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May 17, 2018

See you at 2!

We'll start at 2, and discuss royal weddings or anything else on your minds.

I normally get up first with the 1 year old on Saturdays (around 6 am) so although I wouldn't usually care about the royal wedding, it's going to give me something to watch while we're up on Saturday. Thanks royals!

Excellent! Personally, I'm in crisis mode: I have to be somewhere, a four-hour drive away, on Saturday at 10:30, meaning I would miss ALL THE WEDDING COVERAGE while sitting in my car. The radio will obviously not cut it, and thus I am seriously considering leaving Friday evening instead, so I can wake up Saturday and already be in position.

What did you think of this? Obviously repugnant, but it's so over the top that I wonder if he did it to get exposure... perhaps to be a guest or even a host of some right-wing radio or TV show.

I dunno. If it's a stunt, it seems like an awfully risky one to take. What's the thought process here? "I know, how about I blow my top in a random deli, say a bunch of racist crud, and hope that someone else happens to be recording the whole thing so that Alex Jones can call me up to be a co-host of InfoWars?" Hrmmmm.

Admittedly, I haven't been paying that much attention to the Royal Wedding, but from what I can tell, apparently Meghan's father did some incredibly embarrassing things, then had a heart attack, and now can't walk her down the aisle. But I'm unclear on what he might have done that was so awful. I pay enough attention to celebrity news that I feel like I would have seen something about it already. What did I miss? Was he already a borderline persona non grata? Did he mistreat her in her youth? I just don't understand why there's so much drama. Please fill me in.

Man, does the Style section have you covered. Check out our FAQs on royal drama.

In brief: Meghan had gone through periods of estrangement with her dad, but the Palace announced that he was planning to walk her down the aisle, which was very sweet. And a magazine published secretly-taken photos of him getting fitted for a tux, reading books about Britain, etc -- and that was also very sweet.


But then it turned out that he had actually staged the photos, selling them to a tabloid photographer. And also his children (Meghan's half siblings) have been super catty and are doing weird things like sending letters to Harry telling him not to marry Meghan. 

Now nobody from the dad's side will be at the wedding 

Just want to say I read it in a day while on vacation and loved it! Awesome spin on the true crime genre.

Hey, thanks! (The destination I have on Saturday is a bookstore in Chincoteague, to celebrate the paperback release, in case any of you live in the area).

First Meagan left the country, now she's left the continent. After this week's antics, can you blame her for leaving these people far behind?

The beautiful outcome from all of this might be if her mother ends up walking her down the aisle. That would be the update the royals need.

So who's bottom will we be talking about after this wedding?

I want you to know that in order to make sure all chatters knew what you were referring to, the Google search I just performed was, "Pippa Middleton Wedding Butt," and the Internet rose (sank?) to the occasion.


Remember that this is not only a royal wedding but a Hollywood wedding. I'm sure some of the Suits dudes have nice derrieres. Also, all of the Spice Girls will be present.

Hi - I just let my 13 year old download Snapchat. Do you use it? I read quite a few articles about it, and most say that this is a pretty good social media app for kids. I would appreciate hearing any thoughts from your or your chatters about their experiences - especially if they are parents with kids who use it. Thanks!!!

Any chatters here who want to ring in with experiences?

Are you planning to get up at 4 a.m. to start watching it or will you wait until closer to 7 when the wedding starts? I'm thinking of turning it on at about 6:45 to watch the families arrive. Or maybe I'll just record it starting around then and watch it at a more reasonable hour and have Champagne and crumpets.

Record it. Then when you roll out of bed, you can fastforward through the blabby talking and the arrivals you don't recognize and get straight to the good stuff. Also, if you live near a Trader Joe's -- they were passing out crumpets at their sample table, and I endorse.


Also, IMPORTANT: make sure you have a stash of McVities biscuits, and here is the Post's recipe of the cake Harry and Meghan plan to serve.

