet. I was dressed just fine for a good Scottish girl. This embarrassed the stupid woman a lot and amused me no end. And I got a wink from the Scottish lady and a big grin.
So Alison and I will be watching at one in the morning our time to see the whole thing go down and probably backing it up on the DVR. 30 years ago the whole family watched together. 14 years ago I went to my parent’s house to watch with them in our Tudor house full of family antiques and mom and dad, (they were antiques too). Now it’s just Alison and me and the house is gone and the antiques are in storage. But I’m still going to make a nice cup of Prince of Wales tea and maybe even some scones and we’ll watch all the pomp and circumstance and hope this marriage is going to have a better outcome than William’s mother’s did. She certainly knows her prince better and what she is getting into more than Diana ever did.