I don't remember when I fell in love with England but I think my high school English Lit teacher, Miss Ludwig, may have had something to do with it. England was "her place" and in addition to being the hardest teacher ever, she was one of the most interesting, peppering her talks about Thomas Hardy, Dickens and Shakespeare with slides from her trips and wonderful bits of history.
The September that I graduated from college and before starting grad school for the first time (1973), my mom and I went to England. The timing was fortuitous, because shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer and it was our last trip together. I didn't return until an extended layover with Rick six years ago. (But we're headed back in October!) So, my England is one of memories and history.
I have a pretty extensive collection of books related to England and the Royals, along with loads of Brit Lit, along with coronation cups, tins, plates and dishes that I've collected over the years. I decided to put it to use for the Royal Wedding.
My friend Carol was coming at the crack of dawn. Well, actually, pre-dawn, so the day before I made my scone dough (Marilyn's wonderful recipe from her "Tea Party in My Cupboard" book) and froze it to bake off and dipped the strawberries. (I knew a frozen quiche would have to do at that hour.)
I also got a few flowers for my garden and loosely planted them in some of my royal mugs.
This is the oldest -- Edward VII and Alexandra.
Here we salute the Queen.
The Charles/Diana cup went atop the Elizabeth/Philip tin. (Only fitting -- Harry's parents and grandparents.)
And this one, on the sideboard, was an error in timing -- the Coronation of King Edward
VIII. And yes, if you remember your English history or watched "The
Crown" you will know that never happened.
Mom's silver. Royal Doulton plates, atop a pink and white cloth over a crocheted lace confection. Do you recognize it, Linda? You should!
A little lemon curd and ginger marmalade (because Harry is, after all, as ginger as Gypsy was!), shortbread and tea and we were good to go.
Carol and I had our hats (Mine was a tad small and sat more on the back of my head!)...
...and we enjoyed the Royal Wedding Bingo from Thekittchen that I learned about from a host of Decor to Adore posts about the Royal Weddings present and past. (Laura's posts are a fabulous history lesson in themselves. If you don't know her blog and are into all things royal, check it out!)
Of course I took photos from the telly, even though I knew they would be much better if I just "borrowed" them from the internet.
I loved the ceremony but I wonder what the Queen thought. (Here's a fun fact -- Lizzie is named after the Queen -- she came into my life on Jubilee year.) Lizzie chimed in with a few meows, endearing herself to the allergic Carol! I love the pageantry of it all and the smiles, gorgeous music and Bishop Curry's exuberant homily. Oh yes, and Charlotte -- she's got the wave thing down pat!
And of course this photo -- fuzzy but so lovely. The thing I loved most about the dress was the very sheer train with the symbolic embroidery along the edge. It doesn't show in this photo but it was wonderful to see the tile of the chapel underneath the train.
It seems like recent weeks have been filled with bad news and sad things, both in ways more personal, affecting friends, and on a larger, more global scale. The thought of one more shooting on the Friday before the Royal Wedding (and apparently another later) just makes it feel a bit hopeless at times. It was lovely to see two people who do good things, who have had their personal struggles in the past, find happiness.
We all need a little happiness, a bit of diversion and love. Flowery hats and scones are good, too.
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