It is a touchy subject for me, you are aware. Naturally, I won’t be attending the event as Wills and I have sort of a gentleman’s agreement (read: restraining order) not to be within fifty feet of each other to avoid stirring up any of the old feelings. However, I, like all of you, certainly congratulate the happy couple and acknowledge the importance of their nuptials to not just our own country, but to the world. While next April may seem a long way off, we all—from members of the Royal household all the way down to users of Internet pornography—have much to do to prepare for the blessed day.
Accepting that clearly this wedding will be the singular most important event of the new millennium (excluding the possible end of the world in 2012) is only the first step to ensuring that we are all ready in time. Understanding some background is also important. The date, April 29, of course, holds great significance: it marks the birth of jazz legend Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, whose song “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” is one of the Prince’s favorite karaoke picks. The wedding will be held in Westminster Abbey, which includes the famous Poets’ Corner. This also affected the date of the wedding as poet Ted Hughes’s memorial will be installed there early next year, and William sees him as a personal role model of a good husband.
I can’t imagine many of you have received your invitations; if you were the sort to get invited, you’d have more important things to be doing with your time than sitting in the chair you’re now sitting in. Do not feel dismayed as I imagine this will be a relatively small do with just a few friends and family. Generally royal weddings aren’t too fun anyway; their formality means that attendees usually spend the day feeling uncomfortable (there’s a strict no-jeans policy) and unloved (one look at the bride’s jewels puts your husband’s tokens of love into serious perspective). Also, because the event is scheduled during a time of economic strife, smiling has been banned completely as not to imply to the minions that wealth equals happiness (an awfully thoughtful gesture when you think about it).
Those considering sending a gift need to move quickly on this front: at last check, their Bed, Bath and Beyond registry only has a few items remaining. Like any couple, William and Catherine would surely appreciate a more personal, handmade gift. After all, nothing has more value to the heir to the throne than a cross-stitched throw pillow or paint-by-number portrait crafted by a member of the public.
If you are hoping to commemorate the special day with a small token to display in your home, you are in luck. There is already a wide assortment to choose from. If you are one of those sad, lonely types, feel free to order one of everything (and don’t forget to book in for your royal wedding tattoo asap), but for the more discerning collector, it’s important to consider the future market value of such a purchase (so your children know what to set as their eBay starting price when they sell the item after you’re dead). Commemorative plates are a dime a dozen, so unless you’re just practical and like eating off of William’s face (something I’ve done and can testify only leads to heartbreak), I wouldn’t suggest that route. One of those little spoons might be nice as they don’t easily chip and can be used for anything from baby feeding to illegal drug use. A large Union Jack with the couple’s faces embroidered on is probably the safest bet for Americans: once the Tea Party comes into power, the display of any flag other than the Old Glory will become illegal and the black market price of your wedding souvenir will skyrocket.
Finally, hats off to Rupert Murdoch for his coup in securing the rights to the first ever broadcast of the royal deflowering. I think we’re all looking forward to getting a fair and balanced view of that. Internet porn users will be relieved to hear that the web live streaming is also being arranged (though there will be a charge). But the word on the street is that it’ll be worth every cent of your $9.99.