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OPINION COLUMN: TED KRUCKEL

Ted Kruckel & Friends Live Blogging the Royal Wedding

Photo: Indigo/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

BizBash editor at large Ted Kruckel, the BizBash editors, and other friends are live blogging the royal wedding. Send your own observations (for possible inclusion here) to choffman@bizbash.com.

12:30 p.m.: Our live blogging is finished, but make sure you check out this story for insights from 11 event pros.

9:37 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: Paddy Harverson, the communications secretary at Clarence House, is talking to NBC about keeping all the details under wraps. He says they wanted an “intimate, personal” occasion along with all the pomp and ceremony.

9:31 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: A few fun facts from the Metro New York paper today: “1,900 people were invited [to the wedding ceremony], including members of Parliament, foreign heads of state, charity leaders, and celebrities as well as the couple's friends.”

At 1 p.m. EST William's father Prince Charles will host a dinner at Buckingham Palace to be followed by dancing for 300 guests.

8:57 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: As Queen Elizabeth II hosts a lunchtime reception for the newlyweds and a reported 650 guests, Colbie Caillat takes to the stage in Times Square for TLC's event. Caillat's song choice? The appropriately titled “I Do.”

8:51 a.m., Ted: Now they are replaying “kiss 1” and “kiss 2.” And commercials are back. I am kind of relieved, in a way.

I wanted to make a few general observations. I had no idea that it was such a “show.” The staging was so expert and the timing and pacing is really, really impressive. When I think about the Obama Inauguration, and the interminable gaps, I must say the British have really earned my respect.

Deep Throat writes that the security and military parade is practiced and practiced, and that Kate attended two rehearsals in the church—and it showed.

I made a lot of mean comments about her (isn't that why I'm here?), but on the porch I noticed her body position was very elegant, and the dress flattered her figure in a way I hadn't noticed before.

The whole affair was way simpler and less ponderous than I anticipated. The brisk timing made the whole thing more like a pageant than a big wedding affair. And I'm glad they don't show pictures from the receptions.

The one thing I didn't like is the close-ups of the couple during the ceremony. I get that is what people want to see, but I felt embarrassed by the intimacy and at the key moment I was thinking “I shouldn't be this close,” and that reminded me that this is part wedding, part public relations effort.

I think overall the feed editing could have been so much better. For example, for the vows, they should have found one angle that showed them both from slightly farther back and held that for a longer period. It would have had more of a fairy tale feeling. Instead, a showy editor/director made frequent cuts and the dissolves were too fast; very contemporary. I'm not saying it should be filmed like Midnight Mass in the Vatican, but I was so angry when they would show pictures of the Abbey—what a breathtaking sight—but then cut away so quickly.

I still don't get British pride deriving from this little coddled couple, but I respect and admire this pageantry and now I know why it is such a big deal.

8:51 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: Crowds seem to be exiting Buckingham Palace as calmly as they entered. Very orderly.

8:33 a.m., Ted: I must say that all this kissing and waving and flying over feels a little bit messy. The ending is not nearly as compelling.

Matt has run out of things to say—well, I wish.

Deep Throat liked the shot from inside the aircraft, and Kelly is now all nicey nicey about Kate, comparing her to Elizabeth Taylor.

I think the whole chanting of “Kiss!” is odd; it reminds me of that movie Children of the Corn with Bette Davis where a couple mated while Bette and the crowd chanted “Till the Field, Plant the Corn.”

8:28 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: Screams and shouts from TLC's Times Square event accompany the live viewing of William and Kate's kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. English fans in London weren't the only folks chanting “Kiss again!”

8:17 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: Actor Rupert Everett told Clinton Kelly of TLC's What Not to Wear and Macy's Make Over America that “most of the hats were ridiculous.”

8:10 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: It's not quite bangers and mash, but TLC's V.I.P. lounge in Times Square has sausages and potatoes on the menu. Outside, the crowd is waiting for William and Kate's balcony appearance as well as two more live weddings and a Broadway flash mob performance.

