Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happily Ever After

A funny thing happened Friday morning somewhere between my Cheerios breakfast and grilled cheese lunch. In the middle of my very normal day, I got to see a fairy tale come to life.

Up until the night before Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding, I really had not paid much attention to the couple, or the events unfolding half a world away. Why should I? My love affair with England can be narrowed down rather succinctly to the years between 1810 and 1825 or so. Not strictly Regency, but close enough. And not even the Britain of real life, actually. Just the one where dashing earls and dukes win over their headstrong ladies, and the servants are always happily loyal and the smell of hothouse flowers and beeswax candles can drown out even the worst smells of the city.

I’m well aware that the London of today is very modern, with their share of political unease and clashing of classes. The era of the haute ton and all the finery and privilege is well and truly over.

But for some strange reason, the young girl within me stirred to life as the excitement built the day before the royal wedding. What would a rags-to-riches, modern day princess-to-be wear on her wedding day? Would people still throng the streets, looking for a glimpse of the happy couple like they had three decades earlier?

On a whim, I called a friend a little after nine that night and asked if she wanted to join me to watch the recorded wedding. She did, and by the time she arrived the next morning, I was assembling the ingredients for some remarkably delicious scones and heating the water for tea. She had worn a rather fetching hat of her daughters, while I had opted for my own mini fascinator.

With warm scones in hand and freshly steeped tea on the coffee table, we hit play and settled in to watch the wedding of the decade.

The two princes were handsome in their respective uniforms, Prince William looking a bit nervous while Harry flashed his cheeky grin. We giggled together like school girls as the men strode into the church, strong, and young, and delightfully happy. We watched with awe—and some laughter—as the guests arrived. The gravity defying headpieces of the ladies, the debonair morning suits of the men—it was all so very British.

At last we saw a flash of white as the bride was whisked into her waiting car and ferried across town to the Abbey. We held our breath and waited, hoping against hope that her dress would be perfect—the fairytale gown that we secretly wanted it to be.

The car stopped, the bride disembarked, and the world collectively gasped at the utter perfection of the moment. The dress exceeded my every hope, the veil was divine, and the tiara made every woman in the world smile and nod approvingly. No garish jewels, or plunging necklines, or modern silhouettes. Just the personification of grace and beauty.

We watched her every step as she and her father proceeded up the aisle, angelic music rising through the trees into the soaring rafters. The abbey seemed alive at that moment, filled with palpable joy, and hopes, and whimsy.

At last they reached the alter, and the groom held out as long as he could before finally turning to see his bride. We sighed with satisfaction at the look of honest love and admiration he bestowed on his soon-to-be wife. After a beautiful ceremony—one that felt as though it really meant something—the deed was done, and the newlyweds made their way to the waiting carriage. I think we all read Catherine’s lips and grinned when she said, “I’m so happy!” at the end of it all.

We watched as they made the journey to the palace, waving regally from the century old carriage. Flags waved, people cheered, and good wishes abounded until finally the couple emerged on the famous balcony.

Then, at last, the prince kissed his princess, and the whole world cheered. And then they did it again, just because they could :)

My hubby asked me later what on earth the big deal was, because for the life of him he couldn’t see it. I think it was just a perfect moment in time, when we could all believe in love, and fairytales, and a genuine happily ever after. With a happy sigh I can go back to writing my own HEAs, knowing that, somewhere in the world, a prince has chosen his princess not for her connections, not for money, and not because anyone told him to. No, he chose her only for love, and I’ll drink (tea) to that.

Did you watch the royal wedding? Were you one of the diehards who set the alarm for unspeakably early hours in order to watch it live? Were you mocked by husbands/boyfriends/bosses/friends? And was it all worth it? :)

I had a completely different recipe ready for this week’s blog, but changed my mind after the scones turned out so dag gone delicious. Here’s to the happy newlyweds!

Union Jack Scones (red, white, and blue, of course!)

(Slightly altered from recipe found here)

1/2 cup (1 stick) frozen unsalted butter

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large egg

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/3 cup strawberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a food processor with grating blade, grate the butter. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, in a separate bowl, then pour over grated butter and pulse until combined. Add sour cream and egg, and pulse again until combined.

Toss in blueberries and strawberries, and lightly pulse until just combined. Turn dough out onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Pat into an inch thick round, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles, and separate them on the parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Bake until golden, about 14-17 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve with whipped cream.


  1. You had me at scones! I'll admit, I only caught the tail end of the wedding coverage. I turned on the TV and saw Pippa and thought she was Catherine. Oops! They're both gorgeous.

    I have gone back and watched snippets and looked at the photos. The pair looks happy, and I hope they stay that way.

    I'm excited to try the scone recipe. We've been eating them for breakfast, or with dinner (not every day!), and I'm hooked.

  2. Yay for scones breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Gwen! I hope you'll let me know how they turn out. They are outstanding with just the blueberries, too, if you aren't looking to match the Union Jack colors, lol.

    And I actually had a moment of confusion about Pippa because that was the sort of dress I *expected* Catherine to wear. I agree they both looked amazing—and so happy :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love scones, and will be looking to try this recipe.

    I did watch the wedding...because the cats woke me up at 3am, and what better to do with my time? Write, maybe? Ah, well, royal weddings don't come along all that often, and this one was truly elegant. William and Kate seem genuinely happy, and I hope the stress of being royal does nothing to change that for either of them.

  4. Any substitutes for the blueberries? I am not a blueberry fan.

    I did not set an alarm and watch the wedding when it happened. I did DVR the event and watched the good parts fast forwarding through commentary.

    And I watched some of the BBCA biography stories. While Catherine looked great too, I loved Pippa's dress.

  5. It truly was a perfect wedding. It was one of the rare times where everything else fades into the background and you become part of someone elses moment. Thank you for the invite to share the scones in person. I can't wait to describe the "where were you when William and Kate got married" moment in years to come. I have a great memory to tell.

  6. I love that picture of you and the Royal kiss in the background:) I too was surprised at how sucked in I got...it was a couple of hours of just smiling and feeling happy and that felt darn good. So glad I watched! Wish I had been able to have some scones for the occasion:)

  7. L.J., I totally agree that these sorts of events only come along every couple of decades - why not indulge! And let me know what you think of the scones if you make them :)

  8. Beth, the substitutes for blueberries are many! You can leave out the fruit and instead add chocolate chips, almonds and cherries, orange or lemon zest, even savories like ham and cheese!
    And I too enjoyed the benefits of the fast forward button during some of the footage ;)

  9. Anon, well said! I'm so glad we could share the experience together :) Thanks for being my partner in crime!

  10. Kara, I'll second the 'so glad I watched'! Decades from now, when their children marry, we can look back with great fondness on that day :)
    Maybe if you come to visit, I will ply you with scones each morning... :)

  11. I recorded it and watched it later with my Mom - loved every minute! My husband mocked the whole thing quite a bit leading up to the event, but patiently sat through it while we watched (entertained by some game on his iPad)!

  12. LOL, Jenn - my husband mocked me both before and after the event. He was at work when I watched it, so I had peace and quiet. Interestingly, he seemed to know an *awful* lot about the details... ;)

  13. Confession 1: I would totally disgusted with all the attention it was getting on our big cable networks.

    Confession 2: I watched every minute of the wedding and was as excited as a little girl who believes she is a princess.

    I think that this wedding just brought out all of our long-held dreams and reminded us that dreams really DO come true and happiness is still in this world. :)

  14. BookGeek, I do believe we have very similar confessions, lol! Sigh, I really do love when dreams come true :)
    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  15. Aw, I just love a happy ending! And thanks for the awesome scones recipe!