If you have family members that live in other countries, you know it’s not easy to see them as much as you would like. I grew up in a village, and—even though I live in New York now—I still prefer to go only as far as I can walk. It takes some thought-restructuring to pretend that a seven-hour flight is the same as sitting in one’s living room (or sitting at work, since I would never sit still that long otherwise), even if the chair one is sitting in travels over 3,000 miles.
When I arrived at my mum’s house after an overnight flight, it was about three hours until the wedding she had been asking me about ever since the last time I visited. My mum loves the fairy tale of princes and princesses getting married, so when she heard that Princess Eugenie, ninth in line to the throne, was getting married in Windsor, near her home, she kept asking if we could go.
We reached the castle about half an hour before the princess was expected to enter for the service, about an hour after the golden-ticket holders had entered the castle grounds. Although there was a small crowd in front of the castle, the streets nearby were mostly empty. I asked an officer if there was a disabled viewing area, and she said no matter where we chose to go, we would get a good view.
We caught a glimpse of Fergie going in through the gates, and then after the service, we saw the carriage with Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbanks doing their brief tour. Before the carriage arrived, ambassadors moved everyone possible into the disabled section since there were only four people in it. “Lowkey” was how many people described it.
The flowers were glorious and autumnal. I wish my mother could have had her fairy tale. I wish she could have felt like a princess herself. But at least during my visit, she was able to get outside, breathe fresh air, see the sky, and see the flowers and the trees blowing in the breeze.