jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 22nd May 2018



As with a lot of my gender I am not into weddings and particularly not Royal Weddings. But I have been surprised how the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding has caught my imagination.


The first thing that triggered it and so inspired me was the minister giving the sermon, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church (the American member church of the Anglican  Communion). He talked powerfully about love and quoted Martin Luther King.


His 14 minute sermon demonstrated how you should write to impress and how to speak and get attention. This was so upbeat, captivating and entertaining at the side of a Church of England minister’s sermon. No one dozed in the pews whilst he spoke and there were so many smiles on faces. Good on you Rev!

High in my all time Top Ten Favourite Records is Stand by Me either by Ben E King, who originally recorded it in 1961 or John Lennon. In the wedding service this song was sung by a Gospel choir, Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir. A brilliant version!


While everyone has 100% danced to the song at every wedding reception they’ve ever been to since it was released in 1961, TIME magazine points out that Meghan and Harry’s decision for the choir to sing the song at their wedding marks a symbolic turning point for the monarchy.


During the civil rights movement in America, “Stand By Me” rose to popularity as a “rallying cry for solidarity amongst people of colour”.


Other music I loved was “This Little Light” also by the Kingdom Choir and Meghan and Harry’s first dance track, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. That wes seen as unexpected by most experts.


Now I’m not into dresses especially wedding dresses but I was so impressed with the work British designer Clare Waight Keller who created Meghan’s wedding dress had put in, especially to the veil. She spent tens probably hundreds of hours researching the 53 flowers of the Commonwealth countries and including them on the 5 metre long veil. That is dedicated passion to your chosen subject beyond belief. Also she incorporated two of Medghan’s favourite flowers Wintersweet found in Kensington Palace garden and the California poppy, from where she was born.


I have to say the Californian Poppy is my favourite flower. It is bold in colour and size, a wonderful specimen.

Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir

Whilst talking flowers, the bride carried a beautiful bunch of white blooms arranged by ‘Queen of London florists’ Philippa Craddock, who was also behind the jaw-dropping display inside St. George’s Chapel.


In the bouquet, Meghan Markle paid a touching tribute to Diana as it contained forget-me-nots – the Princess of Wales’ favourite flowers – along with stems handpicked by Harry from their private garden at Kensington Palace which included scented sweet peas, as well as jasmine and lily of the valley.


The bouquet sounded fantastic and very traditional English country garden based. It makes me feel all chilled out, thinking of lazy summer days spent playing in my grandmother’s garden.


One of my favourite drinks is elderflower cordial. In the great weather we are experiencing the elderflowers are growing well in our hedgerows, too. Yet again part of the great English countryside.


Another of my favourite places in the world is Italy inparticularly the Amalfi Coast.


So take the elderflower cordial and get an enterprising baker to combine it with the Amalfi lemons and use in a sponge cake and you have to have something close to heavenly perfection.


Claire Ptak (she started her Violet Bakery business in 2010) was responsible for the layered lemon and elderflower wedding cake. The sponge sandwich, which was be decorated with elderflower Swiss meringue buttercream and fresh flowers, contained  200 Amalfi lemons and 10 bottles of Sandringham elderflower cordial. In a “slight shift from tradition” the cake was put together as “an installation”, and turned out to be more a work of art than traditional tiered wedding.


I enjoyed seeing the classic cars used as well as the carriage and horses, especially Meghan and her mum arriving at the wedding in a 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. A tremendously classy, classic car.


Finally the media figures were crazy.


We await the final numbers but it is estimated that the final world viewing figures could be 3 billion from an estimated world population of 7.6 billion.


Almost 18 million Britons watched coverage of the royal wedding, making it by far the biggest television event of the year, as social networks and news websites also saw enormous online interest in the marriage.


British viewers overwhelmingly turned to the BBC’s coverage, led by Kirsty Young, Huw Edwards and Dermot O’Leary, which attracted a peak audience of 13.1 million during the ceremony itself.


ITV’s programming attracted a peak audience of 3.6 million people, while substantially smaller numbers of people watched on Sky News and the BBC News Channel.


The viewing figures are lower than for the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton but the overall fall in TV audiences means the BBC’s coverage was comfortably the most watched British television programme of 2018.


PS Didn’t the crowds lining The Long Walk look impressive as they waited to get a glimpse of Harry and Meghan as they made their way back to Windsor Castle. It was the picturesque backdrop well worth pitching a place with a 2.64 mile stretch of grass from Snow Hill to the Windsor Castle gates.


J K Rowling Tweeted pictures of the massive crowds to President Trump to show him hoe peaceful and content the UK really is, totally opposite to his vision.


And there endeth the lesson on why the Royal Wedding won me over.



Live for what tomorrow can bring, not what yesterday has taken away.


Happiness is…kissing in the car


So I phoned up the spiritual leader of Tibet, he sent me a large goat with a long neck, turns out I phoned dial a lama.


Love is…unconditional


Paint It Black – Rolling Stones

Highest Chart Position: No.1 26th May 1966