It's been a few days, but I am still bedazzled by "the" royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, now duke and duchess of Cambridge. All I can say is "Wow!"
What a day to be British. Anybody with half a drop of British blood should feel proud.
Can you imagine any greater fairy tale? Catherine must feel like Alice (in Wonderland) when she stepped through the looking glass. She went to sleep one night as Kate Middleton, and by noontime the next is a future queen.
After all the speculation about the bride's gown, simplicity and beauty was perfection. From the delicate lace bodice, to the respectful length of her train, it sparkled, like the modest tiara that anchored her veil — if an antique diamond tiara belonging to the queen of England can be called "modest."
Not to forget the bridegroom, so handsome and honorable in his colonel of the Irish Guard uniform, and a smile on his face that wouldn't quit. His eyes lit up like sparklers when he saw her for the first time.
Did anybody notice Prince Harry look over his shoulder and take a glance at Catherine coming up the aisle of Westminster Abbey? He then commented to Prince William, probably something like this: "Wow! Wait until you see Kate."
During the ceremony, the poise and unspoken love between William and Catherine was so sincere that you could feel it from 6,000 miles away. Every minute was planned, approved and thoroughly enjoyed by the young couple.
Special occasions in Britain are punctuated by women's hats. What shall we say about the plethora of hats on this special wedding day? Some were elegant, some were too large, some were too small, some looked like they belonged on a court jester (Princess Beatrice) and some were pompously left at home, such as Samantha Cameron, the wife of the British prime minister.
In all of this pageantry and celebration of royalty, many may say, is it worth it? Look at the divorces; the clandestine trysts; and what about Diana, Charles and Camilla? I say, Diana did what she thought was right at the time, and from that right choice, today, we have William, and now, Catherine. As in days of old, it is my opinion that the British Empire has risen from the ashes of royal wedding adversity and set its sights on a better future.
When Catherine walked onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace with William, it was easy to read her lips: "Wow" was all she could say to the thousands of people gathered on The Mall in front of her. If her parents hadn't realized the impact of their daughter's marriage, I'm sure it hit home when they, too, gazed on the million or so people gathered. The royal newlyweds put the finishing touch on their special day with not one wedding kiss, but two. Jolly good!
Why should I care about all this? Because I am very proud to say I am half British. My father had the very good sense to join the U.S. Army during World War II and met my mother in Kingston, Surry, England. They married in 1945, thus my very proud British roots.
Mum has always made it a point to keep my brother, sister and me close to English tradition, even though we lived most of our lives here in the United States. We have been the recipients of her excellent English recipes: Yorkshire pudding, egg and chips, bangers (sausage) and roast beef dinners on Sunday. Christmas crackers (small prizes, candies and a "goofy" paper hat wrapped inside a cylinder that snaps when you pull it apart like a wishbone), hot tea with cream and sugar, tea biscuits, Fruit Gums and Flake bars are just a few English treats we've enjoyed.
But more than recipes and treats, we have a deep sense of family. After living through World War II, and appreciating life day by day, she has nurtured our sense of family and made us proud to say we share our bloodline with the British, and come to think of it, with William and Catherine. Hey, I wonder where my invitation to the wedding went? Must be lost in the mail.
One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.
Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been a Press-Republican newsroom employee since 1977. The Tobiases have six children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org