Rule Britannia

Guess where I am! You'll never guess! Let me give you a hint!

Alright, that was less of a hint and more of a straightforward answer, but in case you didn't get it, I'm in London. It is the eve of the Royal Wedding and I am feeling very, very excited indeed. And trust me, I hadn't been feeling particularly excited up until this point---I was more sort of "eh" about the whole thing, as I think quite a few English people are, particularly girls born between 1980 and 1986, who always held out hope that one day they'd grow up to marry Prince William---but now that I'm here, and it's happening tomorrow, and they played a stirring rendition of "God Save the Queen" overhead while we all stood in line at airport immigration, and every single shop has bunting in the windows, and all my British friends are writing Facebook status updates about how they're frosting cupcakes for street parties, and I've read two back-to-back Hello magazines with Kate Middleton on the front, and I know I can wake up tomorrow and look out of my window to see parades passing down the street.... well, now I'm excited. Truthfully, it feels a little bit like Christmas Eve here at the moment. Everyone seems poised on the edge of something.

Me, I am mostly poised on the edge of a jetlag crash, but that's my own fault. I woke up in San Francisco at 4am on Tuesday, caught a 6:30am flight to JFK, and arrived in New York just after 3pm. From there, I spent a few very pleasant hours in the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Lounge, eating a truffled mushroom quiche while catching up on work, before boarding my 6:30pm flight to London, which turned into my 8pm flight to London after we sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half because of fog.

Funny thing about flying Upper Class, though, which, thanks to work, I was fortunate enough to be doing,  is that you are wholly unbothered by hour-and-a-half tarmac delays. So hang on. Let me get this straight:  you want to extend the number of hours I can sit here in my cozy pod with a blanket wrapped around my feet, watching on-demand movies while you bring me a cheese plate and a dish of olives and another glass of champagne and a set of pajamas to change into later? Well, screw an hour and a half, let's make it a three hour delay. Five! Six! Bring it on!

When I arrived in London, I was hit by a powerful wave of nostalgia, which often happens to me at Heathrow Airport. Until I was eleven, I loved Heathrow Airport because it meant we were home visiting for the summer. Between the ages of eleven and eighteen, I hated it, because it meant I was back at school, away from my parents, and about to be socked in the head with a long and inevitable bout of homesickenss. From nineteen to twenty-two, it was the place Sean and I said goodbye again and again, the place I flew into with a broken heart. It's only recently, in the last few years or so, that landing at Heathrow has become a pleasant thing again. It signifies home.

Which is silly, really: I live in San Francisco.

It might be, however, that I am now biased towards Heathrow Airport in a way that I never have been before, having spent a glorious two hours, after clearing immigration and customs, in Virgin's Revivals Lounge, where I had, in this order: a cappuccino, a bacon sandwich, a shot of carrot juice, a fruit salad, a facial, a shower, and a cup of tea.

Yes, I said a facial. A facial in an airport. Can you even?

This is me when I arrived at the Revivals Lounge. I looked exactly like I felt.

Then I had a shower, even though I had a moment's hesitation about undressing in an airport---what if there's a terrorist attack and we all have to evacuate? And I'm in a robe?---because I couldn't resist the shower gel. How could you resist this shower gel?

Afterwards, I felt like an entirely new person, despite the fact that I had to put the same outfit straight back on afterwards.

Here is how you make your picture extra super classy, by the way: be sure and get the toilet paper holder in the background.

Finally, I had to leave the cucoon of the Revivals lounge and head out into London proper, which was rather a cruel wakeup call if I do say so myself---"What? I can't get a facial in the tube station? What do you mean I can't get a facial in the tube station?"---but the journey turned out to be painless and soon I was at my hotel, and now I am probably just going to stay here forever and ever and ever, because turns out this hotel is my new favorite place in the world, so maybe they'll just let me move my husband and my cats in and we can call it good.

(I would like to note that, in the time it took me to post those pictures, someone came in to turn my bed down and left me two slices of banana bread, a thermos of cammomile tea, and two chocolate caramels on my pillow. I hope they realize this means that they will have to load my dead body out of the front floor-to-ceiling window, because it's the only way I'm leaving. Let's not make a scene, okay, hotel? Just let me stay forever.) 

