Speaking as they stood arm-in-arm before photographers, and later as they gave a TV interview, Prince William said giving Kate his mother Diana's distinctive sapphire and diamond engagement ring was "my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement".Doomed, doomed, doomed from the start; St Diana will haunt the wedding and the marriage. I suppose we should have seen this coming. Ever since the Tragic Accident, people have been saying how young William had his mother's beauty (a beauty which itself is contestable; more a case of being expensively dressed than naturally blessed) and that he would inherit her virtue (again, questionable). So it is inevitable that her shade should be hanging around still. Giving your bride the engagement ring from your mother's failed marriage, however, seems like a bad omen and in bad taste.
He stressed that no-one was "trying to fill my mother's shoes". Miss Middleton paid tribute to the princess as an "inspirational woman".
Oh dear, new money. Courtiers are sneering, apparently, although the Daily Mail's correspondent defends her from the accusations of commonality, observing that the Middletons were big in Leeds; I am sure she is grateful for the support.
She was raised in a modern five-bedroom detached house in the Berkshire village of Bucklebury and her family, who are self-made millionaires, run a mail order toy and party goods company.
And then there is the matter of the venue; a Royal Correspondent writes:
I don't think William of all people wants to do a rerun of his parents' ill-fated marriage and for that reason I think the wedding is unlikely to be in St Paul's Cathedral.I think the Royal Correspondent needs to think outside the Square. This is a modern marriage and these are straitened times. Indeed, such are the times that the Royal Navy's next aircraft carrier, named for our own dear Queen, will have no aircraft and will be in use for only three years.
The Guards Chapel, which was the setting for the 10th anniversary memorial service for his late mother, I suspect, may be too small, given that we are talking about the marriage of a future king.
That's why inevitably, I suspect, the wedding will be at Westminster Abbey where, of course, his grandmother the Queen married in 1947.
An extravagant wedding would not do. Besides, all the roayal chapels are associated with Diana. Instead, let's put on the show on right here in the barn. Why not have the royal wedding in the Royal County? The service could be held at the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in Bucklebury.
Then they could go on to a local hostelry for the reception. Sad to tell, but the Cottage Inn at Upper Bucklebury is now closed. It had a family dining area and patio seating; it also had Greene King beer on tap, which is splendid stuff. But never mind, there is always the Bladebone Inn. It has a full menu, which includes soup (with rustic bread) and fishcake. There is a selection of sides and salads, while the pudding list includes Eton Mess, a reminder for William of school and being seperated from Mummy. And then they could go back to her parents' place for the reception. And perhaps her parents could provide decorations at a discount rate.