Pomp and Crumpets

Well, the wedding is over. Thank God. Before we move on to talk about matters more important, like bacon and vikings, let's engage in some sport. 

I did NOT get up at 4 am to watch the wedding, unlike many friends on my Twitter feed. In fact, I forgot about it until I flipped on the TV this morning. As Meredith Vieira gushed about the gown, Steve walked into the room and let out a royal "FUCK." He isn't looking forward to walking past the jumbotron in Times Square, which is showing the wedding live. 

Munching on the bagel, Jonah sat down to watch the couple wave at the crowds. I told him that the only reason that we were watching this guy on TV was because his ancestors killed a lot of people and stole all their money. Ian wanted to know if Prince William was a bank robber. 

I was curious to see what Kate's dress looked like. It was a fairly open secret that someone from Alexander McQueen's house was going to make the dress. Poor old McQueen is dead. He would have made a fabulous dress, I think. Even without him at the helm, I was sure that I was going to see something fabulous. I mean McQueen made this:


and this


I expected drama and avant-garde. Instead, we got this. 


Which is perfectly fine, but it isn't exactly a game changer. It's been done before.


OK, that's all that interested me about this wedding. What else is there to talk about? 

UPDATE: More Kate snark here

Best Photoshop of Princess Whats-her-face's hat

Pippa looks more zippity. (I just love that word.) 


18 thoughts on “Pomp and Crumpets

  1. Isn’t that a little off, that William’s ancestors killed people and stole their money? Everyone today would be descended from the Plantagenets (or various Irish princelings, if you’re named McKenna), so everyone is a descendant of murderous warlords. Prince William is prince because he is, basically, the heir to William the Conqueror under the laws of primogeniture, and the rest of us are, so to speak, younger sons.

  2. What rest of us? My ancestors were under the British crown at times but they didn’t have any choice in the matter and they did very well at using extra-legal means to make control difficult.

  3. My ancestors killed a lot of people and stole things but were more ecumenical about the latter: money, people, movable goods, anything that could be pried up. Come to think of it, the same goes for William since the Normans were Vikings, too!
    I had a rollicking good time watching the wedding but, as a British historian, I guess you’d expect that.

  4. Janice,
    Mine too!
    If anybody here had ancestors who were despoiled, ravished or murdered by Vikings, print this out and take it to the nearest IKEA for a complimentary bag of meatballs. We are very sorry for the inconvenience and promise not to do it again.

  5. An old, old, old family story, which is probably untrue…
    McKennas are from Northern Ireland. When Cromwell went through the McKenna territory, he captured the Big Cheese of McKenna’s and told him to change his last name to Kenna and to convert. He refused. So, Cromwell chopped off his head and gave it to his widow.

  6. Are the Windsors more German (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and the Electress of Hanover) or Dutch (Wm of Orange and the Glorious Invasion Revolution) at this point?

  7. If you go back far enough, there is the theory that everyone of European ancestry is descended from Charlemagne.
    With a little effort, almost everyone of European descent can find the path to Charlemagne. If your ancestors are from England or Scotland your connection often runs through William of Normandy and a bunch of other tourists from France who visited England in 1066.
    Given that the average generation is 30 years2, if you go back to 800 that’s about 40 generations. Potentially you have 240 ancestors. That’s more than 1 trillion ancestors alive in 800. I don’t know what the population of Europe was in 800 but I strongly suspect it wasn’t even close to one trillion people. I suspect it was only about 25 million. It’s not surprising that you are related to many of them.

  8. He’s no descendent of William I. He’s a Hanover (they’re German — to put this in perspective some lunatic in my family has traced us back to the 1700s, all farmers in or around Ormskirk till the 1900s — with some moving to Derbyshire and then to Samoa — so we are Lacnastrian).
    We kept stealing till WWII, then went bankrupt and gave our remaining colonies away in the most irresponsible way possible. Still, we have one thing in all that history to be proud of, the day when Attlee Churchill and Greenwood decided not to sue for peace with Hitler via Mussolini. Some day in May 1940.
    That’s the government’s dealings with the rest of the world. We have other things to be proud of, like Wycliffe translating the bible into the vernacular and more or less inventing cricket (if we did that, noone really knows).
    Oh, and Cromwell chopping off another head, not your ancestor’s Laura, sorry about that.

  9. Some of my genealogically minded Southern relatives say that one of our remote relatives (not sure if it’s an ancestor exactly) was a Cherokee Indian who fought for the Confederacy and died in a Union prison. That’s another too good to check story, although it’s not actually absurd, for the following reasons:
    1. That branch of my family has spent a lot of time in and out of Arkansas and Oklahoma, which is where you would expect to find Cherokees.
    2. The Cherokee did own black slaves and did side with the Confederacy.
    However, it’s a little bit too good to be true. It’s the sort of story that might migrate from the pages of light literature into family history, or that might have really happened to one person, but then gotten appropriated by a different family (as probably in Laura’s case).
    Here’s a nice little piece explaining “Why Your Great-Grandmother Wasn’t a Cherokee Princess.”

  10. The odds of having an Irish ancestor killed by Cromwell are actually very high. The odds of one having a face to face conversation/apostasy option may be smaller.

  11. My family traces its tiny Scottish trace to “kicked out by Cromwell,” although by that we don’t mean the man himself but just Puritanism in general. (Also explains why there’s no tartan to upholster things with–stopped being in Scotland before they had such.)
    Do you ever wonder if some of those 100th in line for the British throne people have King Ralph-sort of inheritance fantasies? And do those fantasies involve fascinators?

  12. harry b:
    William I-Henry I-Matilda-Henry II-John-Henry III-Edward I-Edward II-Edward III-John of Gaunt-John Beaufort-John, Duke of Somerset-Margaret Beaufort-Henry VII-Margaret Tudor-James V of Scotland-Mary, Queen of Scots-James I-Elizabeth-Sophia-George I-George II-Frederick-George III-Edward, Duke of Kent-Victoria-Edward VII-George V-George VI-Elizabeth II-Charles-William.
    Depending on how you resolve various issues, there may be people with better (in terms of primogeniture) descents, but not many, and in any case history has resolved those various issues in favor of young William.

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