Well, I thought yesterday was wonderful. I'm a sucker for mass participation events and love days when everyone is out on the streets together having fun; so the best of British pageantry of the wedding was great, and my local street party was awesome – 2,500 of us at the wonderful Ashley Cross.
In terms of the wedding itself there were the obvious odd points that could be commented on (Dave & Elton there but no Blair; Posh & Becks there but no Brown), but I’ll restrict myself to a few socio-theological observations…
1. It was a great shame that Will decided not to wear a ring. This left something of a hollow moment in the ceremony – “By the giving of this ring” just doesn’t have the same resonance as “By the giving and exchanging of rings.” A wedding ring is a very powerful and important symbol of marriage. It was a mistake to make it a one handed experience.
2. Kate’s decision to not say “obey” was exposed as hollow by everything else that is concomitant with getting married. It was a mistake for Will not to take a ring, but it would have been inconceivable for Kate not to. Once married, Kate was announced as, “Princess William Wales.” How so? Because by definition, the institution of marriage requires the husband to assume headship. Lots of people don’t like this, which is why so many refuse to get married and just cohabit, but it is an unavoidable aspect of marriage. Simply by marrying Kate has committed to obeying, whether or not she said it.
3. The marriage ceremony is a powerful apologetic for the purpose of sex. The archaic language disguised this somewhat, but for those who have ears to hear it was very clear: Sex is for marriage, to make babies, as a way of expressing faithful love, and as a sacrificial way of serving one another and the wider community. William & Catherine may have been living together for most of the past decade, but the marriage vows make very clear how they should have been living, and should live now. I pray that they stay faithful to those vows.
4. Modesty is commendable. I like a wedding dress that doesn’t leave a women looking half undressed. I liked the fact that the wedding bouquet was just a small handful of lily of the valley. I like the way they are honeymooning in the UK, and after a week Will will be back at work. Sure, the whole shindig cost far more than most of us will see over the course of an entire lifetime, but the fact that it was modest where it could be was to me very impressive.
Overall, Will & Kate are easy to like, and that can only be good for the Royal Family. In 1649 I would have been on the Republican side of the block, but I wish this future King & Queen a long and happy life. Yesterday was fantastic: may there be many more days in the future when the Royals give us an excuse to throw a party.