They are, too.
So I'm not really one to blog in response to big news stories . . . as you may have noticed. But I kind of couldn't resist this week.
As you may have also noticed via my facebook status, I'm a little brokenhearted over this whole Prince William getting officially engaged thing. Which, yes, is kind of silly for a lot of reasons. Among them being the fact that he's been unofficially engaged for, what, ten years now? Dude, does anyone else see a ridiculous sitcom premise in that sentence? Seriously.
Anyway. Back in the day when I was just discovering that Holy Crap! Boys Are Cute! just happened to correspond with the time that Prince William was making the cover of Tiger Beat, like, every day. And when it came to cute boys . . . holy crap, that boy was cute!!! In fact, I think he was probably my first celebrity crush. And since my daydreams have always tended to be ridiculously over the top - well, I had some highly enjoyable silly little fantasies. We would meet skiing in the Alps (where my family suddenly acquired the money for me to go skiing in the Alps solo was always rather vague) and ultimately that lead to Prince William abdicating his throne to marry me. Which is kind of interesting, because I'm tolerably certain I didn't know the word "abdicate" at the time, although I was clearly familiar with the concept. Weird. And then I would spend much more time than would be healthy to admit envisioning the wedding, which would still be elaborately over the top even though His Royal Highness was marrying some random lowly American commoner.
Confession: it's probably pretty obvious, but I've always had this crazy obsession with princesses. And brides. I'm a sucker for any story about either . . . and yes, The Princess Bride ranks very highly on my list of best movies of all time. This whole "internet" thing? Has been pretty awesome because I'm always discovering stories about celebrity weddings or wedding planning - which, yes, I still read. I've been reading them since long before I thought I was going to be getting married shortly after high school, so why on earth should I stop now? Part of it is the look - the gorgeous dresses, the tiaras, the fact that it's pretty much impossible to not be pretty if you're either princess or bride. That part probably comes from hearing that I wasn't pretty a lot when I was growing up. Also - if I see a friend-of-a-friend on facebook with a wedding/bridal picture as their profile picture, I have to look at their profile in the hopes that they don't have privacy settings as strict as mine and I can look at their wedding pictures. Yep, wedding pictures of people I don't know. Because I love looking at any wedding pictures. Long story short, this summer was quite the jackpot.
But I also love the idea of being a princess. When I was younger all that meant was wearing the pretty dresses and having charming princes rescue you, but as I've gotten older I become more fascinated the more I learn about real princesses. I think that's one of the reasons I love historical European fiction - sure, these women are princesses and duchesses and whatever, but they're being used as political pawns . . . and then there are the ones who are strong enough to take control of their own destinies. I know, it sounds sooooooooo corny - but I love it. I'm an absolute sucker for it. Pulls me in every time. I've wanted to be a princess ever since forever. I'm pretty sure a big part of the reason I've always been in love with Han Solo (other than the fact that Harrison Ford is HOT!) is because I've wanted to be Leia ever since the first time I saw Star Wars when I was six. Naturally I auditioned to be a princess (well, the audition was for the sadly more generic "character performer," but Aurora was my ultimate dream/goal) while I was at Disney, but dead height does not get any deader than me. Let me tell you, that was depressing. (on the other hand, if I had gotten in, I wouldn't have met Luke . . . and we can all see where that thought is going . . . )
Part of my . . . wake-up call, I guess . . . to the reality of real-world princesses actually came about the same time I was falling in love with Prince William. It was 1997 (go ahead, search your memories . . . or wikipedia, lol) and I was just starting to actually pay attention to the news, even though I didn't understand most of what they were talking about. It seemed like Princess Diana was always in the news, first for all the charity work she was doing, and then of course . . . such a horrible car crash. It was really jarring for me - I'd sort of started looking to her as a role model, and then she was suddenly gone, and at the time I'd never been to a funeral or anything, so that was pretty much the most personal experience I'd had with death to that point. Crazily enough (timing wise) there was a back-to-school sleepover already planned as a YW activity that just happened to be on the right night. I was one of the very few who stayed up all night to watch her funeral. Which made an interesting contrast to my mom talking about watching her wedding all those years before. If I remember correctly she didn't watch it herself, but she was working at the United Way at the time, and the chapter in Puyallup was sponsored by the local Catholic church (or however that works) and all the nuns watched and talked about it for ages before and after. And I can't say I blame them . . . I mean, holy amazingly gorgeous dress, Batman!! Not to mention that she really was one of the most beautiful women ever. Yeah, suffice it to say my princess obsession was only increased that year.
I wouldn't say I've followed Prince William's life closely since then . . . but like I said, any story with "prince" or "princess" in the headline is definitely going to be clicked on. How's this for crazy - I even stumbled across a slide show of several princess' engagements rings . . . last week! And can I just say - Diana's/Kate's is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I would love a replica . . . a totally fake replica, of course. I don't imagine that a diamond-surrounded EIGHTEEN FREAKING CARAT sapphire will be in our price range any time soon. And by any time soon I mean . . . ever. On the other hand, I can't imagine wearing something so massive. My ring is only a quarter of a carat, and it still amazes me sometimes how big it is! Not to mention all the times I've scraped Luke with it . . . completely unintentionally of course . . . but I swear one of these days it's going to draw blood.
I would be so intimidated to wear the real one if I were Kate Middleton though. Heck, I'm too intimidated to wear Luke's grandmother's ring. I'm honestly still overwhelmed by the fact that it's sitting in my jewelry box right now. It turned out Luke's dad had been saving it for Luke's fiancee for forever, so the day after we told his parents we were engaged he pulled it out and over-nighted it to Florida. Yeah, there are no words to say how glad I am that I didn't know about that until it was already there! But it was so unfathomable to me - giving a precious family heirloom to someone they'd never met. (Oh yeah, did I mention we'd been engaged for a month before we met each other's parents?) I couldn't help but be certain that as soon as they met me Luke's dad would want the ring back - not because his parents aren't awesome, because they are the greatest. Just because I have that much of an inferiority complex. But it's an absolutely lovely ring. I wear it sometimes, but we decided we're going to give it to our oldest daughter (assuming we have one, of course). I feel like she deserves it more than I do. Being, you know, actually related to its original owner and all.
So . . . yeah. I'm totally going to watch the royal wedding next year. And I'm totally glad that it'll probably be during the summer so there won't be any major repercussions from getting up super early . . . or, more likely, staying up all night to watch. However, for those of you who are now convinced that I'm absolutely nuts - never fear. I shall not be watching dressed like Marguerite from Ever After ( a picture of which I cannot find for the life of me . . . but obviously I'm referring to the wedding scene where she's wearing so much mourning-type clothing one would think she'd just been widowed). And I definitely will not be buying the commemorative plate.
P. ost S. cript
If anyone could swerve my allegiance from Prince William, it would definitely be . . . PERRY THE PLATYPUS!!!!! Who's theme song I totally have as a ringtone. (Ashli . . . you should call me more often. It's your ringtone.)