Every little girl, at one point or another as they grow up wants to become a princess. For one woman, that dream became a reality this week. The world watched as Catherine Middleton became Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales. She is also the Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Strathearn.Quite a mouthful, when you’re used to everyone calling you ‘Kate’.
About 23 million Americans tuned in to watch the royals wed, but in the UK, a national holiday was declared, and people turned out from every corner of the country. The guest list was a varied lot, with 650 people invited to join the families inside Westminster Abby for the ceremony. A homeless woman, a butcher, yoga instructor and the owner of Kate’s favorite pub joined Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham and the Royal Family to witness the nuptials, while thousands lined the streets outside. 5,000 policemen, both uniformed and undercover, mingled with the crowds while 1,500 members of Briton’s military lined the 1-mile trek from the Abby to Buckingham Palace for the couple’s triumphant ride to ‘Grandma’s house’ after the wedding was completed.
Surprisingly, Barak Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, presidents of the United States and France, respectively, weren’t invited. Traditionally, only crowned heads of countries attend these royal events, but that doesn’t explain the butcher or yoga master.
Kate, or Princess Catherine, received the Late Princess Diana’s sapphire ring as an engagement ring. Her wedding ring was crafted from a single nugget of Welsh gold. This tradition began in 1923, when the gold was donated to the late Queen Elizabeth and King George. Prince William chose not to wear a wedding band, which is becoming a common practice among the upper-crust of the UK.
Kate and William weren’t the only pair that stole the show on the momentous day. Pippa Middleton, the Princess’ younger sister, has quickly been elevated to Briton’s most eligible bachelorette. She was stunning and graceful at the wedding, catching the eye of fashion designers and every man with a pulse who watched the royal to-do. The other show-stealer was Grace, William’s three-year-old goddaughter. She frowned, scowled, stuck out her tongue, covered her ears, and generally showed her disdain at all the pomp and circumstance.
The wedding dress, possibly the best kept secret of the entire affair, was as beautiful and flattering as any princess would want. Designed by Sarah Burton of fashion Alexander McQueen, the dress sported the Irish-style lace of the 1820s, handmade by members of the Royal School of Needlework, based in Hampton Court Palace. Workers had to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace perfectly white and pristine. The dress was an instant hit, and will influence bridal fashion for years to come.
As if a multi-million dollar wedding wasn’t enough, the Palace announced that, "Today, the Queen is proud to confer the title of Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus to Prince William of Wales", according to the Telegraph.
The couple skipped a honeymoon, opting instead to head for home. Home, for the Prince and his missus is a four-bedroom house on Anglesey, and island off the coast of Wales, where William is stationed as an RAF rescue pilot. And Kate will begin her new life as many other brides do, as a very contented housewife, serving her country alongside her husband.
The fact that she’s now a princess may not even come up while she’s shopping for groceries or running errands.