Certainly the attack and killing of Osama bin Laden is the more important event, but last week, all eyes were on London for the Royal Wedding. And if you live in the Pacific time zone, and wanted your eyes to see it, you pretty much had to stay up all night.
I'm up for a big event as much as anyone else, and since I had nothing else to do, I got my big bag of chocolate Hostess mini-donuts and a 44-ounce soda, and parked my carcass on the couch to witness the nuptials of Prince William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor and Miss Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.
The pregame show began at 1am, but the first hour was a complete waste of time. I kept flipping between CBS, CNN, and NBC. Katie Kouric anchored the CBS coverage, which in the first hour mostly featured clips of the Charles-Diana wedding 30 years ago. On CNN, Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan yelled at each other above a large crowd, reminiscent of New Year's Eve, only without Kathy Griffin. NBC had all of the Today Show crew in place, and I found Meredith Viera, Matt Lauer and the gang much easier to watch, so I stayed there, even though the main pictures were of David and Victoria Beckham, and later a shot of Elton John. Not exactly the red carpet at the Oscars.
The 2am hour was much better. Things started to happen. We saw the wedding party leave their hotel, the Prime Minister and his wife arrive at Westminster Abbey, the shot of the front of the building where the world would see a quick glimpse of Kate's dress for the first time. Lots of British automobiles too—Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and Jaguars.
I loved the two fashion experts that NBC had on, talking at length about Kate's dress, what the designer was trying to say, and what kind of impact it will make. Lauer finally professed that he had no idea what they were talking about, and at least that means I wasn't the only one.
3am, time for the big show, and I was surprised that the vows were over with quite quickly. Most weddings I've attended, they make you sit through the sermon first, before the exchange of “I wills.” I actually did have some Charles and Diana flashbacks with that place so full of people. I thought it was odd that Kate had trees brought in to make the long walk down the aisle look outdoorsy, but I have to admit it did look good. Neither Willie nor Katie (getting less formal now) looked nervous, which also made the wedding more fun to watch.
It was all great, nice ceremony, learned a lot about both families. The Queen (who is eight days younger than my mom but looks older) was all decked out in a yellow dress and matching hat. What is up with the Brits and their hats, anyway? I've seen satellite dishes smaller than some of those things. At least those people could get three uses out of them—Easter, the Wedding, and they could all come to Kentucky for the Derby this weekend.
Anyway, now it's 4am, and still an hour and a half until “The Kiss”. The sugar from the soda and donuts kicked in, so the wait wasn't too bad. There were lots of crowd shots, and maybe my favorite part of the night, just before the couple are to make their appearance on the veranda--Al Roker giving weather conditions.
One of NBC's British guest panelists reported that you could wager on how long the kiss would be, and that he had his money on five to nine seconds. That's a pretty long kiss. I would have gotten 9:1 for the quick peck on the lips that finally arrived at 5:25 am.
I stuck around a little while longer, saw the second kiss, and finally went to bed just before six. It wouldn't have been the end of the world if I had missed it, but you have to admit sometimes it is fun to be part of a large event, even if it just means watching it on TV. I just hope Prince Harry doesn't get married anytime soon.
bin Laden: I was watching Sunday Night Baseball when the news was starting to break. I actually learned about it on facebook, when I went to look up something during a pitching change. ESPN was very late to the bin Laden story, but at least they finally got there. The networks broke in somewhere around 7:40, but ESPN didn't mention it til 8:06, then finally put the crawl on the bottom of the screen. Announcers Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, and Bobby Valentine knew about it too, but didn't say anything for several minutes. They finally commented when spontaneous cheers of U-S-A broke out from the Philadelphia crowd. My favorite was reporter Wendi Nix down on the field reporting that the players had no idea what was going on. She was standing next to a dugout, she could have told them!