Here we go with the most exciting part of the day: the carriage procession!
After all of my media interviews were over, I realized it was almost go-time. It was seriously one of the fastest-moving days of my life. Why is that always the way? Boring old days at home seem to last forever!
My friends and I tried to check for updates online since we knew Meghan must have been en route from her hotel. Sadly, cell service started to get really spotty around that point.
I didn’t have problems earlier in the day, but once the crowds really packed in (people were still showing up right until the last minute) it all went downhill. I couldn’t get any social media sites or apps to load.
Eventually, my mom started texting me pictures and a few came through. I got to see Meghan’s dress – or at least the top of it – before her car drove past us on the way to the castle.
Sometime around 11:40 Meghan and her mother, Doria, went by in their car. Doria was on our side of The Long Walk but Meghan looked our way and waved. And she was STUNNING!
The car was driving fairly quickly so it was hard to snap a photo, and mine isn’t the greatest. But my friend standing next to me got a good one (thanks for letting me share this, Nicki!).
It was hard to tell what her dress was like from that brief glimpse, but Meghan looked radiant and happy, and her tiara and veil looked great. Everyone was screaming Meghan’s name and taking photos and it was all very exciting.
And then we waited!
The wedding ceremony
As I mentioned in my earlier posts, we weren’t near any of the big screens on The Long Walk. Which meant we didn’t actually see the wedding ceremony.
That was the only downside of the day, standing there waiting and not knowing what was going on or being able to see it. I didn’t really mind because we had such a great spot, plus the time passed quickly chatting with my friends.
Due to the phone service issues, we couldn’t get a live feed to work. Then, by some miracle, I got one to start streaming. This was in the middle of the sermon, and we all gathered around my phone.
The sun was baking and really bright, so it was hard to see the screen. The temp was in the low 70s, but it felt like at least 80. I was furiously reapplying sunscreen and wishing I’d brought a giant hat instead of a fascinator!
So we gathered our jackets and put them over our heads and Lauren, Nicki, Lindsay, and I sat in a circle on the ground in a makeshift tent and watched a little bit of the wedding. Such a fun memory!
People were starting to push up against the barrier so we called it a day with the live feed. Luckily, it was all pretty civilized. Not like the time I waited outside the theater to meet Daniel Radcliffe after How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and I thought I was going to get trampled. Broadway fangirls are RUTHLESS!
Finally, the moment I’d been waiting for 10 hours to arrive was here!
I heard the carriage procession before I saw it. People started cheering like crazy and waving British and American flags, and the atmosphere was electric.
Because of our carefully chosen spot next to the corner of The Long Walk (shout out to Lauren for doing the legwork) we saw the carriage process down the street and slow down around the turn, then travel in front of us, instead of it just whizzing past us. Because they had to slow down considerably to make that turn on The Long Walk, that meant we had a better and longer view.
It was a VERY surreal moment! They both looked so happy and I was just thrilled to be there. I know this sounds cheesy but it really felt like seeing a fairytale prince and princess, complete with the castle!
In my last post, I mentioned we’d chatted with David Hartley of People Magazine. He was next to us in the press pen, and we’d thought Meghan would be on our side of the carriage. It turned out she wasn’t, but Lauren promised she’d yell Meghan’s name at the top of her lungs to get her to turn our way so David could get a shot. Well, it worked!
David was nice enough to send me his photos and allow me to share them here. Aren’t they gorgeous? Thank you, David!
Once the carriage procession passed us, the day we’d all waited for so long to happen was over. In typical British fashion, the crowd was very controlled and well-managed, but there were still thousands of people all leaving the same place at one time.
Honestly, it’s about ten times worse trying to leave a concert in Philly. So many people told me I was crazy for going to such a large-scale event, but what’s the point in missing out on an exciting and historic moment because there might be some minor hassle?
It really wasn’t that bad and Lauren and I shuffled along the street much quicker than I expected to meet her husband, who was picking us up. Big thanks to him for driving me back to Park Farm!
A royally deserved rest
By the time we left The Long Walk I’d been awake for more than 15 hours. But despite the lack of sleep the night before, I hadn’t felt tired during the wedding day due to the fun and excitement.
And then I stopped moving.
Once I wasn’t running on adrenaline anymore I crashed pretty hard. Sadly, I had to turn down another interview opportunity with NBC10 because I was so tired I could barely move. I fell asleep for hours and was happy I had a quiet and comfy room to relax in while my family enjoyed Legoland Windsor.
When I finally woke up it was dinner time and the boys were back from Legoland. We headed across the street to The Prince Albert (very cute pub) and shared all of our stories from the day. Then, we watched my BBC interview on the computer and caught up on some of the pictures from the wedding.
Funnily enough, I didn’t actually get to watch the wedding ceremony until almost two weeks later when I got back to the States. It was something nice to look forward to when I got home and I definitely shed a tear or two!
So that’s a wrap on my royal wedding diary. I hope this was a fun look into what it was like to be there in Windsor.
To keep the celebration going I’ll be doing a giveaway with a few royal wedding souvenirs I picked up on my trip – stay tuned for the post coming soon!