Fairy tales

It’s official. Prince William is engaged to Kate Middleton, a middle class commoner.

My husband laughed at me this morning when I kept changing the channel from one news station to the next to follow the story on William and Kate’s engagement. It is ridiculous, I know. But watching the interview and listening to the talking heads, memories of my Prince William fan club days came rushing in and I had to follow the story.

I used to dream that I would be in Kate’s place, I remembered, as I watched them hold hands and talk of their wedding plans. The thought is so foreign to me now.

The dream probably began sometime in junior high when I was reading Teen Beat and watching Newsies, swooning over a very young Christian Bale.

It was the ultimate love story. An All-American middle class  no-name commoner steals the heart of the Prince of England. Our betrothal would have united the empires of the United States of America and Great Britain creating an impenetrable union of civility, fashion, manners and benevolence.

Talk about the “people’s princess,” I would have brought a “coolness” factor to the British Monarchy with my American accent and GAP jeans. I would have shook hands with all the dignitaries wearing a black chiffon hat and white gloves, been stunning in a red dress and pearls, and then cheered on William in a polo match in a t-shirt in jeans.

In general, I would have made the monarchy more approachable, likable and all around better. Man, he really missed out. 😉

Of course it made perfect sense to me. After all, who cared if we lived completely different lives in different countries five time zones and thousands of miles apart. We were the same age! And that made it all possible. Besides, that’s where the greatness of the love story began. Despite our differences, distance, and net worth, destiny and true love had somehow brought us together and could never separate us.

Okay, so I’ve watched a few Princess Dairies movies.

As fate would have it, in 2002 I had my shot. As an English major I had signed up to study abroad in England and Scotland for six weeks, studying Shakespeare, old English literature, Robert Burns and some new weird Scottish stuff.

One sunny and cool July afternoon we stopped in St. Andrews, Scotland. We toured one of the oldest and finest golf courses in Great Britain, rambled through some more ruins of a castle or fort (they became a blur), walked along the shoreline where they filmed the famous running-on-the-beach scene from Chariots of Fire, and toured the town.

Being the groupie that I was, I knew that St. Andrews is where Prince William went to college. And quite possibly he could have been there, at that very moment, in some pub, coffee shop, restaurant, or bookstore. Ever corner we rounded, I wondered if I would bump into him,  like what happens in one of those cheesy Princess movies. No such luck.

Instead of leaving St. Andrews with a prince, I left with his face plastered on a post card. (True story, I really did buy a postcard with his face on it! Haha. Oh the memories.)

My most promising moment, however, had been earlier that summer when we were touring London. Outside Buckingham Palace we noticed a large crowd gathering. Naturally, we wondered what was going on.  As we got closer we noticed that there were was absolutely nothing happening, just some policemen standing silent in their bobby helmets. Through whispers in the crowd we heard rumors that the Royal family was returning sometime that evening. But did we believe them? And when would they come? We hung out an hour or so. The longer we waited the more I began to think that the Royals were really coming. But the rest of our group was leaving shortly to go back to Brighton and we had to make a decision…to stay or not to stay. Because we had no ride home, no place to stay the night, little money, and no idea if the Royal family really was coming, we hoped on the bus back to Brighton with the other 25 American college students.

Later that night on the 11 o’clock news, we saw black motorcades pull up around the circle where we had been standing and the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Henry and Prince William got out and waved as they walked up to Buckingham Palace.

I don’t have too many regrets in my life, but that is one of them. How many opportunities do you get to see the Queen of England?  Prince William?

And so the rest is history. I came home from England, graduated from college, moved to Los Angeles for a few months and met my husband. Now we have a house, two kids and a dog and live a very middle class common sort of life. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But next summer, my husband will have to excuse me while I glue myself to the couch to watch the ultimate fairy tale dream wedding, the wedding that every little girl dreams of.

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