7:56 a.m., event designer and producer David Beahm emails: I thought that all the decision teams gave us a wonderful combination of girlish excitement and manly restraint. I loved how Shane Connolly's spring green trees and airy arrangements gave life to the abbey and contrasted beautifully with the scarlet carpets—giving us television viewers breathtaking snapshots... Given the constraints of tradition, I'm not sure I would have done things differently—I never once felt that the happy couple (what a concept!) were being forced to do anything of which they would disapprove or feel uncomfortable.

7:41 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: TLC is getting ready to host the first of three live weddings—each will have a cake from the network's Cake Boss show.

7:38 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: 20,000 in Trafalger Square, 70,000 in Hyde Park.

7:37  a.m., Ted: Corinne Graham Keller writes from Manhattan's Upper East Side, where she is hosting a mother-daughter event for her daughter's schoolmates: “Okay watching Will and Kate get out of the carriage at Buckingham and WTF! Could the footman not figure out what to do with Kate's train?”

7:33 a.m., editor in chief Chad Kaydo: NBC has a British journalist who attended ceremony, who says the ceremony managed to feel intimate and perfectly choreographed; guests could watch a live feed on TV screens.

7:32 a.m., Ted: Deep Throat on the dress: “The skirt is very cunningly constructed. Angled pleats like that are incredibly hard to do.” He also suspects that there is more detail that the cameras don't pick up, to which I say then why bother? Isn't this whole thing for the PR?

Kelly thinks the veil is a bit “beer wenchy” and reports that the bride did her own makeup. “Should have let the bodyguard have a go.”

Okay, the rear left footman in the coach has the most ridiculous sour puss on like he is so bored he can't stand it. Number six, off with his head. The little girl looks tired and natural and reminds me of what weddings are really like--endless tedium. Prince Harry has bad posture. If I were him I would love being with the kids, but I wonder how he feels.

Is it the Queen Victoria memorial that they're at now? It's prettier from above than I recall.

Matt Lauer thinks they waved to him; what an asshole. I thought Meredith Viera, who bragged about her hat all week, would be my bete noire, but dum dum Matt has totally trumped her.

Martin Bashir is tolerable.

Kelly lightening up on Kate; says she looks gorgeous in carriage. Harper's Bazaar editor who shall not be named said her group is mixed about the dress.

Dogs finally stirring, an hour later than usual. It seems they sensed I was busy.

Is it over now? The carriage is at Buckingham Palace.

As the queen enters the palace they all bow their heads. While this has all been very impressive, it has not swayed me one bit on the legitimacy of the monarchy. But Deep Throat says they are forever and that is as it should be, which reminds me of what my mother says about the Catholic Church. Still don't buy what they are selling.

Kelly told me they sing that dumb song at her kids rugby matches.

7:29 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: TLC reports that once inside Buckingham Palace, the couple will have $60,000 worth of Champagne. TLC also says that the biggest wedding expense is the security, and that Kate did her own makeup.

7:20 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: NBC is reporting the bride and groom invited about 300 guests outside of required government officials, etc.

7:17 a.m., Ted: Kelly responds about Princess Beatrice: “I never remember which is which--the one with the emo eye makeup and heinous hat is Eugenie, supposedly the better looking one. I like Kate's dress, but am watching Lucy change in and out of her own vast princess dress collection and it strickes me now as a bit Cinderella-ish. Sorry. Her veil behind the tiara is of an era too—Elizabethan?”

When they talk about these lesser royals, I feel like just letting their messy minds range free.

The dressage gait of the horses is GREAT. The parade is great but the couple looks a little low in the carriage, like kids in a ride at Disneyland. Prince Philip gets in the glass coach and throws the pillow aside; you can see he has a temper.

7:16 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: Seated in Times Square's TKTS pavilion, the audience at TLC's Royal Wedding viewing party erupts with a roar as the couple leaves Westminster Abbey. A handful of signs are raised, including one that reads “Congrats Will & Kate” and another emblazoned with “I heart U.K.” I feel proud to be a Brit this morning. Anyone else?