I'm wondering what would be the equivalent for male wedding guests. A zany tie is the best I can come up (I have one, a gift from a former girlfriend, that looks very elegant from afar but close up turns out to be monkeys and bananas). I suppose you could wear a clown-style lapel flower that squirts water. But gosh, we men are so limited in our sartorial displays (I have not been invited to the wedding, btw).

Socks? Otherwise dignified men like George HW Bush have been known to reveal some personality via anklewear. 



I'm a lefty, pinko, quasi-anarchist 50 year old U.S. citizen lady, and I try not to let anyone know how much I looovvvvve the British royal family and how much I know about them (about ALL of them, like Zara Phillips and Princess Michael of Kent, etc etc.) I could win beaucoup bucks in a royalty-focused trivia game. NO ONE MUST KNOW. I have demos to go to and corporations to boycott and things to get arrested for. Can't be lovin' on sweet Prince Harry in public, that's for sure. (God I hope they are super happy together for the rest of their lives and have two maybe three really really cute babies.)

Truly, I think Americans have more feelings of pure love for the royal family than Brits do. At least, that's how it seemed to me when I was over the pond to cover William's wedding.

The princess fantasy is a complicated one though, right? Here's a self-sufficient woman with a great job, and now she's quitting that job to marry a dude, move halfway around the world, never work again, and live under a series of rules strictly governed by the dude's family. If he wasn't royal, sooo many warning bells would be going off.

First, you definitely need to go Friday night so you can watch the wedding coverage. Second, I'm trying to think of British-themed foods for Saturday. Probably scones and jam and cream for the morning; shepherd's pie for dinner. But I'm debating something to supplement the scones. Ideas?

Google "Royal Wedding party menu ideas" or something similar and I bet you'll come up with a thousand results. (I bet they'll all require more cooking than I'd be willing to do, though, so you should also just buy like six packs of Jammy Dodgers and some Hobnobs and onion crisps and call it a day).

What kind of 13 year old do you have? A socially active, worldly one or one who'll be happy to make silly faces using the lenses? The first kid, no way; the second, sure. Snapchat lets a kid connect to anyone and send disappearing pictures. Is your kid too mature for 13 to handle that? Or just immature enough to not get into trouble?

It sounds like you're saying you have approximately a seven-minute window in which to put your 13-year-old on Snapchat.

And you might miss things? Couldn't they reschedule the wedding?

I mean, I asked them but they're being really obstinate.

I'm sure it would have been someone at Eurovision rather than the Royal Wedding. And do you have to be the one driving? Doesn't WaPo allow you to use data to stream the wedding on the PBS app?

I have to be the one driving because I'm the only one in the car. So, until the whole self-driving vehicle movement really gets going...

I keep seeing coverage that talks about the last couple of generations of royals and all the people they weren't allowed to marry. I just wish someone would point out that they were never forbidden from marrying those people, they were forbidden from marrying them and staying in the succession. It takes the romantic shine off of it when you point out that they were in love enough to want to get married, but not enough to move out of their family's house and get a job.

True. It wasn't illegal for Princess Margaret to marry what's-his-name. They could have nipped down to the courthouse and done it any time. They just couldn't have done it in a public way with the Queen's official support.

I could have sworn the first Harry & Meghan lego couple portrayed Harry as white and Meghan as beige, for which Lego was criticized. The latest Lego couple has them both beige, for which Lego is being criticized. So which is it?

Man. This is a whole cycle of drama I completely avoided, and was happy to.

My 12 & 16 YO daughters love it, and it doesn't seem very harmful... but the best way to tell is to use it yourself. Open an account and see what's on there. There's some bad stuff if you hunt for it, but most of it is innocuous.

Absurd boutonnières?

What counts as an "absurd" boutonniere? Like, a floral button with Weird Al Yancovic's face on it? Or like, a daisy. Which would make all the fancy people be like "Har har har, good fellow, nobody wears a silly flower like a DAISY as a boutonniere"?

I used to make most of my own clothes, and one day in a fabric store I came across some black cotton printed with adorable winged pink piglets. I bought enough to make my husband a necktie, which he wears with white or pink dress shirts, and always garners compliments.

