Sunday, April 24, 2011

On the Way to the Wedding

A month ago, I was out on the town with my Deerhunter and my best friend and her husband. My best friend turned to me and asked, “Did you hear about Will and Kate? Are you going to celebrate or watch the wedding?” Being my best friend has known me from 3rd grade, she’s been aware of my geekdom and the depths it reaches. My Deerhunter is slightly more naïve and thought it was restricted to Harry Potter and Twilight. (Okay, so he's ridiculously naive.) He snorted as if this were the most ridiculous question he’d heard. And then I answered.


Heard? I’m planning a party! And I’ve taken the day off. Susan and I are having scones!”


Deerhunter tripped, probably because he was gawking at me so hard. “You’re taking the day off?”


“And making scones,” I repeated since he was clearly deaf.


“WHY?” He couldn’t have sounded more aghast if I had said I was flying to England to be a wedding crasher. (You don’t think I could actually do that, do you?)


Back to the question. WHY am I doing this? Well, I’m not really sure. It’s not like I know Will and Kate. I mean, I know the tabloid version of them; and as embarrassed as I am to admit it, I have bought more than my fair share of tabloids talking about them, as if those journalists knew anything whatsoever. But I love the romance of it, and I hang on every word. I have been rooting for those two ever since I saw their names connected. A beautiful rich commoner and the future King of England meet in college, become friends, and fall in love. What wasn’t to like about this story?


Plus don’t we tend to root for two really beautiful people who are in love? We’re picturing how beautiful the kids will be or something, or perhaps it’s the romantic in us. True love should prevail (especially for really beautiful people.)


Or maybe I am really into the Royal Wedding because I remember clips and bits of Princess Diana’s wedding—I was 6—and it was Cinderella come to life and she was so beautiful and sweet looking; and he looked great in his military uniform—and he was a prince. Yes, clearly the shine was off the rose before the year was out, but the wedding was perfect, beautiful, and magical. And I do believe on that day, they were in love with each other. So even though their HEA didn’t work out, I look at Will and Kate’s and hope they’ll get the HEA his parents didn’t have. If it is true our loved ones return as angels to protect us, then I’m sure his mother is around to make sure it happens as well.


Or maybe it’s because my inner six year old still wants to marry a prince, live in a castle, and have my own tiara. I’m living vicariously through Waitie Katie as she gets the prince we all want. (Actually I think Harry’s cuter, but whatever.) Though when they show the documentaries of the things Kate has to go through to even be a princess, the things that are expected of her, I do think sometimes she’s getting the short end of the stick. Clearly it’s no small undertaking to love a prince.


Do the prince and the commoner bride fulfill the fantasy of the guy who can take care of your every need (since a king could have anything he wants)? Or is it that the commoner bride somehow won the love of a prince—the ultimate prize—and it was through her love and intelligence and steadiness that won the day? (And perhaps how great she looked in a see-through sheath and her underwear.) Love obtaining the greatest reward…. Why do we love royals and commoners so much? The ultimate opposites attract?


So the questions today are: 1.) Will you be watching the wedding? 2.) Are you remotely interested in the Royals—or even fiction books featuring royals in love? 3.) Did you watch or remember Princess Di’s wedding? 4.) Why do you think people are so fascinated with the Royals? 5.) Would you write a prince & commoner story yourself? (I would)  6.) If you could send Will and Kate a wedding gift, what would it be?


One of the things I’ll be preparing for the brunch is a Strawberry Salad. (We’ll also be having scones. And probably some quiche.)


Strawberry Tossed Salad


Field greens, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce

Shredded cheddar cheese & Monterey Jack

Sliced strawberries

Sugared toasted chopped almonds

Poppyseed dressing (I use bottled; I'm dreadfully lazy)


In serving bowls, put down a layer of a combination of lettuce. Top with shredded cheese, slice strawberries, and almonds. Pour poppyseed dressing over. I go crazy with the strawberries. It’s like a ration of 2/3 lettuce and 1/3 strawberries. The strawberries make it. Find the ripest strawberries you can find.


