Destiny meets the three-legged stool

Well it was wonderful of course. How could it be otherwise? There was enough in the service to remind us that this was two young people – like any other couple – on a momentous day in their lives and deserving of all the good wishes and prayers we can offer them.

I pondered all these things as I sat on the 7.23 am from Gatwick and listened. Four ladies were struggling to exchange mobile numbers in case they got separated – and then ‘I’ve got a three-legged stool with folding legs … we can take turns in standing on it.’ Some of the papers have been asking themselves about the state of republicanism in Britain. On this evidence, there is very little future for it. Monarchist feeling is at the level of symbol and feeling – things may happen which damage trust and affection. A diverse society may find it harder to gather round single ideas and identity. But it was hard to see that in London today.

Meanwhile back at the Abbey, Kate walked past me on her date with destiny. It was a moment of history – one ponders the impact which William’s great-grandmother had on the monarchy and whether Kate may have a similar calling for different times. But all that is for other days and other times – for now I took comfort from their nervous smiles. It suggests that William and Kate may be people who are not sure of the way forward and who may have been gifted with the wisdom to seek for new times new expressions of an ancient institution. All of us involved in the task of church leadership understand that challenge


  1. What a happy day for the nation and all those people round the world who watched. We were all embraced by their joy. Before the event, I heard several people and my 20 year old daughter say “who cares!” like a lot of her age group. In the evening we sat and watched the high lights as we had both been working……. Jayne was spell bound. I was very chuffed that she finally got the meaning of it all, just a couple in deeply in love and commiting to each other before god and in their case the world.
    At the hospital that day I was on duty, the night staff had had huge fun decorating the day room for the celebrations, my boss came in from her holiday and brought table decorations. I was busy in my Out of Hours clinic as the GP surgery was closed, but I dashed through to the ward just as the happy couple were taking their vows. All the patients were beautifully dressed, and were wearing hats brought in by loved ones (even a captains bunnet!). Our poorly elderly generation need stimulation, love, company and affection and this was just the medicine!
    Photos PLEASE of you and Alison sooooo thrilled you were there.

  2. You were spotted on the Youtube playback. There was a Scottish Primus spotting competition going on, but it was won by a Mexican.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the day – it all looked splendid on the tele. Didn’t catch sight of you though there were a couple of quick shots of our Primate (Archbishop Alan!). Will replay the service on RTE Player (how ironc is that in our republic) as we cannot get BBC Player here to see if the cameras picked you out.

  4. Good to hear from the horses mouth how it went. Was following the service from the servic sheet published on line.

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