These days, if someone blows their top in public it will likely be recorded... but I agree it was probably not a stunt, I just am surprised that someone would do that in public on the spur of the moment.

I think it only could have been done in public on the spur of the moment. The dude is reportedly a lawyer. If he'd had two minutes to think through throwing that tantrum, he would have realize that he was contemplating one of the worse ideas of his life.

It's the vest and tie that they'll wear with their morning suit. Most are boring, but some do add patterns and splashes of color.

Ms. Markles' previous outspokenness and that such things simply aren't DONE by the royal family. And I agree to a certain extent. She can't be up there making informal speeches about pay parity in Hollywood. BUT, the choices of charities to support can make huge waves. Think Princess Di. All she had to do to bring Aids front and center was to publicly hold some hands. If about-to-be-Duchess Meghan were to be entirely unavailable for a day because she was visiting a battered women's shelter and it was too dangerous for the address to become known, that would make waves. Add in a few photos by a palace photographer with the women's faces blurred out for security, and it would shout even louder. You don't need a blog to make your point when you have the resources of that family behind you.

Interesting. Also, we should remember that things "simply aren't done" until, you know, they're done. Stuffy as the royal family is, they do change. Seventy years ago, a King of England had to abdicate the throne because he wanted to marry an American divorcee. Now Prince Harry is marrying one in two days. (Are the chances slim that he'll ever sit on the throne? Yes. Impossible? No).

Is British food as bad as everyone says it is?

Their dessert game is strong. Their vegetables are improving. Their meats, I can't speak to. I'll just say that in the six months I spent there, I was more than happy to be a vegetarian.

Make tea sandwiches. The people invited to the grounds have to pack a lunch, so might as well be in solidarity. They're really easy. white or brown bread. ham and mustard on one, cucumber and dill mayo/miracle whip, smoked salmon. Get fancy and make coronation chicken. cut into fourths; I'm lazy and don't take of crusts! Oh and a good cheese platter. Start your wine drinking like Hoda and Kathie Lee!

Oh, cut off the crusts. It takes 10 seconds and makes one EVER so much fancier.

Although I'm not a fan of the concept of royalty -- American Revolution, yanno -- the one thing I credit the British royal family for is their incredible work ethic supporting manifold worthy causes, highlighting public issues (in Harry's case, military veterans, the wounded, treatment for mental illness, e.g.). No doubt Meghan will be involved in Harry's causes, as well as (I hope) promoting theater/TV/film.

If they weren't constantly seen at public events promoting worthy causes, I imagine the British public would much more forcefully want to give them the boot. And get them out of publicly-funded housing.

I actually already have Jammie Dodgers and Hobnobs in the house, as I just back from England a could weeks ago. (Trip was booked before the wedding date was set.) For red flags, the quickness of the relationship does alarm me a bit. They're both older, which makes it somewhat understandable, but it's just SO MUCH that she's marrying into. (Also, it freaks me out that they're about to get married and my boyfriend and I, who got together shortly before them, aren't even living together. I mean, we will be moving in together this summer, but still!)

They met almost two years ago and dated for a year and a half before getting engaged. That doesn't seem too rushed to me -- especially if they want kids. She's 37.

My nieces and nephews (ages 11 through 20) all use Snapchat (or just Snap, as the kids say it), and it seems to be the primary social media platform for this age group. As long as you tell them to friend only their real friends, it seems harmless and stupid (to us adults) fun. Some of the dangerous behavior I've read about came from sexting, or getting "medals" for unsafe or stupid behavior.

It was 82 years ago.

Look, I can't remember dates, do math, offer menu suggestions, research Meghan Markle's dating history, and chat with you all at once. Something is going to slide, and I vote for the thing that slides to be math.

We used to say that about politics... and then you-know-who happened.

True statement.

...is that she was raised Roman Catholic, so had to convert to Church of England in order to marry Harry.