7:10 a.m., Ted: Deep Throat writes: “Is Beatrice the one in the shocking square neck blue floral dress? It's as if Princess Anne said, let me take the ugliest royal and dress them to look even worse. And the sisters deer antlers hat? A bit much, don't you think?”

Kelly had written that Fergie's daughters looked fat but in person they are not so bad.

Okay here are the horses and the carriage. It's Party Time.

Before Deep Throat had commented that all of London had been so silent and still you could hear a pin drop. I must say I would have liked to have seen that. But now its pomp and circumstance.

7:09 a.m., editor in chief Chad Kaydo: Perhaps there's some traditional reason for the color (or it's easier to order?), but the red carpet seems too award-ceremony-arrival-area, no?

7:08 a.m., Ted: Kelly notices that The Queen does not even pretend to sing along to “God Save the Queen.” Maybe she's not allowed to, but if that's not the case, why are we paying her?

There's some back and forth about someone named Sam Cam who is the prime minister's wife. She is in London Burberry, which is good, but not wearing a hat, which is bad. She used to work at Smythson, which is a competitor of the leather goods company I work for, Graphic Image (there's a shameless self plug I can throw in). I read that they are doing a 10 Downing Street party and everyone snickered because no one is there.

Agreement thatthe trees are fabulous--going to Buckingham Palace later, my nieces point out—and that the flowers are unremarkable.

Dress time: The breasts are so pointy and the lace kind of old fashioned. But from the front the wide center panel kicks out just right, I think.

7:04 a.m., news editor Courtney Thompson: This isn't Princess Beatrice's first rodeo, she's a hat guru!

6:59 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: Surprisingly, there are some here in Times Square singing along to England's national anthem “God Save the Queen.”

6:56 a.m., Ted: And Matt is back--so unwelcome. Back with his drivel trivial, telling us about what they're signing. I read somewhere the paper is cow vellum; how gross. And now this Brit lady commenter is back; whoever she is on NBC she has NO decorum. Once the talking is back on my concentration is shot; why couldn't they just let us enjoy the music?

6:55 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: And that's that, I guess! Pretty classic and understated, but lovely all the same.

6:54 a.m., news editor Courtney Thompson: Who knew the Brits were such singers? I wonder if it was on the royal invite: “Singing full voice during ceremony is mandatory.” They are belting out church hymns in the streets! Everyone BUT the Queen, that is.

6:53 a.m., editor in chief Chad Kaydo: Trees are lovely, but not making much impact in such a huge space. Greenery above the altar accomplishes more, but it's still all about Westminster Abbey itself, no?

6:52 a.m., Ted: Deep Throat is back!  He thinks the Abbey has never looked better; “painterly” and I must agree. He and Kelly all agree with me on her looking too dark and haggard. Oops, there goes the makeup artist! That's four.

He thinks the brother looked good in a spray on tan sort of way. Isn't pasty white the desired skin tone among the monarchy?

Oh the drummer looked into the camera, what a doofus. Fired number five.

6:49 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: Beckhams! Posh is in black, of course. (I think?)

6:48 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: There are some great outfits at TLC's event in Times Square. Several ladies in fanciful hats, others in Union Jack T-shirts, and even one enthusiastic fan in a cape printed with William and Kate.

6:46 a.m., Ted: Now Kelly is mad; she claims she gave the better Sausage roll description, and has sent a picture of one to boot. The inside looks pink and uncooked, grosser than I'd imagined. Well, both Deep Throat and Kelly went on and on about the dumb sausage rolls. Please know, dear readers, that I am filtering lots of useless banter to provide this more cogent and useless banter.

Oh they are saying the Lord's Prayer and they are all out of sync. Funny. Royals, they're just like us—dumb.

