Thoughts on the Royal Wedding and British Majesty

So Prince Wills got married, and the whole world watched. But it’s over, now. The pomp, the majesty–it won’t happen again until Harry gets married, and even then it won’t be as exciting (even though he’s my personal favorite prince) because he’s not the heir.

But royal weddings happen more frequently than you might think. The Greeks have royals, as do the Danish, the Spanish, many Arabic nations, the Japanese, and assorted others. (I’m not a royal watcher; this is just the result of some quick research.)

I looked at some of the images of the of the wedding and something struck me: no one has majesty down like the British. Check it out:

Carriage procession

Look at it. Six matched black horses, with the only difference between them being the occasional white sock. Six golden helmets, six of those famous red coats. They all look to even be close to the same height. Behind them, you see similar groups. And behind all of them, flag after British flag.

Look at the crowds this thing drew:

Crowds in the Mall

So even the British people get in on it. There could be no majesty without the crowds. Without the love and approval of the people, all the pomp and wealth would just be ostentation.

By the way, my husband was in the crowds at Chuck and Di’s wedding. He was serving in the military in England at the time.

This image is unrelated to the Royal Wedding, but it shows exactly what I mean:

The Queen knights the Hon. Michael Ogio

This is His Excellency the Hon. Michael Ogio and he is receiving a knighthood–a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Look at the details. The stool upon which he is kneeling is placed in the exact center of that rug, which is place precisely between the two couches, between which is a gold chair, which is precisely centered in front of a window. Gold trim frames everything. The Queen must have done this thousands of times, but you get the impression that she understands that it will be an unforgettable event to the recipient of the knighthood.

There is majesty is in the details. Here is a single ceiling tile from one of the drawing rooms:

Buckingham Palace

It’s a work of art. One ceiling tile.

But does gold and the obvious display of wealth make majesty? All royal families have these, but their weddings don’t have the unforgettable quality of a British royal wedding. I simply don’t remember any all the way back to Prince Andrew’s marriage to Sarah Ferguson, even though other weddings must have certainly made the news.

The British Royals even have their share of flakes:

I give you the Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.

And to expunge that image from your mind, here is the wedding party:

The Official Royal Wedding photographs

Why this post? Because I’m trying to recall novels that doing a good job of portraying majesty. The Lord of the Rings did it, especially with the regal nature of the elves. Phillipa Gregory managed it with The Other Boleyn Girl, a book I still need to finish reading (it was taking me too long to read when I had books to review.) Brandon Sanderson managed to portray regalness without wealth in the Mistborn series that I’m reading now.

But I’m thinking that it must be a difficult thing to portray, because not many other books are springing to mind. These ruminations are well-timed for me, because I realized that I am not portraying any royal majesty in my Cinderella story. (Correction–I wasn’t. I have added a few things.)

Do you know of any stories that do a good job of portraying royals?

4 Thoughts to “Thoughts on the Royal Wedding and British Majesty”

  1. Chicory

    Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. The second half takes place at court, with several balls, and they’re beautifully described. Sherwood Smith is just a master at worldbuilding anyway.

  2. I can’t think of any stories that portray the majesty of royals quite the way you mean, but I’m delighted you put up a photo of the princess with the antler hat. 😀

  3. Tia Nevitt

    Chickory, it’s been a long time since I read any of her novels. I need to go to the library.

    Raven, I do love the ridiculous!

  4. The Japanese do pomp, circumstance, and majesty pretty well, too. Unfortunately, they just aren’t as well televised as the British in America, so it’s harder to catch one of their weddings. {Smile}

    I noticed that thing on the girl’s head. It’s… certainly different, isn’t it? {wryly amused Smile}

    I also noticed Prince Harry grinning broadly on the ride from the church. He was riding with three small kids and enjoying every moment of it. I bet he’ll make a great uncle. {wink, SMILE}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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