That's shocking because why? Because it seems like, if he's going to go ahead and marry a divorced American, her religion seems like a minor concern for the family?


Remember that the King/Queen of England is officially the head of the Church of England. To marry a Catholic might be seen as invalidating the faith he is supposed to represent.

You need to meet more of my fellow lawyers then. Especially litigators. Not necessarily a group known for looking before they leap.

Right. Instead of saying, "the dude is reportedly a lawyer," I should have said, "the dude reportedly has a head attached to his body." Really, that's all the sentience that should have been required in order to know this was a bad idea.

Real men sport nosegays.

Please write a book with this title.

Lightly roll the bread slices with a rolling pin to flatten before making the sandwich (or buy the extra extra thin sliced bread). It really makes a difference. And crusts off is a must!


America can't have our own set because we would trash them out. Meghan would be a Kardashian.

Well. To be fair, the royals have a pretty dang strong record of their own tabloid behavior. Or weren't you alive during the Charles/Diana divorce years?

First, my condition for any social media for my 13-year-old is that we are friends, followers, whatever, and that I have the passwords. This is less because I DO check everything than to remind her that I COULD and to bear in mind that her content should be limited to those things that she would be oK with me seeing. Second, how is your kids's self-esteem? Is he/she just interested in staying connected and sharing silly things with friends, or in collecting likes and admiration? In my experience it's the second kind who have trouble with responsible social media use.

Never understood the Meghan Markle is divorced chatter...Charles will be king -and is divorced and married to a divorcee.

It's the whole Ghost of Wallis Simpson thing. The last time someone fit the demographic of divorced American, it totally upended the family. Camilla Parker Bowles was divorced, but she was always One Of Them. Even more than Diana was, really.

Rumors are abound that the Lord of the Rings series that Amazon (and by extension, the Amazon Washington Post) paid over a billion for will be based on the adventures of a young Aragorn. While I have my trepidation about this series, I am glad they are not just remaking the movies. I would also love it if they expanded to stories outside of the"ring" mythology.

I have no information on any of this and I have to confess that LOTR is a realm that I'm...just not that into.

I do plan to DVR it, but what is your recommended channel? BBC America? I especially need one where they won't talk over the music in the service.

Good question. I actually haven't researched the best channels for every personality. Has anyone else? If you want a channel where people will just be quiet and listen to the music, your needs might be different from someone who wants commentators pointing out every famous guest and providing a lot of color commentary.

If so, well played Camilla!

Those weren't the terms of their marriage. In 2005 when they wed, the publicly announced agreement was that her title would be Princess Consort. Even if that were to change, by British tradition she would always be Queen Consort (not just "Queen") because Charles is the royal one; she's just the spouse. 

I'm a man -- and not invited to the wedding -- and yet I still intend to wear a fascinator all day Saturday. Or until I get sick of the cat trying to eat it. (I checked out the milliner the royals use, and they cost like $1K, so I bought one on eBay. It has feathers.) I'll definitely have it on long enough to pop in to work and do my shopping, though.

This is a really excellent plan.

Meredith Vieira is anchoring PBS coverage, so I'll watch her (since we don't have cable, etc.).

Noted, thanks. She seems like she'd do a dignified job.

LOTR AND Star Wars, for me.

We can't all be into everything.

Miss them yet?

My first dog as a kid was a corgi, so I'll always have a special fondness for them, and I will never get one as an adult.

never work again, etc etc." "many warning bells would go off" But still -- he has a right to be happy. Yes, these kids are born into it, and I suppose they have choices that they can eschew the whole thing, but they wouldn't one would think -- and these two crazy kids found each other and want to make a life together. Yeah, it would be strange for HIM to move to the US to support HER career, but one could suppose it could be done...but...that rarely happens. I hope they are happy!

PBS has the BBC feed for Kate and Will, but BBC America will have it this year. My money is still on either PBS or BBC for coverage that won't overtake the ceremony.

I think you're right.

They should get the announcers who whisper into the microphones while covering golf tournaments.

