In Photo Albums on my FaceBook page, you may see one called Althorp Wedding. I've gotten many quiries about it. Below is an e-mail I sent to my closest friends upon arriving blearily back to the London hotel after the 3 day event...but I was still bubbling over. It explains a bit...but it's only the tip of the iceberg...
The economic/social stratus playing field was leveled by the extravagance of this wedding. It has been 4 days of intense and spectacular partying. Even the literary set when asked how they would describe this to the folk back home told me they'd not found the words yet and that all they could come up with is 'you should have been there'. I thought of all of you often and wish you had. Those of you in NYC or who get the NYTimes save me a copy of this coming Sunday's wedding section. Yes, the first gay marriage coverage for the NYTimes as well as the first wedding ever at Althorp. The reviewer also said he was speechless and had to come up with something. 'Over the top' was heard often in the beginning then we all just went with the flow. The groom and groom leaving the day after (which was the picnic in the stables/harpist on the hay bales) with champagne glasses in hand and pink helmets on their heads in a bubble blowing pink army tank only one 'over the top' images.
Althorp was amazing and felt like our own...which was nice of Earl Spencer who stayed in his room(s) most the time. We would arrive daily by private Mercedes Benz vans around noon and leave between midnight and 3am. People came from 5 continents, 20 countries and over 2 million miles to attend. 168 at the rehearsal dinner, 308 at wedding/dinner/dancing/Dejie singing and 308 in large dark sunglasses at the rainy picnic. I, for one, was glad that they saved the stables for last - it's where the Princess Di exhibit is. We were also allowed that day to stroll to her burial pond/island which Charles Spencer and his kids rowed over to that morning for a private moment.
We were told by one of the handsome security guards (of which there were many) that over 10 days of preparing, 3,000 meals were served to the workers. Basically, the decor was black and white stripes/toile and pink peonies/roses. Tho, the wedding which took place in the grand staircase and was overlooked by generations of Spencers and Princess Di's portraits and Uma Thurman, had light green and purple hydrangeas which matched the incredible little shepherdess and coachmen outfits (designed by John Schneeman,Tony winning costumer of the famous Yellow Dress) of 6 children who lounged on the bottom stairs...then the boys were on the landing (only a photo will describe Andrews outfit - fabric alone was $25,000.) where two marriage ceremonies occurred performed by Parliament magistrate and Harvard's Professor of Religious Morals. They were both very humorous, and slightly political. And tho, we were initially told no photos at the wedding...what with all the paparazzi and video cameras (which were in our faces ALL weekend) the happy crowd snapped throughout. It was pure magic...and when an opera singer sang with the children's choir at the top of the stairs with the chamber orchestra...well, it as healing...though, not enough to make my coughing stop.
Miraculously, however, my singing was fabulous in the 'dinner tent'...created especially for this. Here is where the toile appeared...even on the cake...black and white toile/sugared pink peonies. There were 15 minute speeches that make everyone weep from both grooms (oh, and the toasts during the rehearsal dinner were amazing). We had to wait for sundown to have the next marriage ceremony (Jewish) Again, fabulous and humorous and weepy. Then dancing until 3am...hence, all the sunglasses at the 'picnic'.
We were also told that for every one and 1/2 persons there was a waitstaffer. Lots of security, event staff (amazing and amazingly good looking), and again professional camera folk who were with us the entire weekend. Hugo Burnand photographed Charles and Camilla's wedding...and moi. And again, even they remarked they'd never seen anything like it.
Andrew and John are so loved by so many people. And the entire weekend was their love-fest. Amazing, amazing, amazing.
Stace and I are back in London. It felt interesting to watch the Princess Di Wembley concert to room service knowing it was in our backyard and that just that morning we'd been at her childhood home. Tomorrow is our last day and it will be a rainy one. Otherwise, the weather has been perfect.
I love London. Who wants to move here with me? The pianist said I could get gigs :)