Okay my first flower comment: I say this all the time, Americans have it all over Europeans when it comes to flowers. The arrangement on the altar is a perfectly ordinary bunch of hydrangea, neither loose and artistic, nor strutcured and impressive. And the two sides of the altar don't seem to match.

Now they're talking about fidelity. Wish they had done a Charles and Camilla close-up like the do on the Real Housewives.

When they show the inside of the whole church with the trees is it great, but the cutting is way too fast and the fades from scene to scene way too rushed. I think I read that everyone gets the same feed; that means there is a director in a booth somewhere making these choices and I think he had too much English breakfast tea. Walking papers set number 3.  

6:36 a.m.: Washington-based planner Andre Wells tweets: “Classic and timeless ceremony. Tradition prevails with this #RoyalWedding ceremony. Could be from any era.”

6:35 a.m., Ted: Kelly thought the brother was hot, in a swarthy way. Okay during the boring priest or minister or whatever they call him, Wills and Kate exchanged a look. He has a slightly odd affect, something not quite as dignified as I expected. But he seems fun. She seems more drawn. Can't blame her for being nervous, but I saw a photo the other day and she looked so thin and I think that her visage suffered for the dress.

So she is just like every dumb celebrity, dieting like crazy to achieve the smallest size possible, but the end result that she does not look like a young woman.

6:30 a.m., news editor Courtney Thompson: The children's and men's choruses set the bar for wedding choirs.

6:28 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: It's managing to feel grand and intimate at the same time. I'm surprised by how not over-the-top it all has been.

6:25 a.m., Ted: Now that the veil is off and they are singing I can see that I think Kate's eye makeup is too dark, not nearly as natural as I would have recommended.

Is this the crazy brother talking? Is he gay? Is that the story? Again, thankful for the dumb speech so I can catch up. My editor Chad just yelled at me for screwing this up; well I invited him to come over and have a coffee, er, tea and help, but NO he gets to go to the Correspondents Weekend in D.C. and I am here frantically writing, well typing at least, about these Brits.

Now they're singing some dumb song “This Is The Day.” The Catholics really have it all over this. A Bach cantata or some crazy Mozart would have been more powerful. This sounds like Andrew Lloyd Webber. Is he here?

Deep Throat stopped filing; he is probably curled up on a couch with a linen hanky eating his sausage roll (which he told me is like a pain chocolate but with little pork bits instead). I remember Fergie used to order them by the dozen from some deli when she was in town. I wonder where she is. Would LOVE to be a fly on that bitter wall.

6:21 a.m., Ted: Oops there's a sound problem, coming in and out. That's two techies to be fired today.

Both Kelly and I are a little underwhelmed by Kate. I find her diction a little bitten off and insubstantial. But William's bedroom eyes are riveting. He looks like he is having fun. I think he is the real star so far.

My niece Molly Baptista, a freshman at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, has finally piped up and told me that the kids in her dorm think the queen's hat should have an Easter egg on the top. They are drinking, of course.

6:20 a.m., news editor Courtney Thompson: Westminster gets a surprising amount of natural light. I'm loving the fresh color palette of the alter--the lush greenery accenting the light greyish-brown stone seems modern compared to the stately bouquets I was expecting.

6:18 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: Following cheering and applause, there's silence in Times Square as the ceremony begins. After the wedding, TLC's event in Times Square will play host to three couple getting married, a performance by Colbie Caillat, and the premiere of the network's new show Big Bliss.

6:17 a.m., Ted: False alarm! Vows happen so quickly. Why can't the weddings I go to be this quick?

6:14 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: Kind of disappointing that there isn't much in the way of florals here. Mostly just trees. Maybe that's a nod to the financial times?

6:14 a.m., Ted: At last the boring priest has started so I can stop paying attention. Who knows if anyone will ever read this; it has been completely silly back stage. I have been sending all my updates to someone named Claire Hoffman, which is my editor's name, but who is NOT apparently my editor. She just wrote me and asked “WHO ARE YOU.”

6:10 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: Elton sighting!

