Hello Cruel World
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Danish Royal Wedding: Crown Prince Fred of Denmark marries Australian real estate agent Mary Donaldson
Sigh. Those frocks! And those rocks! Not to mention all the sharp young men in snappy uniforms -- and the older men in uniforms weighed down by almost as many medals as the ladies' jewels. "All the crowned (& tiara'd & feather-hatted) heads of Europe" (including the ones in exile) are sitting in a batch of wooden chairs up the front that don't look very comfortable. Prince William (Earl of Wessex) is getting quite a high forehead these days. Seems to run in the English Royal Family.
Queen Margrethe is looking very stylish in the national colours, and comfortable for the slightly cool-looking day. She has a white & pale spring-floral gown and shorter lightweight coat in a dark pink/light red silk(?) which matches the bridesmaids, with an equally tasteful necklace, tiara & coat-clasp entirely of diamonds. Many of them quite large diamonds. Her husband, the Prince Consort, was called Henri de Maussepant(sp?). Don't know if he's related to the writer.
Nice music -- at least they still have a choir. And the brass players are keeping their tone well. It's so embarrassing when they go wrong on one of these big occasions. Thousands & thousands of red & white flowers, almost as many Swedish flags & Australian ones. Security looks pretty strong, even tho' some of them at a loose end are taking their own photos of the event. Our Lady's Church I believe it's called, is one of those fairly plain, airy Northern types, built of white stone in a classic Greco-Roman look.
Now the bride has arrived at the cathedral, her father in his dress Donaldson kilt, herself a vision in a clean-lined traditional oyster silk gown with a lovely wispy sort of bouquet & off-the-face embroidered lace veil with elegant little tiara-headpiece. Nice teardrop earrings, but no necklace to spoil the pure line of the off-the shoulder dress. Now she & the groom are holding hands, and one of her sister-bridesmaids has just borrowed a hankie to dab at her tears. He is looking incredibly young
The Bishop of Copenhagen is also gorgeous in his finery, with white ruff and gown, and a cope (?) in greenery-yallery spring colours, with the symbols of the four evangelists on the back and formal floral edging at the front.
Uh-oh. SOMEONE'S mobile just rang. They stopped it quickly, though.
There go the rings! One hopes this royal marriage will go better than some of the high-profile ones have. Harp & children's voices. This is very nice, happy, gentle & hopeful music. Even the republican (i.e. not monarchist) Tasmanian Green Party senator Bob Brown said "everyone needs a bit of magic in their lives" when asked to comment.
I hear there's going to be another European royal wedding sometime soon. Spanish? Anyway, is any of this being covered in the UK or USA? It's been quite intense just over the last few days here, because of Mary being a Tasmanian who met Prince Fredericke during the Olympics in Sydney. [Note that I have refrained from any Apple Danish jokes or mention of the Prince of Denmark.]
Wedding Update: The wedding party has left the church & is travelling by barouche through Copenhagen in rather weak spring sunshine. Lots of happy cheering crowds. They reckon there's about a million.
There is a large mounted escort wearing classic operetta-style uniforms in bright colours with feathered hats or shiny helmets with horsetail plumes in red or white (do they still frighten the children?), masses & masses of braid, brass buttons, swords, polished boots (& tight breeches over muscular thighs, mmm); some even have those short capes slung over one shoulder. Even the horses & musical instruments have been decorated.
Along with all this, jogging along next to the coach are the security men in dark lounge suits, bare-headed & wearing oblong ID badges. Cognitive dissonance, man.
One of the strange sights earlier on was a very high-tech looking glossy black security bus with tinted windows disgorging a bunch of the guests in precisely this type of comedy uniform & other formal dress around the side of the cathedral, before they walked around the corner onto the red carpet for the cheering crowd & photographers.fs
At the moment a crowd is gathered at the palace waiting for the couple to appear in the traditional balcony waving scene. Everyone is agog for their first official kiss.
It started at midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time, but there are a lot of people dressing up, having herring & other Danish dishes & gathering around their televisions with friends. Almost everything important overseas - especially sports - happens at weird hours here, so it's become part of the culture. It felt so strange having the Olympic events at "normal" times in Sydney; strange, but nice.
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