I’ve listened to the naysayers. The negative comments. The rejection of the upcoming wedding. The sarcasm. The lack of caring. I think it’s sad. I think it is a testament to the cynical weeds growing in our society. There will always be hardship in the world. But we need the uplifting things to replenish our souls so that we have the strength to make it through the hard times.
It just doesn’t seem that long ago. But thirty years ago I watched the Royal Wedding. The wedding between Charles and Di. I watched her in that carriage – the enormous train of her gown and all of the pomp and circumstance. Back then I didn’t understand the lineage or all of the grown up features that brought them to that moment. But I clearly remember thinking how wonderful it was. I was 11 years old and enamored with the elegance. I dreamed that I could be a princess.
Children like fantasy. Superheros. Princesses and Princes. It is the significance of hope. The hope that we all secretly sequester inside of us. The hope that dreams really do come true and extraordinary things can happen to ordinary people. That there are those that we can live through vicariously while we withstand the realism of life.
I grew up watching those two princes. William and Harry. Those sweet cherub-faced boys in their little knickers clinging to their Mama’s leg clueless that they were who they were other than her sons. There were years that we swooned over William’s handsome face and every female loved to see the sensitivity that William had shown his mother effortlessly. At that point, there was something very royal about them for sure but their demeanor had a different side. Very down to earth. Wholesome and kind-hearted like their mother. The epitome of Prince Charming.
When Charles and Di split, I was disappointed. Disappointed that the fairy tale I had watched as a child did not exist. It was as real as real gets. The ugliness. The back and forth. The hurt. The ending of what at one time had been hope.
We all need hope. But it was easy to continue to watch the train wreck of the disintegration of that family. The media blasted it in our faces. The ugly rumors. The stalking reports. The dirty laundry aired for the world. But I think we all were just looking for who we should blame. Who should we blame for taking our hope from us? Hope that there is still magic and love in that whimsical fashion. Who was the responsible individual for disappointing us?
The morning that I learned of Diana’s accident we were packing up to go on vacation. I couldn’t believe it. At 27 years of age, I was stunned. All of the hope from my 11 year old heart had been stolen in a moment. The fairy tale could not have turned more tragic. So hope was placed into her surviving children. Why? Because it is unthinkable that tragedy should continue. Because when I was 11, I saw the fairy tale with my own two eyes. There would be an ember of it left somewhere. Somewhere in her children.
This morning I watched the Royal Wedding at 41 years old. I watched Charles’ and Di’s son marry a most stunning Kate Middleton. I watched with my 11 year old daughter. I knew the eyes she was watching with. The same eyes of adoration and hope that I had watched with 30 years prior. Her bright eyes wanted to see inside the palace. She asked many questions about their titles – Duke and Duchess. “When will she be Queen?” “Can we see the reception?”
She waited patiently for the “kiss”. We were snuggled in my bed – waiting for the magical kiss. Then it happened…
…and then it would happen again.
My daughter has asked to go to London. To see Buckingham Palace. To see Westminster Abby. Why? Because she has hope. I would love to join her on that trip. Why? Because once again, I have hope. It's a common bond between us and I'm certain it would be a fabulous trip. Perhaps one day we will go. Something else for which to be hopeful.
The news is filled daily with crime, anger, gossip, hurt, death and devastation. Our hearts are heavy for so many and so much.
Children see the world through rose-colored glasses. The glass half full. They can find the positive in any given situation. They are wonderful that way. Innocent and vibrant.
As adults we lose that capability. The harsh reality of life smacks us in the face. But today for just a little while my daughter and I shared the fairy tale.
The hope we all so desperately need.
Congratulations William and Kate.
Thank you for sharing your hope with my daughter and reminding me what it felt like when I was 11 years old again. It was wonderful to see that hope in my daughter’s eyes…to imagine what it might be like to be a princess.
Meanwhile, we shall wait patiently for her Prince Charming because we have hope he will come.