6:09 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: Some pretty incredible hats!  Looks like her bouquet (and Dad's boutonniere) is lily of the valley?

6:08 a.m., news editor Courtney Thompson: Is Chuck Bass among the guests? The towering real trees inside Westminster are lovely.

6:07 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: TLC's Royal Wedding viewing party has three big screens showing the coverage, live commentary from Say Yes To The Dress's Randy Fenoli, and costumed attendees. After a hubbub of cheers, Kate Middleton's appearance has prompted silence from the crowd gathered in Times Square.

6:01 a.m., Ted: Okay now the show is on the road. Here she is, and still Meredith Viera is talking. Matt promised they would shut up but they can't help themselves, even the Brit commenter. I thought I would be toggling back and forth between channels, but this all has happened much more quickly than I realized, and I don't want to change channels. I'm CAUGHT UP IN IT! Who knew? What a hypocrite.

6:01 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: From what I can see from the car,  looks like Kate Middleton's bouquet is small, simple, and white. Not too over-the-top. Or does she carry a special car bouquet? Reports say Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen designed the dress.

5:57 a.m., Ted: Okay, the little boys in military drag are so queer, it pierced the veil of sentiment I had going.

Pippa, the party sister, looks nice. They are both very attractive in a healthy way. The mother looked very matronly. Kelly said “pukey” but all the commenters said she was safe.To me the mother of the bride always has a raw deal.

Who is the dame in the front seat of Kate's car, that's odd, isn't it?

I like it when they show the wide angle; I'm surprised they aren't doing more PIP.

5:56 a.m., style editor Lisa Cericola: Looks like they are completely on schedule, down to the minute.

5:48 a.m., Ted: Matt Lauer says he will stop talking and I am so relieved.  They're talking about her dress and all I can think is how much I love the cars. They put the little flag on the top.

The queen looks small and not as sturdy as I thought. I loved the way she used to walk. Helen Mirren nailed that in the movie.

All of a sudden it is getting quiet, which is such a relief. I must say again that the pacing is spot on. Now I see what the British are good at. Lauren Collins in The New Yorker said, “Weddings are, in a sense, the British monarchy's works of art.” And I have to give them that.

Kate is getting in the car, and all of a sudden I am struck by the memory of Diana. I guess I kind of remember it more than I realized. It is very dramatic. The helicopters make it feel a little dangerous, and it makes me think how tense the anti-terrorist security guys are.

5:41 a.m., senior editor Anna Sekula: At 5:30 a.m., Time Square is already packed for TLC's Royal Wedding viewing party. British accents, naturally, inside the V.I.P. lounge. The network has union jack rugs, a traditional London telephone booth, and breakfast scones.

5:37 a.m., Ted: Okay things really picking up. Kelly thinks William looks FAB in red coat; I wish they'd just given him a little weave or something up top, or else cut it shorter. But I have to say he is handsome and looks relaxed, no wonder they're making all this fuss—compared to his father he is a movie star. I also like that he waves like a regular person. What kind of car is that?

The motorcycle escorts have these really lame ponchos, what's that about?

I will say the pacing is much less ponderous than I originally thought; I thought I'd be doing laundry and emptying the dishwasher, but it is all happening too fast.

Here's the Queen; the old dame is in yellow. I love these cars they have.

5:29 a.m., Ted: Kelly notes that lots of people in the crowd are all dressed up as if they are attending. Okay that is SO messed up! What does one think to oneself, as one is looking in one's mirror, adjusting one's vulture feather and tulle Philip Treacy knock-off, knowing that once one's fabulous look is complete, all that's next is a tube ride and a six hour wait to see a car roll by? By the way, Deep Throat reports that Philip Treacy still has a lock on this business. He must be a wreck today, probably rolling around his hat workshop on the floor muttering ...“must have crepe de chine...must have pearls.”