Um yes. This is correct.

I read that she was not a Catholic, although she went to a Catholic school. She did not have to convert but had to be confirmed in the Church of England.

Thanks, that's a distinction.

I am told no, but the wedding isn't at night.

Look, none of us are invited to the wedding. So we can wear tiaras whenever we want that day.

Remember "Randy Andy" (especially when he dated Koo Stark)?

OP with the 12 & 16 yo here. I see the point, but I also think kids need to be left to explore on their own to an extent. If I notice that they are suddenly hiding the phone when I walk in the room, then I make a mental note to ask them about it later... demanding "What are you watching?!?" right there in the moment only makes them get defensive.

Thanks -- I'm enjoying this background discussion happening about responsible parenting methods, while the rest of us just go off on Jammy Dodgers.

Are there more vegetarian options there than here, in terms of both restaurants and food shopping?

I dunno -- it was almost 15 years ago. America has become a much easier place to be a vegetarian since then, and I'm assuming Great Britain has too. In the visits I've made back since then, I've never had a problem finding delicious food.

Someone mentioned coronation chicken. This was also a recommendation in the Food live chat yesterday with this link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/recipes/coronation-chicken-sandwiches/14221/?utm_term=.0f321b533b1e


Maybe not for the first viewing, but will definitely re-watch on HBO for their coverage.

Yes, excellent.

AND isn't the groom the one who had frisky romps in Vegas AND photographed at a party wearing Nazi regalia?

Harry appears to have really, really, really grown up. 

So if Princes Charles and William predecease the queen, who becomes king upon her death--Prince George, even if he's 8, or Prince Harry. And if it is Harry, does the succession then transfer to his children? Inquiring minds want to know.

Prince George becomes the official heir to the throne, however, Prince Harry would rule in his stead until Prince George came of age.

As a Catholic she has to obey the Pope. As a Church of England one day she might be the Pope.

Well. Except that she would actually be more like married to the Pope. Except that the Church of England has no Pope. This analogy is mostly confusing nonsense but I understand where you're going.

...so the friends with whom we were going camping are coming over Saturday evening for dinner. But do we go British-wedding-themed, horse-race-themed, or hockey themed? Ugh. Decisions are hard. Maybe I'll just serve the hot dogs we were going to eat.

Absolutely serve the hot dogs. Why is this even a question? You can have S'mores in the fireplace (or microwave), baked beans from a can. Never give up the chance to have camping food; it sounds much more fun than hockey-themed food.

The beauty of eating in London, at least, is the variety of options. If you don't want British food, there are plenty of other cuisines to try--Indian, Lebanese, Italian, and so on. And in restaurants run by immigrants from those countries. I love me some bangers & mash and jacket potatoes, but give me a curry and I'm all good, too.

The variety of options would be true in most major cities -- but the Indian food in the UK is especially good, yes.

Don't forget the watercress!


Eleanor Roosevelt famously served hot dogs to George VI and Elizabeth (later Queen Mum) when they visited FDR at Hyde Park before WW II.

I wrote a history of that. It was a pinnacle moment!

Hot dogs are served at hockey arenas!

Well, then it's settled. Everyone agrees. Hot dogs.

Not necessarily. A Regency Council would be appointed. It might include Harry, but might not. There's no requirement that the members be royal.

Anyone so inclined is more than welcome to comb through the extensive Wikipedia article on the Regency Acts, set up o deal with the incapacitation of the monarch.

I believe the etiquette is that only the bride can wear a tiara in the daytime. However, Monica is right, none of us are going (unless you're all hiding something), so tiaras all day! I'm going to borrow one of my daugther's.

That's all for now. I could, and would, go one for days on this important subject matter, but I sense none of our bosses would approve. So let's sign off for now, and meet up again next week to discuss how it all went, eh?

GSTQ (and good luck, Prince Harry.)

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Monica Hesse
Monica Hesse is a staff writer for the Post Style section. She frequently writes about culture, the Web and the intersection of the two.

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