Mewsing about the Royal Wedding

A preview of coming attractions. The royal father of 2011’s royal groom arriving for his own wedding in 1981 in a fine display of the capabilities of the Royal Family’s “motor pool,” The Royal Mews.

(The horses appear at around 2:40 in:)

Click here if you can’t see the above video of Prince Charles arriving for his wedding.

What is/are “The Royal Mews” anyway?

Not Her Majesty’s barn cats.

The mews refers to stables in a word that has its roots in falconry, according to the listing for mews in the Oxford English Dictionary. Especially when the stable includes a yard, like a courtyard.

However, the Royal Mews refers to one particular stable, the British Royal Family’s stable at Buckingham Palace. Which is not just the stable, but the family’s garage. Cars, horses and carriages are kept in the Royal Mews.

Hence, my earlier reference to the Royal Family’s motor pool.

Let’s peek inside

Check out this video, a tour of the Royal Mews. (Be sure to click on the highlighted link to see the YouTube video.)

In typical British fashion, reverence mixes with affectionate cheekiness in the video, but we see a lot of The Royal Mews, including the stables and the indoor riding ring.

So, on your next trip Across the Pond, you can even tour The Royal Mews to see the grand coaches and – to most of us reading this – visit the grand horses living there.

Blogger Dappled Grey, who keeps us up-to-date on equestrian style, has this report on the current work in the Royal Mews in preparation for the Royal Wedding. (Be sure to click on the link over DG’s name because she includes a fine video interview.)

I’m sure we can expect to see the same polish and professionalism as we did for Charles and Diana 30 years ago.

The thing is? I haven’t decided if I’ll watch.

And now, the musing

Thirty years have passed since Prince Charles took that ride to Westminster Abbey on a pleasant July morning. A lot has changed since then.

I couldn’t watch the video from the Royal Wedding of 1981 without feeling the shadow of the recent past.

But back then, even hard-nosed newsies described the wedding of Charles and Diana as a “fairy tale.”

In case you’ve forgotten, this is how the narrative went:  a polo-playing prince weds a pretty kindergarten teacher in a storyline worthy of the bride’s step-grandmother, romance author Barbara Cartland.

Don’t think reporters missed a chance to belabor that connection, too.

We all bought into it, except we forgot about historical precedent, that royal weddings can be less about love than about politics and, especially in 1981, image.

All the costume dramas I’ve been watching on TV, like “Camelot,” “The Borgias,” and “Game of Thrones,” serve as blunt reminders, even when they depict fictional kingdoms portraying the extremes of human behavior.

Back in 1981, we hadn’t suspected any political reason for the wedding, except the polo-playing prince needed to settle down to start making some heirs before he became king.

So, as the romantic drama played out on our TV sets, we had no idea that “Shy Di” was really “Broken-hearted Di.”

That’s part of the reason why the video clip of Prince Charles leads this article.

I couldn’t bring myself to watch video of Diana in her delicate glass carriage, like a gilt-edged fish bowl, without remembering the champagne-fizz high we all felt watching her.

Apologies for raining on the parade.

After all, I’m a cynic who wants to Believe, which probably makes me the most hopeless romantic of all.


  • Susie Blackmon
    April 26, 2011

    I’m a romantic… but not when it comes to marriage! However, I do love seeing the horses and the wedding dress and the pageantry of the Royal weddings so I’m sure I’ll be watching Friday. Wouldn’t it be great to live above the stables at the Royal Mews? Now THAT I could be totally romantic about.

    Thank you, Rhonda, for another interesting read.

    • Rhonda Lane
      April 26, 2011

      You’re welcome, Susie. A flat above the stables would be great fun, like living along the streets of Manhattan where the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons “come to life” on Thanksgiving morning. Only better – because we so love that aroma of fresh, clean horse, straw and leather. 🙂

      Weddings are lovely affirmations of hope as two people take the plunge together in a great party, but Marriage is the morning after, often cold deep water where two people often must struggle to stay together. I so wish them good luck and happiness, which, IMO, often translates to content most-of-the-time.

  • Prasad
    April 26, 2011

    The world is awaiting for Royal wedding after so many years a marriage is in the royal family i hope both of them will live happily life along together with some one or two children so let us wish they will be the best couple of the world for the year of 2011 after this wedding she will also prove herself a kind hearted woman as like as Princes Diana and also participate in so many social activities.

    • Rhonda Lane
      April 26, 2011

      Hi, Prasad – What a lovely, heart-felt blessing. The Royal Couple couldn’t ask for a sweeter toast from their own Best Man at the wedding reception. Thank you for, of course, going straight to the heart of the matter – that a wedding is a celebration of hope.

  • Susie Blackmon
    April 26, 2011

    I do wish them good luck and happiness… without a doubt. Just because I don’t do well with life sentences doesn’t mean I’m not happy for the ones who handle them quite well.

    Can’t wait to see the wedding dress!

  • Paula Sharon
    April 28, 2011

    Great post Rhonda,
    I love the video links. It’s the next best thing to being there. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rhonda Lane
      April 28, 2011

      The videos are glorious, aren’t they? Dang. There may be two four o’clocks in the day on Friday. Thank you for stopping by, Paula.

  • Laura Moore
    April 28, 2011

    What a terrific post, Rhonda. The procession was glorious and I hope tomorrow’s will be just as fabulous. I do wish Kate and William all the luck, given the challenges they’ll face in their too public lives. I hope the love that they seem to have for each other is strong enough to face the test.

    I only wish we could see more of the Royal Mews and its horses on a regular basis!

    • Rhonda Lane
      April 28, 2011

      I know what you mean, Laura. That’s a nice stable with roomy stalls. I wanted to see their tack room. Meet the horses. Smell the hay. Gape at the turnouts. And, of course, I’ve found another great article on The Royal Mews and its horses at (you may have to register but it’s for free – but I bet you know all about that website already. 🙂 )

  • Kristan
    April 28, 2011

    I do love the horses, Rhonda. What I wouldn’t give to be able to ride through the English countryside! As for the procession, I guess I’m a realist. The cost to the taxpayers is crazy so that a scion of the richest family in the world can get married. I just don’t get it.

  • Rhonda Lane
    April 28, 2011

    Do I ever agree, Kristan. On both the ride through the countryside AND the whole conspicuous consumption, wedding-palooza thing. Especially these days.

    Come to think of it, the British economy wasn’t exactly strong when Charles and Diana married, either.

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