The Shmooze

A Brush With Aristocracy: The Day I Covered a Royal Wedding

By Jane Eisner

  • Print
  • Share Share

Alas, intrepid journalist though I am, I cannot finagle a way to cover this royal wedding, the Friday nuptials of William and Kate. But I sure remember being there the last time an heir to the British throne ceremoniously tied the knot, and that day — July 23, 1986 — was both my most aristocratic moment, and my most humbling.

Wikimedia

A handful of American correspondents based in London were offered seats in Westminster Abbey, for the wedding of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson, and I was one of the lucky ones. I had to buy a hat (one must always wear a hat in the presence of the Queen), the only time I was ever able to put such an item on my expense account. And I had to wear a long, fancy dress. Fortunately, the dress I had purchased for my sister’s wedding that following September — a gorgeous, hot-pink number, with a cut-out drape in the back — was already in my closet, and available.

So off I went that cool, drizzly morning, in my dress and hat, interviewing the famous and very famous guests as they arrived at the Abbey, in shiny black boat-like cars, dressed in gowns and morning suits and every kind of finery I’d ever imagined. Once the reporters were ushered inside the magnificent building, we were treated to the splendor of royal theatrics as only the British can do, elegant, sweeping and historic.

My mother and her mother and her mother and her mother were all English, and I marveled at the fact that I, their descendant, was sitting amidst the aristocracy, a working stiff with a one-day ticket to the heights of aristocracy.

But then it was over. As the final limousines, Bentleys and Rolls Royces glided to the Abbey’s entrance to fetch their special passengers, I caught up with the two other women in the American press corps, and we approached a police officer for advice about hailing a cab.

“Oh no, loves, no taxis in central London today,” he properly replied.

And so, there I was, in my fancy hat and my cut-out dress, taking the crowded London subway to my home-office where I had two long stories to write and file for the next day’s paper. My chance to breathe the heady air of royalty had come to an abrupt end. About the time I had to navigate changing trains at the Baker Street station without tripping over my long dress, I knew I was back where I belonged.

Nothing like a royal wedding to remind you of your place.

Jane Eisner is Editor of the Forward.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Wedding, Westminster Abbey, William, Royal, Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew, Kate

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.