An un-Belieber tells: Why I missed the Royal Wedding
Hysteria. Queues. Outragious fashion. Prince Charming. We had it all on Friday night - in Homebush.
An hour before Kate swept gracefully into Westminster Abbey, I made my own dramatic entrance, swept off my feet by some moss and down my friend’s front steps in Balmain, taking out a large pot plant and fracturing my toe (now purple).
Sprawled across the damp pavers - a potted azalea in my lap, bits of me hurting but I wasn’t sure which yet - I took one look at my 12-year-old and saw that she had crowned me, in that moment, the Most Embarrassing Mum Ever.
Was it time to give up on the Princess dream, I wondered, after the wedding coverage started. I was trapped, by then, 60 crazed-fans deep and 50 wide in a frantic queue for over-priced clothes and souvenir cloth bags, upon which were emblazoned images of the man himself. The heart-throb around which this entire over-hyped production revolved. The spanner in my Royal Wedding works!
It was not the fairytale evening that I’d envisaged.
The ACER arena appeared to be taunting disorganised mums for double booking tickets the night of the wedding. Coverage from London was beamed from large plasma screens cocooned amidst Bieber’s glo-sticks and posters. It was wrong. Just – wrong.
“Look at the hats!” I yelled excitedly to my daughter.
“There aren’t any hats!” she yelled back.
“I mean the hats in the Abbey!” I roared.
“Can I have a t-shirt?” she shouted.
I texted my mum. “Is she there yet?”
My other daughter - anti-Bieb and staying with her grandparents - texted back: “The royal wedding is boaring.” (sic).
I’ll be the judge of that, I thought - if I ever get to watch it.
We’d been unable to get two seats together. So, there I was: a 37-year-old non-Belieber, propped up in a gaggle of Year Sevens, surreptitiously snaring snippets of wedding gossip from my large network of informants.
“You’ll make it home in time for the balcony kiss!” a friend texted.
I was counting on it. Bieber was warbling ‘One less lonely girl’ and I thought of Kate, swept off her feet by William the way that 15,000 girls were being swept off theirs by Justin…
Someone threw eggs on stage. Was it a mum, desperate to get home for the nuptials?
I glanced over at my little girl, just as she glanced across the audience at me. She smiled, warmly. Waved, spontaneously. Then realised she was waving and smiling at her mum during a Justin Bieber concert and promptly withdrew both gestures.
She’s slipping through my fingers all the time, I thought… which didn’t help things, as it only reminded me of ABBA, which would have been far preferable – no offence Bieb. He had stormed off in a huff over the eggs (we later discovered) and was threatening to cancel the rest of the concert. Then he manned up and gave us what we came for.
I’m not quite sure what that was. All I knew was that my inner ear was throbbing. Was it bleeding? I thought it might be. I plugged it with my finger. Then I alternated with a finger in my other ear (I thought two fingers in both ears at once might be too obvious? Rude, even?).
About 70 minutes in, with no end to the girly screaming in sight, I started losing the will to live. My phone was going out in sympathy. ‘Low battery’, it warned, and I realised I had to give up on London updates and preserve strength for coordinating our lift out of here.
After the final song, I craned my neck to find my little girl. She, in turn, was craning her neck to find her friends, who were seated in the section above us.
It broke my heart a little. I remember taking her to Wiggles concerts and she’d hold my hand (and I was like baby, baby, baby, oh! Like baby, baby, baby, no! I thought you’d always be mine… ).
She ran up to me in the foyer and threw her arms around me in front of anyone who was watching, and said: “That was awesome, Mummy!”
Yes, it was.
We rushed outside and down the steps - me in one shoe like a modern-day Cinderella (but a maternal version with a swollen big toe and ringing in the ears.) We finally limped through my friend’s front door five minutes after the balcony kiss.
So, that was it. The ‘wedding of the century’ exchanged for an evening with the man of the moment – and time with my daughter that I’m going to hold on to, as she lets go…
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