Old Ladies in Hats and Royal Weddings

If I were to write about The Royal Wedding, I’m sure you’d be (rightly) thinking about the wedding that took place just yesterday, April 29, 2011 in England between Prince William and his lovely bride, Kate Middleton.

Wills & kate

Back in the day.... July 29, 1981, the Royal Wedding was all about the young (19!) and beautiful Diana marrying Prince Charles.

Charles & di 1981

Back then, I lived in a tiny apartment that was a block from the beach in San Clemente, California and it was July and everyone loved coming to the beach and so, The Royal Wedding (televised live starting at 2 am) became A Reason to Have a Slumber Party at Marta's.

My mom and sisters all came over and we opened up the hide-a-bed and unrolled sleeping bags and made copious amounts of food that included a homemade wedding cake to watch the festivities - “Wasn't her dress just amazing? Is it really only 5am?" *yawn*- from across The Pond in the middle of the night.

Wedding Malfunction 1981: Remember when the archbishop said, "Charles Philip Arthur George," and Diana flubbed the name, "Philip Charles Arthur George?"  No? Well, I do. That was the highlight of the ceremony. ;-)

Here's a commemorative box (do you know that I collect boxes?) from the Big Event that I got in London. There was obviously no online shopping in 1981:

Charles and Diana royal box

*momentarily wonders what Commemorative 1981 Royal Wedding souvenir would fetch on ebay in 2011*
My mom was 67 then and Queen Elizabeth II was 55.

Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Wedding 1981:
Queen 1981

I remember my mother proclaiming (in the authoritative manner that an older Cuban woman possesses):

“I look much better than she does. And I would definitely never wear that stupid blue hat.”

I don’t even have photos of our original Royal Slumber Party because well, we didn’t document everything. Photos still had to be developed and we just didn’t take as many. (I’m sad about this.)

Remember that this was 1981. The notion that every home would have multiple or portable (!) computers, cordless mobile phones with built-in camera and video recording capabilities would have seemed absurd to us.

The words internet, laptop, and Google didn’t even exist.

So, the idea that thirty years later, in 2011, there would be another Royal Wedding and that I’d be watching it with my 97 year old mother, and my teenage daughter, and that 85 year old Queen Elizabeth would still be reigning (and that I'd be writing about it for public consumption), well, the whole scenario seemed completely absurd.

And yet... there we were.

Luza watching Royal Wedding on tv

Wedding Malfunction 2011: Remember the moment when Wills is struggling to slide the ring onto Kate's finger? Of course you do. It was only yesterday. =D

So, I’m hanging with my mom, and she and Lucy and I are watching what we will now refer to as The New Royal Wedding, (Or La Boda Real on Univision - with commentary from Luza's favorite, El Gordo, of course. And no, we didn’t do the Royal Slumber Party this time - it’s been 30 years, people. We are all 30 years older, but that’s not important right now...) when suddenly she spots QE2 entering Westminster Abbey.

Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Wedding 2011:

My mom, Luza: "¿Quien es esa vieja en el sombreron?" Translation:“Who’s that old lady in the big hat?” (I have to interject here that my mom is 97 years old. I don’t want to have to point out the obvious, so I decide to just answer the question.)
Me: “The Queen. She’s 85.”
Luza: “I look much better than she does.....and I would definitely never wear that stupid yellow hat.”