Royal Wedding: Royal finery and my mum’s rollers - Jo Davison

Magic moments: Jo Davison and her mum loving the big occasion.
Magic moments: Jo Davison and her mum loving the big occasion.
0
Have your say

The groom had just stepped into Westminster Abbey when Mother arrived.

William, tall, straight-shouldered; resplendent in the most handsome outfit a man can ever wear - full military uniform, with all the trimmings.

Mother, growing ever-smaller with each advancing year, clad not in the twinset and pearls occasion surely demanded, but her customary jeans and a bit of a shocker by way of accessories. Rollers under a headscarf.

She had a hectic social itinerary for the Royal Wedding, she explained airily. After me, she was off to a barbecue in Rotherham. Ah, well.

Prince William had Harry in tow, the first Royal best man in history. Mother had her version; my step-father.

We were doing what millions of families across the globe were at that moment on Friday, April 29; uniting to watch Diana’s boy wed and the beautiful Kate become a Princess.

Well, almost; there’s still a bit of Royal red tape to unwind first.

Mother is 80, her husband Roy almost 82. They have seen four monarchs on the throne. They watched Princess Elizabeth marry Philip, then her Coronation, and Prince Charles tie the knot with Lady Di.

But this Royal event was the special one. The one that was set to brim with emotion.

I’d wiped the first set of tears from my eyes at the sight of Diana’s boys being driven to Westminster Abbey, brothers in arms. They must have been thinking of their mother more than ever.

Then another mother set me off again. Carol Middleton, looking chic in slender lines of pearl grey, about to watch the storybook ending she must have read again and again to two sleepy little girls over 20 years ago come true for one of them. How scared, how elated, how bursting with pride she must have felt; how little of that she managed to show.

One of my mother’s classic observations pulled me up short, though. “Just look at those two,” she tutted at the Duke of York’s girls. She was right; as usual.

Beatrice and Eugenie had turned out like a couple of circus ponies What was that ridiculous assembly of circles on Beatrice’s head supposed to be - an homage to the London Olympics?

“But look at the Queen in yellow, perfectly co-ordinating with the Dean of Westminster. And what about Camilla,” I sighed, as Charles arrived with his Duchess. Clad in a champagne silk dress and duck egg blue coat, she looked a picture of elegance.

Begrudgingly (she still hasn’t forgiven Camilla) Mother had to agree that the woman we’d once derided as horsey-plain did scrub up well. I ventured the opinion that she might even have given Diana a run for her money. At that, Mother’s eyes went misty.

“Oh, Diana. Her ghost has been there right the way through all of this,” she sighed.

I couldn’t disagree.

While we’d been talking outfits and Di’s demise - as had every other woman in the country, I imagine - the men were entranced by the cars. Daimlers, Rolls Royces and those dinky little Mercedes minibuses, modern practicality.

They barely noticed that in the glass-topped car sat the bride and her dazed-looking dad Michael.

Before we’d got to our cream scones and Buck’s Fizz, the bride was walking through the avenue of trees lining the Abbey to a destiny she could never have dreamed of before she signed up for St Andrew’s University.

And how absolutely did this lovely, normal girl, surely the best tonic the Royal family could ever have been prescribed, get it right?

Her magnificent lace-sleeved gown, its deeply-pleated skirt highlighting her tiny waist, had been created by designer Sarah Burton from the House of Alexander McQueen. It was simply majestic.

“Lovely... but a miserable little bouquet she’s got. And that veil looks to be hanging a bit limp,” opined the woman who bore me.

“Well I think she looks very nice,” said my step-father.

“It’s his finest accolade.

“He said that to me when I got to the altar,” said Mother.

Well, I thought the commoner looked more classically, quintessentially Royal than most of the modern Royals put together. I loved the sweet, unaffected little posy of lily of the valley.

The magic moments we all agreed on? The way the ring took a bit of a push to get over Kate’s knuckle.

The eyebrows-raised looks of mock shock Kate and William shot at each other as the Dean told them: “You have both made your decision today...”

The rousing strains of Jerusalem; the infectious joy of the crowds who waited and waited to see the stars of an event that was both incomparably magnificent British spectacle and the charming, intimate sealing of an honest- to-goodness love affair.

The finale, the endearing little flourish which spoke volumes about William and Kate. The groom driving his bride in his old dad’s Aston Martin, balloons streaming, L-plate on the front, “Just Wed” on the number plate.

Just one very happy young couple, setting out on one heck of a journey. Together.