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A ginger-headed Brit and a dark-haired American–sound familiar? Yes, Harry and Meghan, but not so long ago this dark-haired American married her own Brit.¬† Apparently fair-headed British guys can’t quite resist us brunettes, American or not (we won’t mention the fact that Meghan and Kate are probably a good six inches taller than I ūüôā ).

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But in case you’re somehow clueless about what I’m going on about, Prince Harry, grandson of the current British Monarch, and American actress Meghan Markle’s wedding is coming up this Saturday, May 19. Another wedding as grand as this one won’t be seen until wee Prince George gets married. So whether you consider yourself an Anglophile or a fan of the Royal Family or not, no one does pomp and circumstance quite like the British, and I’m sure the wedding will be full of fairytale magic aplenty–though all in tasteful British style (unless Meghan decides to add a bit of American sparkle to the affair!).

So just for (so much) fun, my friends, plus a few tips on throwing together your own wedding breakfast tea party to celebrate, here are a few facts and speculations about Harry and Meghan’s upcoming big day . . .

1.¬†The Location –¬†Harry and Meghan will be married at neither Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Catherine Middleton said their vows, nor St. Paul’s Cathedral, where Princess Diana and Prince Charles wed. Nope, Harry and Meghan’s “cozy” wedding will be at St. George’s Chapel, and the reception (for around 600 guests) at St. George’s Hall, both at Windsor Castle, a royal residence in the south of England. No Buckingham Palace means no iconic balcony kisses, such as we saw with William and Kate and many royals before (awww). And while royal weddings are traditionally held on a weekday, they are also breaking tradition by getting married on a Saturday. Following the reception, around 200 have been invited to a¬†private reception given by Prince Charles at Frogmore House on the castle grounds (where Harry and Meghan took their engagement photos).¬†

‚ô•¬†Your own living room, dining room, or sun porch will be just perfect for your wedding tea party (somewhere you can see the T.V.!). Don’t forget to add some British style bunting for a real British tea party effect.

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A snap I took of Windsor Castle and gardens when we visited before emigrating to the States

2. The Dec√≥r¬† –¬†¬†London-based florist Philippa Craddock was chosen by Meghan and Harry to design their flower arrangements. And the bouquet? White¬†garden roses, peonies, and foxgloves (two of the flowers I chose for my own wedding day!). The flowers will be locally sourced, in season, and reflect the wild and natural landscape of the surrounding English countryside. But one thing Meghan will have that I did not is sprigs of myrtle–from the very same plant used by Queen Victoria for her own wedding. Quite the family tradition! And of course there are speculations as to whether Meghan’s bouquet will pay tribute to Princess Diana’s.

♥ For your own wedding tea, why not gather wildflowers that reflect the beauty of your OWN local countryside?

@happylittlesighxt (5)Princess Diana, Harry’s mother, at her 1981 June wedding

3. The Reception¬† –¬†¬†Though we won’t get a balcony scene to ogle over, Harry and Meghan will have a carriage procession through Windsor immediately following the ceremony. Afterwards, rather than the sit-down lunch for 650 guests that William and Kate held for their guests at Buckingham Palace, Meghan and Harry have chosen ‚Äúbowl foods‚ÄĚ for their wedding reception, with ‚Äúmini main courses‚ÄĚ (not sure about you, but if I were somehow lucky enough to be invited, I’d be terrified of dripping something down the front of my dress!). But a¬†standing reception will allow Harry and Meghan more of a chance to mingle with their guests compared to a traditional sit-down event. I was a little surprised at this choice for a royal wedding, though it reflects Harry and Meghan‚Äôs less-fuss approach. And it seems that¬†as sixth in line to the throne, Harry and his bride had more flexibility.

And on the menu? According to royal chef Mark Flanagan, Meghan and Harry have ‚Äúbeen involved in every detail.” And apparently the local vegetables are all doing their part and coming into season just in time to land on the royal wedding table–er, in the royal wedding bowls. While the exact dishes to be served remain a secret, Mr. Flanagan did say that tried, true, classic foods will be most likely. One thing we do, know, however is that Meghan and Harry‚Äôs wedding cake, which will also be served to guests, is lemon and elderflower with a buttercream frosting and fresh flowers to decorate. Sounds delish, and much nicer than the traditional British wedding fruitcake!

‚ô• The wedding will be early in the morning for us here in the States, so why not serve lemon pound cake or lemon poppyseed muffins (as tribute to the lemon wedding cake), along with fruit salad, sausages, quiche, and other breakfast foods for your guests to enjoy? You could also try to locate some sparkling elderflower juice for something new!

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Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s 2011 wedding cake

4. The Dress¬† –¬† The style and designer of Meghan’s wedding dress is undoubtedly the biggest secret of the day–and the most fun thing to speculate about! In a Glamour interview about her Suits television character’s wedding dress, Meghan said, “my personal style‚ÄĒwedding or not‚ÄĒis very pared down and relaxed. Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.” I’m willing to bet her dress will have less lace and beadwork than sister-in-law Kate’s–but will she be modern and relaxed enough to go for silky fabrics and a skinnier silhouette? There is also debate about whether or not Meghan will be wearing a tiara. I hope she does–a fairytale wedding wouldn’t be complete without one! And what about her hair–up or down? So much for us to wonder about, so much for us to look forward to seeing on the big day.¬†

A few things we do know–one tradition the couple will be keeping is that Prince Harry won’t see his bride in her wedding dress before she walks down the aisle. Also, Meghan will probably have two dresses–one for the ceremony and one for the reception. And last, but apparently not least, Meghan–along with Kate and the Queen–will most likely be wearing pale pink or clear nail polish. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a photo of Kate Middleton with red fingernails (although she sometimes wears it on her toes ūüôā ). And reportedly, the Queen has been wearing the same pale shade of polish, Essie’s Ballet Slippers, since 1989. A small thing for a girl to give up in exchange for being a royal.¬†

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William and Kate’s balcony kiss

‚ô• You may decide to watch the royal wedding with your favorite mug . . . and in your favorite PJs. But if you are throwing a wedding breakfast tea, don’t forget to dust off your hat (or pick up one from a thrift store). You can always add lace, netting, or flowers. Or buy a headband and make it into a fascinator, taking inspiration from Prince William’s cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie. Don’t forget to paint your nails a delicate shade of pink!

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Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie at William and Kate’s 2011 wedding

Whatever ends up inside those bowls of food, whatever the shape of the dress, whatever the color of those soon-to-be-royal nails, the day is sure to evoke a few wistful sighs from us all. I’d so, so love to hear your thoughts and best guesses for the day! Also, I’ll be joining a few friends to celebrate, and would love to have you along! Comment below, or find me on Instagram or Facebook @happylittlesigh.¬†

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Me with my ginger-headed Brit on our own May wedding day

Avonlea xo

 

happylittlesigh.com

Finding beauty in the everyday ♥

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Do you suppose that as Prince William slipped the gold ring onto his bride’s finger last Friday that¬†her mother might have turned to¬†Kate’s father and whispered, “I¬†was sure¬†she could not be so beautiful for nothing!” just as Mrs. Bennett said to her eldest daughter Jane after the announcement of her engagement to the wealthy Mr. Bingley in Pride and Prejudice.

Even more than we like the princess getting the prince, we do so like it when the Cinderella–the common girl–gets the prince,¬†do we not? So long as she is good and worthy, of course, and from what we can tell, Kate Middleton–or the Duchess of Cambridge, I suppose we must now address her–does seem to fit the shoe very well.

As¬†Kate stepped¬†onto the Buckingham Palace balcony and saw the crowds waving and cheering below, her first word was “Wow.”¬†I smiled to myself, for it gave me the tiniest glimpse of what it must be like to be in her real life princess shoes. To be suddenly moved from just another middle class girl to the wife of the future king. Wow indeed.

He stood staring into the wood for a minute, then said: "What is it about the English countryside ‚ÄĒ why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so?" ~ I Capture the Castle

And speaking of first lines, how well-acquainted are you with some of our other favourite literary heroines? Can you identify the below novels by their first lines?

  1. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
  2. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
  3. Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow . . .
  4. There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.
  5. “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
  6. “The Signora had no business to do it,”¬†said Miss Bartlett, “no business at all.”
  7. The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex.
  8. I wish I could write that I began my journey by train.
  9. It is a truth universally acknowledged,  that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
  10. To begin with the old rigmarole of childhood.
  11. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
  12. ‘HASTE TO THE WEDDING’ ‘Wooed and married and a’.’
  13. When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.
  14. Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day.
  15. Once on a dark winter’s day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.
  16. I have just returned from a visit to my landlord–the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.
  17. Scarlet O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.
  18. No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.

~ ANSWERS BELOW ~

1. Middlemarch by George Eliot

2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

3. Anne of  Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

6. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

8. Beyond the Castle by Avonlea Q. Krueger *

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

10. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

11. Emma  by Jane Austen

12. North  and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

13. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

14. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

15. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

17. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

18. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

*Ah, I couldn’t help but add the first line to my own novel, Beyond the Castle. My heroine’s name is Florence Elliot, and I think you shall like her very much. I hope to give you the chance to get to know her better in the weeks to come!

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Coming up in my next post, more on the life of Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre, as well as film locations and other information on the most recent adaptation of the novel.

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There’s to be a wedding–a royal wedding! And I’m more than a little pleased to be living in The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for this fairytale event. For what could be more fairytale-like than an average girl marrying a real prince? Prince William, heir to the throne, met Catherine Middletone, or Kate, as she is called, at St Andrews University in Scotland. She’s not a princess, a duchess, or lady (though she will inherit a title after the wedding), and yet she is marrying a prince. The last time a commoner married a future king of England was in 1660. Sigh . . .

They’re a handsome couple, are they not?

Prince William and Kate Middleton at their engagement photo shoot.

Love, weddings, and things of beauty are worth celebrating,¬†and I do believe that this wedding will be a beautiful event. It’s also a truly good excuse to dust off your china (or your mugs) and have some friends round for a cup of tea. Add some Scottish shortbread, scones with jam and clotted cream, and perhaps a few cucumber sandwiches, and your spread will be British enough to feel you’re joining in on Kate and Wills’s big day.

For those of you who aren’t regular tea drinkers, but would like a British experience, Britain’s favourite tea is black tea (Tetley¬†or Scottish Blend are two favourite brands), one tea bag per cup or three to a pot. It’s usually served with a splash of milk (though I take mine black), and very occasionally with a bit of sugar. Shortbread can be found the world over, I believe. I’m not so sure about clotted cream, but this can be replaced with mascarpone cheese. Either taste delicious when combined with a good strawberry or raspberry jam.

Don’t forget a pretty tablecloth and napkins, along with some fresh flowers for your table.

If you’d like to do a bit more, ask your guests to dress up in your favourite British era, be it medieval, Georgian, Victorian, or even the 1960s.

If children will be present, decorate some fairycakes (cupcakes) with little crowns or the Union Jack (our flag). To keep them busy, click on the following link for free colouring sheets of Prince William and Kate and other fun activities centred around the royal wedding.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/the_royal_wedding.htm

Scones with clotted cream and jam

Although the guests will begin to arrive at the abbey at around 9am, the bride will arrive at 11am on Friday, 29th April. This is 6am for the eastern part of the United States, so if you live in America, or another part of the world where the wedding is at a time that makes it difficult to watch, then record it to watch later.

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Some other details from the wedding:

  • The fashion savvy Kate Middleton will wear a dress which she designed herself! The design is rumoured to be reminiscent of the Renaissance period, taking inspiration from¬†her History of Art degree.
  • Kate will be driven¬†in a Rolls Royce¬†through London to Westminster Abbey along the traditional processional route of the Mall, Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and Parliament Square.
  • Prince William will travel in a Bentley, accompanied by his brother, Prince Harry.
  • The service will be conducted by the dean of the abbey, the Very Rev John Hall. The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, will marry the couple and the Right Rev Richard Chartres, the bishop of London and a longstanding friend of the royal family, will give the address.
  • Prince Harry is to be the best man and Kate has asked her younger sister Philippa – known to her family as Pippa – to be her maid of honour.
  • At the end of the service, the couple will travel by carriage to Buckingham Palace.
  • The Queen will give a lunchtime reception a Buckingham Palace. During the reception the couple will appear on the Buckingham Palace Balcony.
  • In the evening, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, will give a dinner at Buckingham Palace for the couple and their close friends and family.
  • Details on the honeymoon have yet to be announced!

For more information, photographs, and videos about the music, menu, and magic of this royal event, visit the official royal wedding website at http://www.officialroyalwedding2011.org/tag/homepage/page/1

~ Do tell me how  you celebrated the day!

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