You can make the almonds by mixing one egg white and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl (froth it with a whisk); add 2/3 a cup of sugar and mix; add 3 cups of chopped almonds. Put on a no-stick-sprayed baking sheet, spread to a thin layer. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and scrape from pan before it cools. (The sugar will stick to the pan and make difficult to remove.)


This salad is insanely delicious. Once you start eating it, you’ll eat it all summer.


2nd Chance said...

I know I risk bein' thrown off the ship...but... aside from the rare bit of funny fantasy...I find the royal and the commoner stuff totally uninterestin'. (Jennifer Ashley wrote one that was fun...purely fantasy sort. But even then, ended up she was some relative of some nearly gone royal family branch.)

Sorry. Will I be watchin' the weddin'? Not if I can help it. Do I remember Di's weddin'? Nope.

Why are people fascinated with it all? It's Disney's fault. And Princess Grace.

What would I send them if I were inclined? A copy of my book. ;-)

That salad sounds good. Tell ya want, in honor a' the day...which you'll have ta remind me when it is...I'll serve strawberry shooters all day.

Hellion said...

A copy of your book sounds like the perfect gift for the couple who already has everything! :)

And I have no doubts that much like my purist ideals for historical accuracy (or at least moderately more than what seems to be shown in novels lately), I am also in the minority on the Royal craze as well. But I'm an Anglophile through and through. If I had travel money to spend and could actually go anywhere, I'd go to England. And if I had more money to travel and go anywhere, I'd go back to England.

As for why I'm so fascinated, well, it was Disney's Sleeping Beauty (though she was a princess and he was a prince--so not the same) and my own copy of a generic Cinderella storybook. I wore that book out. I was very disappointed when it finally died.

2nd Chance said...

Do you think Beauty and the Beast is a royalty/commoner story? It seems like that might fit the stipulations.

Cinderella...well, wasn't her stepmother a queen? Which makes her a princess...sorta?

Hellion said...

I think BatB might be a royalty/commoner story, because I think the beast was supposed to have been a prince who had a curse on him--but considering he lived in an enchanted castle and never had to do anything productive, and I never met his parents in the story (which would imply they were dead, which would actually make him a king, right?)--I'd say at best he was a duke of some kind or one of those princes that are never kings. Still...I think she was a commoner, though one who knew how to read, so that implies some education and some sort of life that doesn't require scraping for food, which the life of a commoner would imply. Logically speaking.

I don't remember Cinderella's stepmother being a queen, but I think there are several versions of the story and it's quite possible in one of those versions she was a queen. I always read the story that the stepmother married Cinderella's father (who seemed to be a baron or earl type) and she was a golddigging little wench, he dies, and she's stuck running the show and there's not as much money as she hoped for. So I think Cinderella was a true commoner--at least that's how I always read her. There were several versions of the story, and you may have grown up with a different one. I *did* always think that before the father died, Cinderella was a cossetted daughter--which in a sense gives her princess status. :)

2nd Chance said...

Now, I'm really wondering! But upon reflection, I think you're right...Cinderella wasn't a princess but some minor royal or just well off...

Marnee said...

I'm totally making this salad. This week, maybe. :)

Speaking of Cinderella, I don't think she was a royal at all. I thought her dad was just in trade and well off, before he married the gold-digging wench. I think.

My DH and I had this conversation this weekend. I made the "fairy tale" excuse. That the commoner gets the prince. Albeit, it's not quite Cinderella. She's very wealthy on her own. But I told him every girl wants to be a princess, even if it's just the princess of her own home.

And he and Deerhunter would get along. "What does everyone care about people they don't even care about?"

So, I responded, "You're watching the Stanley Cup finals, aren't you?"

He stopped after that.

I don't know if I'll watch. Probably I'll catch a little of it. Though, maybe I'll make a girly lunch and invite a girlfriend or two over so we can oooh and awwh over her dress and her tiara and her general adorableness.

I think I might write a prince and a commoner story. Or a princess and a commoner. Like I said, I love the Cinderella aspect.

I have no idea what I would send her. Lemme think of that.....

Bosun said...

