The Royal Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Elizabeth Middleton took place on April 29, 2011 at the historic Westminster Abbey in London. Despite the glaring spotlight and nerves of the day, the Middletons and the Royal Family accomplished one of their chief goals, which was to also maintain the sense of an intimate family occasion. I was particularly moved by Michael Middleton on the day. What must have been going through this father’s mind? In addition to the emotions of a normal wedding, his little girl was walking into Westminster to become a princess.
It was grounded Michael who had remarked early on in Kate and William’s relationship:
“We are very amused at the thought of being in-laws to Prince William, but I don’t think that is going to happen.”
It must have been a bit surreal to find himself, years later, being chauffeured through London in a royal Rolls Royce, waving to crowds conservatively estimated at over 600,000 strong. Throughout the service and the day, Mr. Middleton seemed focused on Kate’s comfort, and appeared to be soaking up the the significance of the event.
As he held his daughter’s train, Mike Middleton’s top hat took a slight tumble. That face seems to say, “Can I get some help here?”:
The processional by Sir Hubert Parry began with the very appropriate words from Psalm 122:
I was glad when they said unto me : We will go into the house of the Lord.
Despite understandable nerves, Kate was cool, collected, and radiantly happy:
The father-of-the-bride looked nostalgic as he escorted Kate toward her royal future, but with one final squeeze and it was show-time:
At the altar, Mr. Middleton added a few little tweaks to make sure Kate was picture perfect:
Perhaps one of my personal favorite moments was when the congregation sang God Save the Queen. Mike’s demeanor during the rousing and patriotic hymn seemed convey the overarching theme of Kate’s fairytale: the girl from the home-counties marrying a prince. Standing just a few yards from the monarch herself, his daughter the freshly titled Duchess of Cambridge and future Queen of England, it must have been an extraordinary moment for him as a father and as a British citizen.
With his job done, Mr. Middleton was able to observe the final stages of the lavish wedding, as the Royal Family and the Middletons prepared to ext the Abbey together.
Michael was the last off the balcony, leaving William and Kate a final, private moment to wave and soak in the scene, before coming off, too. He walked her up the aisle at Westminster Abbey a commoner, and left her on the Buckingham Palace balcony with her new spouse, a Princess of the United Kingdom.
When William and Kate announced their engagement in November of 2010, the Middletons met the press outside their home, and Michael made a brief statement:
We all think [William] is wonderful and we are extremely fond of him. They make a lovely couple, they are great fun to be with, and we’ve had a lot of laughs together. We wish them every happiness for the future.
Certainly we all wish them that joy. Every parent wants to see their child happily settled, and it seems that all royal trappings aside, Mr. Middleton is very content that Kate has found her handsome prince. A very Happy 4th Anniversary to Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge!