Friday, 29 April 2011

Big Nuptials

"Nuptial" can mean relating to marriage or weddings, but in zoology it refers to the characteristic breeding behaviour, coloration, or structures of some animals, e.g. nuptial plumage. There was a great deal of that on the women in the Abbey this morning and some little fellows like Rowan Atkinson and Elton John had to stand on tippy toes to find their way through the throng.

The big news of the day was, of course, Nepalese choir go missing after landing at Heathrow; immigration officials were investigating whether the group had absconded or simply decided to give the Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival a miss.

But I am joking. That event was momentous enough, but, except in Cornwall, of little importance compared with the royal wedding—sorry, Royal Wedding—which was going to be watched on TV, so they told us this morning, by two billion people, only half a billion less than the number who watched the funeral of a dodgy Egyptian playboy's mistress in 1997.

There were many moments and sights to treasure: the man opening the offside door of the grandparent's car when it arrived at the Abbey and holding it open while standing smartly at the salute as they both got out of the other side was a splendid bit of knockabout humour, and there was much quiet enjoyment to be had from noting the soppiness of most of the hats and some of the get-ups; those of Prince Andrew's daughters, for example, were hugely comic. It must be said, though, that the top echelon of male participants looked terrific in their military finery with gold decorative bits dangling all over them, and the Dean's golden robe was a dream, making the Primate of All England look positively dowdy.

Nuptials, 1902 state Landau, jingling escorts, kiss-kiss, surging crowds, flypast, don't we do these things well? Those Americans who have heard of Great Britain are consumed with envy. Anyway, it's all over: Nicholas Witchell, Huw Edwards and the rest of the commentators and royal correspondents—sorry, Royal Correspondents—can now get up off their knees.

The noisome Earl Spencer said afterwards that it was a jolly good show but a pity that Diana wasn't there.

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