I actually had the same reaction when you told me you were taking the day off. LOL! Though, really, WHY wouldn't they get married on a weekend. Hello!

I'm also taking the day off, though not for the wedding. I'll be chaperoning a middle school chorus class field trip to the Military Tattoo in downtown Norfolk. Which means, I'll be spending my morning watching men in kilts march around and play bagpipes. I think I'll have the better view. Even if the noise on the bus will have me popping Advil like tic tacs.

I do remember Diana's wedding. It was so beautiful. She looked shy and scared and happy, though now you have to wonder if that wasn't freaked, scared, and unhappy. I'm all for the prince marrying the commoner, I think they could use a little splitting of that family tree, if you know what I mean.

Not sure I'd write that storyline. It would have to be modern day and I'd have to make up a country and those always come across as cheesy, but you never know. I probably would take Marn's angle and make it a princess marrying a commoner. Or does Meg Cabot have the market cornered on that one?

BTW, you lost me at the word "salad".

Hellion said...

Marnee, the strawberries are really ripe right now. I've had some really good salad over the last few weeks! :)

Okay, good, I'm glad I'm not the only one remembering Cinderella as a true commoner. I think you're right--I think he was a tradesman.

Nice tag on the Stanley Cup finals.

I think that's Deerhunter's hangup. The royals would never invite him to their yacht so why am I so interested? Not sure. I'm awful fascinated by Angelina and Brad too, and they don't even have a castle!

I think it's the dress. I'm all about the dress.

Hellion said...

I actually had the same reaction when you told me you were taking the day off.

You are incapable of taking off work unless it's for nothing less than a Beatles reunion (and being yes, I know 3 of them are dead, you can see how impossible it would be.) I'm used to your disbelieving reaction.

"You went down a SLIDE?"
"You wore a costume to work? And you don't work at Disney?"
"You took the day off so you could go to the midnight showing of Harry Potter?"

I'm used to your disbelief. *LOL*

BTW, you lost me at the word “salad”.

BTW, I'm completely not surprised. *LOL*

I agree--I'd want to do a modern day prince and commoner, and I never do like the made up countries approach to procuring a prince. Ugh.

Bosun said...

Only two Beatles are dead, my dear. Ringo and Paul are still alive and kicking.

The HP midnight showing doesn't surprise me. But they're going to show footage of this wedding for years and watching it live only means you'll get to see all the boring stuff before and after the two minutes it takes her to walk into the church and the two minutes they wave when they come out. LOL!

Okay, this is all speculation on my part, but I do remember a lot of "nothing is happening yet" on the day of Di's wedding.

Hellion said...

Lord, why do I think Ringo is dead? I swear he's the most forgettable Beatle ever.

They were showing part of Charles and Di's wedding on TLC yesterday and I was watching part of it, much to the distress of Dad and my brother. "Please, isn't there a Jean Claude Van Damme movie? SOMETHING?" And the wedding clip was showing the service itself, and it had pop ups during the service, so it was like watching a VH1 video. Very humorous. Probably to keep regular folks from being bored out of their heads.

I do love how you summarized all the vows exchanged as the boring stuff. Awesome! I grant you, I'm not lover of a regular wedding. Most of the time I make bets how long the marriage is going to last, but for some reason, she's stuck it out this long, so I'm hopeful for them.

Bosun said...

I am looking forward to seeing the dress and I'm very happy for them. These two seem like (somewhat) real people who sincerely love each other and are getting married for the right reasons. She's going to make a beautiful princess.

Maybe I'm not as big into the fairy tale. Could I really be more cynical than you about this? I think I am. OMG! I don't believe in the fairy tale. Someone get me a cold compress.

Hellion said...

I think Bo'sun needs a glittery hooha stat, because she doesn't believe in the myth of the glittery hoohah anymore. *LOL*

Donna said...

I'll try to watch the wedding, but I can't remember what time it'll be shown here--some ungodly hour I thought.

I'm interested in it because of the spectacle. There's nothing else like it in our daily lives, and it's kind of like a Broadway show or other live event. A chance to see something different than what we see all the time. Finally, a reality show that interests me! LOL

I think the only time I wanted to be a princess was when I was younger, and felt put upon doing chores, as if I was a real-life Cinderella. LOL

Hellion said...

