Friday, 29 April 2011

The Joke That Wasn't: My Royal Wedding

My Princess Bling
About six weeks ago, before I knew what time the ceremony would start, I started planning a Royal Wedding party.  With my mother dispatched to the tourist shop at Windsor castle to pick up some commemorative memorabilia and union jack bunting, the wheels of the metaphorical horse-drawn carriage were put in motion.  When it dawned on me (pun intented) that my party would have to start at 6am - due to the time-difference between London and Rio - I remained resolute.  There was no turning back.

I realised pretty quickly that I was going to have to do some serious cramming to get my kids up to speed on the British monarchy, since it seemed likely that they would be the sole attendees.  For the last week we have been cutting out pictures of royalty and weddings to make a huge wall-frieze, and dressing up in our crowns and tiaras.  The realisation that queens, princes and princesses actually do definitively 'exist' (as opposed to superheroes, sea monsters, mermaids and God) was hugely exciting for Little Bear, who is now a staunch royalist with a cute crush on Princess Diana.

By Monday I accepted that my package of wedding kitsch was lost in the post and would never going to arrive, so I had to source my own.  In downtown's Saara district I found heart-shaped balloons in red, white and blue as well as crowns and tiaras, and in Largo de Machado I found rip-off royal sapphire engagement rings for a bargain R$7.   I even had a Blue Peter moment and hand-crafted a Union Jack cushion cover to lend the TV room a patriotic tone.  The final seams were finished at midnight last night.

As I was setting up my 'party', I thought I was being ironic.  It was all just a good laugh.  An excuse for a cup of Earl Grey in the bone china set, a bacon sandwich and some bucks fizz, wearing my blue sapphire engagement ring and a tiara.  Just me and the kids.  But then just before heading to bed I blew up the heart shaped balloons, and they started systematically bursting in my face at point blank range.  My eyes started watering copiously from the shock of the balloon-shrapnel whacking into them and wouldn't stop.  After a while I began to wonder if I wasn't actually weeping for real, from the heart.  How terribly un-British. 

This morning, 6am, the doorbell.  Hurrah!  A British girlfriend actually came to my party! The kids were still in bed so we snuck into the decked-out TV room and completely lost ourselves in the proceedings.  I was completely surprised at how moved I was at the whole thing and how hard it was to keep it together.   There was no chance of a singalong to the hymns without a breakdown.  I couldn't really put my finger on what I was feeling, but it appears that somewhere buried deep inside me there is something approaching patriotic sentiment!  It is the first time I remember being genuinely proud and excited to be British, and sincerely sad not to be there.

In the end the only joke was that of the lost package, which was of course delivered at 6pm this evening!  Seriously.

1 comment:

  1. haha! Fantastic.

    Maybe you can use the stuff in the package for an after-party with your amigas at a more reasonable hour and with alcohol. :)

    Or, you can just let your kids play with it.

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