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.