Finally, a reality show that interests me!

Amen, sister.

Yeah, that princess thing wore off once I realized, "What? I'd have to do whatever other people wanted ALL THE TIME? I couldn't just do what I wanted? Ever?"

Hard to imagine life in a fishbowl when you're one of the cats.

Bosun said...

I am feeling glitter deficient these days.

I'm sure at some point I wanted to be a princess, but now I just want to be one of those rich old ladies who says anything she wants and gets away with it.

Janga said...

I think part of the extraordinary interest in this wedding is the hope that Diana's son will have the HEA denied his mother. And the Prince and the Commoner does make a great romance. I did see the wedding of Diana and Charles, and I'll be watching this one too, though no party. But I will be trying that salad recipe, Hellie. It sounds yumlicious.

I'm eager to read Sophie Page's To Marry a Prince after her interview on Word Wenches last week. It sounds delightful, and I do love that she rewrites history to give Princess Charlotte the long life and happy ending that she missed in RL. Maybe in the 22nd century some romance writer will do the same for Diana.

The only princess I dreamed of being as a child was an Amazon princess who had great adventures and found hidden stores of fabulous jewels in the jungle. The fairy tale princesses in comparison led dull lives. LOL

Sin said...

Hellie, which poppyseed dressing do you use? You make me want to go out to Hyvee and buy all the ingredients to make it today for lunch. And have it all week.

I had the Undead Monkey grill me some pineapple this weekend and had it with turkey and pomegranate vinaigrette. So yummy.

(Sorry, you know my love of salad.)

I thought I was born to be a princess. I love fairy tales and romance novels with princes or princesses. I think Victoria Alexander has a couple of prince and princess novels that I like, but I can't remember right off the top of my head.

Hellion said...

I am feeling glitter deficient these days.

You need to dust off your hooha and maybe you'd feel a little less deficient.

I suggest someone mute, so he doesn't aggravate you, but that's just me.

Hellion said...

I think part of the extraordinary interest in this wedding is the hope that Diana’s son will have the HEA denied his mother.

Agree, agree, agree. It's not like I think Prince Charles is evil incarnate (I think he's been great with his sons, esp since Diana's death) or that Diana was without flaws (she definitely had flaws), but at the same time, I couldn't help but watch her get ignore for Camilla and think, "Really?" and couldn't blame her for being a big old drama queen about it. Who wouldn't be pissed? And who wouldn't act out in such a stuffy family? I don't anyone knows quite what they're getting into when they marry into the royal family. :)

The Sophie Page book looks GOOD! I really want to read it!!!

And really? You wanted to be an Amazon princess? Oh, the hidden depths you show, Janga!! :) I wanted to live in luxury and raise horses...

Hellion said...

Sin, the last one I bought was just the store brand. I just looked at the ingredients list. If it didn't have corn syrup as one of the ingredients, and it had mustard somewhere in the mix, I figured it was close to the recipe offered with the recipe I got from The Blue Owl (where the recipe comes from.) The generic was pretty good; and now I think I have Ken's poppyseed dressing.

I can probably dig out the recipe for poppyseed dressing if you want that, but it made like 3 cups of the stuff, which is why I went the bought route.

Bosun said...

I might have had similar dreams to Janga only I was an Amazon with a briefcase. LOL!

My hooha and I live in harmony. We've both retired. We're happy this way.

I must go look up this Sophie Page book. And I like the idea of William having the HEA that his mother deserved. I think she'd be proud of how he's turned out.

Sin said...

Hm, I think I'd like the recipe but only when you have the time. I have to be careful of the dressings because of what they add in; but if you ever feel like spending a bit of extra money the Simply Dressings are really great.

Hellion said...

My hooha and I live in harmony. We’ve both retired. We’re happy this way.

I know you're happy, but you seriously depress me sometimes.

Hellion said...

This is probably the closest facsimile I have right now. When we have a writing meeting again at my apartment, I can show it to you and you can write down the Blue Owl version. Instead of cider vinegar, they use white and they use more poppyseed (probably a whole tablespoon).