Tomorrow I'm going to get up and head out to do what I came here to do, which is to take a bunch of pictures of the Royal Wedding, and then we're going to meet back here because I have a feeling I'm really, really going to need to discuss it. Are you watching it? Are you excited? Will it be you who bursts through the doors of Westminster Abbey, Benjamin Braddock-style, during the part where the vicar asks if anyone knows a reason these two should not be joined in holy matrimony, and shouts "WILLIAM! WILLIAM! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!"? If so, good luck getting past me.

Apr 28, 2011

The one and only time I got to fly up in the front of the plane with the privileged people, I didn't want to get off the plane. I refused to take my Ambien, because I didn't want to miss a SECOND of the free drinks/filet Mignon/movies.

And as to the wedding, when I was ten, I saw a special on Lady Di and her kids, and when I realized that William and I were born in the same year, I knew it was fate and that we were to be forever wed.

My parents just asked me yesterday if I was sad that he choose someone else...and my dad's still miffed the invitation never showed up.

I can't wait to see pictures!

Lauren E. E.
Apr 28, 2011

The jealousy I'm feeling right now just isn't healthy. Have an amazing time and enjoy it all for the rest of us stuck in our normal, non-royal, boring lives. SIGH. Can't wait to read/see more! (Honestly.)

Laura B.
Apr 28, 2011

I'm an American girl born between 1980 and 1986 and believe me if I was in London right now I would so be fighting you to get to that altar! Its so funny because my husband does not understand one iota why I'm obsessed with everything William and Kate. How can I explain to him that there was always a teeeeeeeeeny part of me that thought, hey you know, it could happen! Can't wait to see your pictures!! I'll be up tonight at 3am (stupid California time!) watching with baited breath (and lots of coffee at work tomorrow, ugh!).

Apr 28, 2011

Oh, I am EXTREMELY jealous of you getting to be in London for the wedding, and of your glorious hotel. I'll be getting up in the middle of the night (UGH) to watch from the comfort of my own home, but I know it's going to be fabulous. Hope you have fun!

Apr 28, 2011

My green eyes have lit up at your Upper Class flight and that gorgeous hotel. Any chance we could job-share?
Tomorrow I'll be having an indoor picnic with friends and watching the wedding on TV, playing royal wedding bingo and playing (possibly just by myself) a drinking game based on bad hats and whether the Archbishop of Canterbury gives me a shout out during the ceremony. What do you mean 11am is too early for drinking games? It's a bank holiday!

Apr 28, 2011

Oh, I think it's rather exciting! I am not British, but I would love to be in London now to see the celebration. It's the ultimate fairy tale, and hopefully this marriage is a millions times better than the one before it. I can't wait to see pictures. However, I will not be up at 4 to watch the ceremony!

Liz M.
Apr 28, 2011

Wow, that is a truly gorgeous hotel. What's the name of it?

Apr 28, 2011

What an incredible opportunity. Your whole assignment is to take pictures of the wedding? Score!

Sensibly Sassy
Apr 28, 2011

That hotel room is to die for!-and you just might haha!
I am thrilled that I know someone that is "attending" you'll be like my roving reporter!

Apr 28, 2011

You're going to have to buy one of these plates while you're there, so. (And, if you can, watch the BBC's live coverage of Grazia's special issue's press day on Saturday. Too too much.)

Apr 28, 2011

I intend on making scones and tea for a VERY early breakfast tomorrow and tune in to see the wedding!

Apr 28, 2011

What are you doing living MY life? So unfair.

Apr 28, 2011

Am I watching it?! I have been counting down the days for months! I will be arriving at a pub, with a fabulous hat, ready for my full English, at approximately 4:30 in the morning.

Through a course of crazy crazy crazy coincidences, I was asked to be on the local news to discuss my opinion about the future of their marriage, which I agreed to do mainly because I thought there was a wee possibility that it would land me an invite. Surely Kate and Wills watch the Minneapolis local news? Apparently not. Needless to say, I'm dying of envy at the moment. First because you're in London, second for the banana bread.