Also Deep Throat read that book about Isabella Blow (don't you love a fashion person who cares, reading that book so you don't have to?) and says it is not Alexander McQueen or Mr. Treacy's fault that she drank shoe polish and jumped out a window or something. Wonder what kind of hat she would have worn. Anyone know if that Daphne Guinness is invited?

Kelly is watching the BBC, and says it is not that much different from American TV. I love when they switch from the show with those coronet trumpets and then it is a commercial for orange juice or Preen lawn care. It makes the whole thing seem more like show business.

5:16 a.m., Ted:  As Elton walks in they are talking about the ins and outs of The Royal Order of The Garter. His cutaway (that's the name of the morning coat which not everyone is wearing, which I find a bit disappointing) seems to cutaway too soon. And why does he wear those preposterous wigs?

5:10 a.m., Ted: Oh they have a red carpet!  I wonder what the step and repeat looks like? There’s some flunky who I think is a woman but looks like Little Lord Fauntleroy. She’s got a folder against her chest and some sort of blue ribbon around her neck and I am interested in her.

Friday, 04.29.11, 4:55 am, Ted: Okay we’re back. I had to change the channel because I forgot how quickly I tire of these anchors. On CBS they are talking about a third grader shot in school; it so nice to know that while all this royal wedding madness sweeps the world, kids are still being kids.

Okay now they are talking about the bridesmaids, trotting out the bridesmaids from thirty years ago here is Clementine Hambro. She was five years old at the time, perhaps that is why she has nothing interesting to say and is shockingly inarticulate. She’s also claiming that she never talks about being in Diana’s wedding until now. LET THE LOG ROLLING BEGIN.

Friday, 04.29.11, 4:32 a.m., Ted: Toodles, folks, am awake and dressed (sort of) and reporting here stateside, bedside. The dogs Turbo and Jetta are a bit annoyed by the hour, so I turned the TV down. Okay I’m lying, I turned it down because in just a few minutes I found Mattt Lauer's breathless coverage to be so nerdily annoying.  

Our first question this morning comes from Joanna Patton, partner of LPNY advertising: “Are the dogs wearing hats? Will you take a picture?”  

Joanna: Was too lazy to make hats, and at first regretted it. Will try for a shot, but at this moment we are in complete deshabille at the moment. But one of my London correspondants, who is riding around the city in a trench coat taking pictures, tells me that the wearing of a hat is silly to anyone who is not invited to the wedding. Those little ones that look like fly fishing lures are called “fascinators,” isn’t that fascinating? But Kelly Wright my acerbic and judgmental cousin, also reporting from somewhere called Battersea, which sounds like a military boat but is apparently a London neighborhood. She informs me that to wear a fascinator is AW (all wrong) and that only a full on hat will do for today.  

Deep Throat thinks Victoria Beckham looks very chic, but perhaps her hat is dipping a bit too low over her face. I think she looks idiotic, but then she often looks idiotic. To be fair she is the most recognizable face I’ve seen so far so she’s winning.  

Kismet, now Matt Lauer (won’t he quit already) is discussing the hat industry with Brit. And in comes some dame in electric blue, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, with a matching hat and she looks more idiotic than that soccer player’s wife. Okay this is a little more interesting than I thought.

Thursday, 04.28.11, Ted: I will be live blogging (as close to live as is possible) on Friday morning—here, at this link—from my bed, with my dogs Turbo and Jetta, and providing completely uninformed, sarcastic, and quite likely hypocritical commentary on this, the mother of all special events. I've lined up a London fashionista who can see Westminster Cathedral from his manse, and my acerbic cousin Kelly Wright—also a Londonite who possesses a wicked eye for the pretentious and pompous—to provide some local comments and reporting.

If readers want to submit comments, observations, questions, or just point out the overall unimportance of this effort, please send them to my editor at choffman@bizbash.com and she will pass them along to me. I may also post to Twitter if I can remember how, but you can tweet me at @mejusted.

And to make this effort all that it can be, it may be helpful to remember Alice Roosevelt's social advice, “If you have nothing nice to say, come sit by me.”


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