Blue Owl likes their dressing SWEET, so you might play with it until you get the sweetness you can handle without rotting your teeth directly out of your head.

Bosun said...

I don't mean to depress you. LOL! I would never suggest you retire your hooha. You have the glitter, it's only right to keep sharing that.

I did hear Kate's dress is going to be much more understated than Di's was. Should it be a requirement that a woman becoming a princess should have to dress like one (a la big poofy dress)?

Hellion said...

I think the comparisons between Kate and Diana are enough that we don't need to compare the dresses too. *LOL* The comparisons are there no matter what, but we also know that Diana's sense of style in the beginning was something less than to be desired and that if she had it to do over again, she would have picked something else.

I think the it styles now for gowns are not poufy and Kate is a modern young woman, so she's probably not going to go for pure froth. She'll probably want to swagger in something smooth and sexy (but not too sexy) to let all those girls who said she was too common that hey, "I got him, girls, eat your heart out!"

2nd Chance said...

The only princess I dreamed of being as a child was an Amazon princess who had great adventures and found hidden stores of fabulous jewels in the jungle. The fairy tale princesses in comparison led dull lives. LOL

Yes, Janga...that is me. I want that princess job! ;-)

2nd Chance said...

See, now I spent a few hours yesterday watching David Tutera (sp?) on My Fair Wedding and how he remade a lot of disaster weddings into things I still consider over the top, but better than what was planned... I'm thinking a blog is in order on how that relates to what an editor might do...

But the dresses! It's like watching that wedding dress store show... Egads! What women pay to wear!

Bosun said...

Makes you wonder how much say Diana had in choosing her own gown. There was another English royal wedding not long ago and it seemed very nice. The couple were very understated for royalty and from what I can tell, have remained pretty normal. Grant it, he's not 2nd in line for the thrown, but he was close enough to be maybe top 5? LOL!

She's going to look stunning no matter what.

Bosun said...


I'm sure it will surprise no one that I'm addicted to that show. And I can't get over the prices either. Those things are more than the downpayment I put on my house. But even the ones that are only a couple grand, that's still too much for a dress you wear one time.

Hellion said...

Makes me wonder how much say Diana had in anything. *LOL* I'm not doubting she was all for marrying the most eligible prince--and maybe getting one over on her sister--but that was probably the last say she had about anything for a long, long time. *LOL* And she was 19. Think of all the stupid crap we do and think we want at 19. How much of that is still true now?

Hellion said...

I love the dresses. *sighs* I know it's ridiculous to pay that much for a dress, but I love those dresses.

Bosun said...

Oh, I love them. Why do you think I watch? LOL! And you better believe if that day came around again and I had that kind of money to burn, I'd be shopping at Kleinfelds too.

She was 19? Gosh, I didn't remember she was that young. Sheesh.

2nd Chance said...

I love to see how the dresses are chosen and how the women who work there deal with all the twittiness. But wow, when they get it right and convince some sweet to trust them...that is magical. They really know what they are doing!

I do like to take note of the styles I like. You know, in case I get that massive NY contract and can throw myself a pirate themed wedding anniversary party...

Bosun said...

The mother (or aunt or sister or friend) who want the bride to wear what she wants her to wear make me nuts, but the rest I love. And I'm torn between which rep I'd want to work with, but I'd definitely have Randy pick what he thought would be perfect and I know he'd get it right.

You must invite us to that party!!!

2nd Chance said...

Hey, that party will be at a sparklying sand beach in the Bahamas and I will see everyone flown there for a week of frivolity, no worries! (With spouses, loved ones...there will be daycare available. And night care...)

I'd opt for Randy, too! ;-)

P. Kirby said...

Given that I recently wrote a nasty blog post about the royal wedding, my answer to the first two questions is a Big, Fat, No.

I vaguely remember the Dianna's wedding; I think we were in San Diego on holiday, and I remember it on the TV, but it didn't do anything for me. I think I was more fascinated with the horses in their shining, royal tack, than the humans.

