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Columns | "A Balloon In Cactus"

Royal Wedding Questions

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
Well, I don't know about the rest of you but I'm weddinged out. There hasn't been this much media coverage of an event since Lindsay Lohan's last arrest. Nothing wrong with the Royal Wedding's bride or groom, and nothing wrong with the opulent setting of Westminster Abbey, though I'm resisting the temptation to criticize some of those hats that looked like the women's heads had exploded in spaghetti, bowling balls and a few birds.

Questions were raised by my kids who viewed the event and thought there would be "at least 100 other people watching this, right mom?"

Questions from our kids can drive a mom insane because it's humiliating to have to say "I don't know dear," when moms are supposed to know everything. It's no longer enough for them to know we really do have eyes in the back of our head, now they want answers, too.

"Mom, what's a troth?" I thought it was a lazy troll (troll + sloth = troth.) My daughter had to wait another full day before I had time to find out that when we pledge our troth, we are pledging fidelity. Seems like overkill to me, since they had already pledged to "forsake all others" and keep one another "only unto him/her." Poetic and lovely, but redundant. Not wishing to editorialize, I just told her "fidelity" and to look it up.
Royal Wedding Unknown  Warrior
 
The kicker question which required research was "What's that square in the floor that everybody is walking around?" I wanted to know that as well and learned that it is the burial place of The Unknown Warrior from World War I. In that hallowed spot upon which not even kings and queens may trod, lies an unidentified British soldier killed on the battlefield during World War 1. He was buried in Westminster Abbey on November 11, 1920. There are many graves on the Abbey floors, including Chaucer, Dickens, Austen, both Bronte sisters, Kipling and, well, you get the point, but The Unknown Warrior's is the only grave which is forbidden to step on.

Thanks to the Internet, I was able to answer the questions of my curious kids, all questions except one. We just cannot figure out why everybody calls the bride Kate with a K when her full first name of Catherine is spelled with a C.

©
Maggie Van Ostrand
"A Balloon In Cactus"
May 2, 2011 column
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