For starters, I’m a major Anglophile. This may have started with the Beatles in 1964 and the glut of information about all things British. I still have my Oh de London talc! Jean Shrimpton was the famous model in this ad.
I went to England in 1972, between my sophomore and junior years in college. I think the whole trip (which included visiting France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway) cost about $500. We stayed in youth hostels and hitchhiked a lot of the time. When I visited London, I was entranced. It’s my version of Disneyland. I loved it so much that the next year, I applied for a job at the YWCA youth hostel where my friend and I had stayed in 1972. I was hired as a receptionist and got to spend the whole summer of 1973 in London. I didn’t realize what a major miracle it was to get a job in a foreign land until much later. We were paid in cash in quaint little envelopes (“Here’s your pay packet!”). The food was different and wonderful! I don’t know why people say bad things about British food.
my pay packet was way sparser than this! bangers & mash
I visited England, Scotland and Wales in 1978 (honeymoon), Ireland in 2003 (the band Black 47 does a tour with their fans every year) and back to London in 2004, with my kids. It was magical EVERY TIME.
Charles and Diana announced their engagement the day after my first child was born in 1981. They got married on my 29th birthday. I was glued to the TV starting at 4 am. Then I really got into all things Royal in a big way. I regularly bought Majesty Magazine, which reported the comings and goings of ALL the royal family members. I’ll bet you never heard of Princess Michael of Kent!
I really loved Diana, and was so sad when everything went awry in her life and her marriage. I loved that she had 2 boys, as I did. I thought she was an amazing person, visiting people with AIDS and embracing so many causes that no one else wanted even to acknowledge. It was disappointing when she started doing all kinds of kooky things, but she had such a terrible childhood that I understood.
Then she died, and I was broken-hearted. More than anything, I kept feeling she would NEVER have left those 2 boys, that she would have done anything she could to stay with them as they grew up. I subscribed to the conspiracy theories wholeheartedly. I mean, what divorced person hasn’t wished their ex-spouse would just go POOF and disappear? If you are Prince Charles, maybe you can do more than wish.
Prince William is about a year younger than MOS-32. Prince Harry is less than 2 years older than MYS-27. Because my mother was always talking about her pain over losing her own mother when she was very young, I am very sensitive to what such a loss can do to people. It was so upsetting to watch William and Harry at Diana’s funeral, knowing what their lives would lack forever, and I related WAAAAY too much. I am still really terrified of leaving my children that way, even though they are all grown up. I feel as though it’s terribly irresponsible to die when your kids still need you (and they always need you).
So then old Chuck married the Rottweiler (Camilla) and went on his merry way, the insensitive douchebag. I have no use for him and secretly hope he never gets to be King. Remember, this is the man who, while still married to Diana, told Camilla that he wanted to be reincarnated as her tampon.
The Rottweiler with her son Joey photo: londoniscool.com
Luckily the two boys grew up to be fine young men who genuinely reflect their mother’s values. I could not be prouder of them, and I really do feel PROUD, as if they were my own kids. My mother used to gush over Barry Manilow in this way (“I feel like he’s my SON!”) and here I am doing the same damn thing.
When William decided to marry Kate Middleton, I hoped she would be a worthy partner for him in the Diana mold. She has exceeded my hopes. Of course all I know is what I read (see http://whatkatewore.com/ and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ushome/index.html ), but she seems to be a perfect choice. They were friends first, plus she seems so down to earth, despite a few pairs of $600 boots. Another reason I love Kate is that she is very beautiful but in an unusual way. She does not look like anyone else – she is unique.
When William and Kate emerged from the hospital with their new baby, I wept. I was so happy to see that everyone was okay, and very pleased that William turned out to be such a mensch – easily able to chat with the crowds and then being Regular Dad with the car seat and driving the family home. I can’t stand that Diana isn’t here to see her grown up sons and her first grandchild, and I ache for William that he doesn’t get to share this amazing moment with his mother. There is no one to say, “Oh, you did the same thing, William!” and to solidify the link that first-hand memories forge (maybe Prince Charles remembers little Williamisms, but somehow I doubt it). I feel sad that that there is no one to kvell for Prince George – to experience and display that amazing feeling of wonder that comes from watching your baby with his own baby, something I have reveled in over the past year and shared with my own son. Am I relating too much? Perhaps. But if I still miss Diana, imagine how her sons must feel. I’m here for you, William & Harry! Ring me up!