As for question four, I think you explained it quite well. The allure again, utterly escapes me, but I understand why others are captivated by this sort of thing.

But I'm not the archetypal female. Often, I flat out don't "get" my own gender. And I loathed, loathed, most early Disney fairy tale princesses.

As for writing a royal/commoner story, yes, technically, my steampunk WIP is just that. But it's too gritty to be a fairy tale and the primary obstacle(s) to the couple's HEA isn't their differing stations in life.

As for six, I'm gonna take Chance's answer and say, I'd send a copy of my book.

The salad sounds yummy, though! :)

Hellion said...

Given that I recently wrote a nasty blog post about the royal wedding, my answer to the first two questions is a Big, Fat, No.

*LOL* Sorry, P. Kirby for being yet one more blog blattering about it! *LOL*

That is probably another contributing factor. HORSES. I was completely horse mad at age 6, during the first wedding, and to have the opportunity to be pulled to the church in a horse-drawn carriage sounds fantastic. Even though horses can be rather...smelly from that end. And carriages aren't that comfortable. It's not like riding in a sedan or anything.

It's always good to have multiple forms of conflict--differing stations wouldn't last the length of a novel by itself. :)

Irisheyes said...

I'm not sure I'm going to get up early to catch the beginning (did I hear 4-5 am?), but I will be following all the catch up programming.

I did watch Charles and Diana. I was in high school at the time and very much a romantic. And even with that I remember commenting on how something just wasn't right with those two. I think like Donna said I just liked watching all the pomp and circumstance. It was a great show!

I loved Disney's Cinderella and Snow White, but thinking back on it I think I liked the idea of the prince taking them away from the awful lives they had more than making them princesses. I'm not for living in a fishbowl. I wouldn't mind wealth but would never want to be famous!

Irisheyes said...

Hellie - I've been eating this salad for years and I LOVE it!!!! The only difference is that I buy my almonds and I make a different dressing -

1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika

It is very, very good but very, very sweet! Now you've got me craving it. I'll have to whip some up this week.

Irisheyes said...

I also forgot to say I can't wait to read Sophie Page's book either. I read all about it at Word Wenches and it sounds fabulous.

I was thinking about the prince and the commoner storyline and realized that I like any story that dives behind the public persona. Prince/Commoner, Princess/Commoner, Rock Star/Commoner, Movie Star/Commoner. It's fun to find out that things aren't always as they appear. It is even more fun when the famous person has to work harder to get what is usually given to them because the person they are interested in doesn't feel the same way or worse believes all the awful things written about him/her. Makes for a great story!

2nd Chance said...

Anyone see the donut Dunk n' Donuts is promoting for the wedding? It does look delish!

Bosun said...

Irish - If you haven't read WHAT THE LIBRARIAN DID by Karina Bliss, you must seek it out. Exactly what you're talking about. The rock star/commoner and she believes all his bad press. Ms. Bliss turns that trope in some interesting ways though.

Chance - I have not seen that donut, but I pass a DnD every morning. What is so I can decide if I need to stop in?

Oh, and I happened to come across a similar strawberry salad recipe just a little while ago. I'll send it your way, Hellie.

Hellion said...

Irish, you knew even then there was something wrong? *tsk* I just see how sweet she looks. He gave her a couple sweet looks that day. *shrugs* I don't think they hated each other; I just think he loved someone else more. It's hard to give your heart away when you've given it to another.

Your salad looks awesome!! I think I might feature more recipes so I can have more recipe swaps!

Irisheyes said...

I did read that one, Ter, and I liked it.

I looked up the donut Chancey was talking about - it is a jelly filled glaze heart with white icing and a chocolate stripe. The ice cream wedding cake looks interesting too! Yum

You know, Hellie, I think the age difference and the fact that it seemed more arranged than a love match. With Will and Kate you know they've been dating for years and marriage is usually the next step. With Charles and Di it seemed more calculated to get him married and get an heir.

2nd Chance said...

Yeah, sorry, Ter. I should have included the link. I saw it chatted about on FB so just assumed everyone did.

Bad, Chance. Bad, bad, bad.