The royal wedding

Friday, April 29; viewed online on The Royal Channel on YouTube.

Even as a little girl, I never imagined myself as a princess. My mother neither pushed nor discouraged fairy tale daydreams, but whatever effect Disney had on me was easily undone by my own contrary, suspicious nature and my early and abiding interest in historical drama and classical mythology, neither of which makes being a princess look like a dependable route to happily-ever-afters. My favorite Halloween costume was a pioneer girl dress that Mom made me during my Laura Ingalls Wilder phase. I remember laughing at a classmate who thought it was better to be a princess than a ruling queen, and I had nothing but contempt (an attitude I now consider rather unfair) for poor Sara Crewe of A Little Princess.

This is all to say that, if anything, I feel a bit sorry for Kate Middleton, with whom I wouldn’t trade places for anything in the world. I certainly had no inclination to wake up at 4 a.m. to watch her irrevocably consign herself to a life in a well-appointed glass prison as national symbol and tabloid fodder.

I do, however, have a nostalgic fondness for traditional, high church weddings. Back when I was an organist, I played for dozens of ceremonies and eventually planned my own, pillaging from the hymnals and liturgies of several denominations, and those experiences gave me both a love of religious music (ironic given my distrust of religion) and an appreciation for the subtleties with which one makes a formal service one’s own. Given that, I suppose it was inevitable that I’d eventually be sucked in to watching the royal wedding online, princess aversion notwithstanding. I might not be one to swoon over fairy tale weddings, but I’ll happily coo over a boys’ choir singing hymn descants. We all have our weaknesses.