Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding

****** A little girl of my generation grew up hearing bedtime stories featuring a handsome prince or two, wicked step-mothers, poisoned apples and golden coaches, industrious dwarfs, humble cottages, palaces and happy endings. No wonder I was fully enchanted to discover a genuine royal family living just across the Atlantic Ocean in a country filled with moated castles and diamond tiaras, not to mention a glorious history.

Accordingly, on November 20, 1947, at age ten, I demanded to be awakened in the pre-dawn hours to huddle beside the radio and share the BBC commentary of the Royal Wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, Prince of Greece and Denmark. Here is some information about him which is easily found on-line:

Prior to the official engagement announcement, he renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism, and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his British maternal grandparents. After an official engagement of five months, as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten he married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. On his marriage, he was granted the style of His Royal Highness and the title of Duke of Edinburgh by his father-in-law. Philip left active service, having reached the rank of Commander, when Elizabeth became Queen in 1952. His wife made him a Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957.

Tomorrow morning, I'll witness every second of the pageantry for which royals are famous, preserving the moments on my antiquated VCR equipment. I didn't own the technology, nor was it actually available, to tape the Charles and Diana nuptials, but a friend who was in London at the time brought me a salt and pepper set bearing their likenesses. Not worth much then because of the over-abundance of such commemorative kitsch, but when one considers subsequent events, perhaps their value will increase over time.

I can just see the grandchildren at the Antiques Roadshow ... "Oh, we've had these in the family for over fifty years", and being told they might fetch $50 at a specialty auction.

Enough. I'm off to check my video tape supply. Buck: Pour me a wee gin and tonic please, there's a good chap.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Unchained Melody

It is a way cool moment when you step into the kitchen for that first cup of coffee and discover a banana inscribed with the words "I love you". There it was, nestled with other pieces of fruit in the bowl, and I can't say the sight of it brought tears to my eyes, but it did inspire me to plan one of his favorite dishes for dinner. "And, what would that be?", I hear you ask. Whole chicken roasted, with red potatoes, haricots verts, home-made cranberry sauce, with roasted stone fruit served over vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Incidentally, Buck and I will celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary in November, and we have run the rapids with only minor abrasions and contusions to show for the journey ... so far. Sturdy equipment (a healthy sense of humor) and proper safety gear (we talk about everything) have helped maintain our equilibrium. Sharing a loving and healthy family is good too. Now that's a lovely bunch of bananas.


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