But here's me on the news looking like a deer in headlights talking about Prince William, you know, if you're bored:

Apr 28, 2011

As a fellow Brit in SF, I felt faintly ridiculous purchasing tickets to a "Royal Ceremonial Ball" at the Mark Hopkins Hotel tomorrow night - in honour of the wedding, and the Queen's birthday.
However, I've been getting more excited as the day has come closer. If nothing else, it's an excuse to wear a gown and try to be elegant.

Pretzel Thief
Apr 28, 2011

Have an awesome time, Holly!

My brother has been living in London since last May but he's WILLINGLY escaped the wedding hooplah (typical boy) and gone to Serbia (Novi Sad) with his girlfriend to visit my mum. Granted, Novi Sad is very beautiful, but still!

Yeeees, I'll be watching...I mean, I'm in Australia, isn't it like a rule or something? Heh heh.

I know a lot of people are scoffing all, "Pfft, royal wedding, PLEASE." But I've always kind of liked William; he seems very down-to-earth, affable and warm.

I'm looking forward to seeing Kate's dress!

Apr 28, 2011

I will be checking back. I am getting up in the early a.m. to catch all the hubbub with however many of my 6 children I can make get up with me!!! Have a fabulous time and take lots of pictures for us regular folks here stateside!

Apr 28, 2011

I haven't been remotely interested in the wedding UNTIL NOW, HOLLY. Thanks a lot. (Be back tomorrow! Whee!)

Apr 28, 2011

Long time reader, first time commenter. Like whoorl, wasn't really into the wedding (in fact, was quite annoyed by the ridiculous amount of time every news report allotted to the wedding over the last month), but now I feel like someone I "know" is there and can't wait to read about the day according to Holly!

BTW: I covet your job. Also, your wonderfully-decorated/designed bedroom. While I'm at it, your kitchen chalkboard thingy, too. :)

Apr 28, 2011

I'm so excited for you! I live in California and I've set my alarm for 3am to get up to watch all the pomp and circumstance. I made scones today and I'm going to eat them and drink tea from a dainty teacup while I watch. I cannot wait to hear about your experience. Have fun!

Apr 28, 2011

I was in London in 1986 for Sarah & Andrew's wedding. They'll probably remember me if you ask them...I was the teenaged Canadian girl in the blue sweater (shaker-knit cause it was '86) on the corner just before you turn down the road to Westminster Abbey. Yes, THAT corner. The CBC news asked the crowd if there were any eligible girls who would like to marry Edward next and 14 year-old me put my hand up. Edward was cute back then and I would have looked good in a tiara.

Apr 29, 2011

I didn't think I'd care at all--whatever, he didn't pick me so I have no interest, that kind of thing. Then this morning as I was eating breakfast I watched replays on my computer and found myself tearing up. They're so young and fresh faced! Everyone is so excited! Kate Middleton is so pretty and trim and her hair is so shiny! Well, that last one makes me less excited and more pure jealous, especially because she is now married to a PRINCE.

Shelby Lou
Apr 29, 2011

That hotel is like a dream! I'm dying over here, knowing you are so close to the Royal Wedding. I woke up this morning and could barely control my giggles at how gorgeous Kate looked. (Like she is my old friend. bah!) Anyways, I love your blog. It's the best.

Apr 29, 2011

What hotel is that?? It looks so amazing.

Apr 29, 2011

Oh, I have been a royal watcher since my mom woke me up at an ungodly hour to watch the wedding of Charles and Dianna. This one is even better because they are actually in love and she is living a real life fairy tale. Oh how I wish I could be there. Please leave the hotel long enough to feel the ambiance of the crowd and report in the style in which only you can do. I will wait with baited breath.

Jun 22, 2011

Interesting post! Nice picture.

Jan 08, 2012

Hello Holly,

I hope you had a great first week at your new work!!
I will be travelling to London in April and am looking for a good hotel to stay. I remembered you went there for the wedding!!

Can I know what hotel is it that you stayed when you went for the royal wedding? :)

Thank you,

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