When Charles and Diana married, I took the day off from work and got up at 4am. I am a child of an American father and British mother and lived in England in my early years. I love England.

Now I live a little closer to England (just an hour flight to London) and the big day is approaching. I see William today and I flash on him as a little boy with the same smile as his mother. It reminds me of how time has marched on for all of us.

For me, the good news is that there is a one hour time difference between the Netherlands and England. I will not have to get up at 4am to watch the wedding, but my mother, who lives in California, will be getting up at 1am.

This country also has a royal family, although there is a lot less drama and scandal with the Dutch royals. Beatrix is the much loved and respected Queen.

There is a philosophy in the Netherlands that you must not be too proud or arrogant. If you are a Dutch star in sports or entertainment, you should not flaunt your success. It is very bad form to be boastful about yourself or your achievements. When I think of the Dutch royal family, that philosophy is alive and well. The Dutch citizens seem to admire the royals because they don’t seem “too full of themselves”.

The next in line to the Queen is Prince Willem Alexander. After the queen, his wife, Princess Maxima, who is from Argentina, is the most popular member of the royal family. She is smart, articulate, gracious and beautiful. They have three daughters, who all attend public schools.

But this week is all about William and Kate, I keep trying to imagine Diana as the mother of the groom. She would have been so beautiful and proud.

It is refreshing to have the world watching a happy occasion, instead of some horrible tragedy. For one day, people all around the world can watch pomp and circumstance. Maybe it is much ado about nothing, on the other hand, it is a lovely distraction for just a little while. Put on the kettle, make yourself a cup tea and join me in some fun. On the day of the wedding, no matter what time it is in your home, we will be watching it together.

Recommended reading: Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani

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  • Aledys Ver  On April 28, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    You are right, William has a lot of Diana – the same smile and eyes. Good thing that the time difference is just an hour, isn’t it!
    About the Dutch Royal family: it is true, they’re “normal” and down-to-earth. They are also tamer now, but they’ve also had their own share of scandals and rough times as well (think of Prince Bernhard’s affairs, the Lockhead scandal and the healer that Queen Juliana had living in the house, for example!)

  • Marty Flint  On April 29, 2011 at 1:33 am

    EGAD! Now that I live in Chicago, I have to get up at 3:00 AM to watch the wedding. You’re lucky to have to wait till 10:00 AM to see it in Holland.

  • Leslie Sullivan  On May 2, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Jane, Rick and I just watched the “Highlights of the Royal Wedding”. Kate was beautiful. I’m not a huge fan of such hoopla but it was fun. I had a great time discussing the wedding with my friend Liz this morning. Liz is British and has an “Auntie Beryl” who is 90 years old and delighted in all the tradition. Liz made scone for her colleagues at work and was upset that the extended family was carted to the abbey in “buses”, like soccer fans.

    How Are You?????

  • Loree Griffin Burns  On May 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Jane,

    I didn’t get up to watch the wedding, although I spent a good bit of time looking at photos afterward. I couldn’t help but think of Princess Diana, too. It is amazing how many emotions are stirred when I think of her wedding and her life and her funeral. I feel genuine sadness when I think of her, this woman I never even met, who was a princess in a country that is not my own. Strange, no?


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