Anglophile Style Watching: The Royal Wedding

Judge me if you must, but I bloody love a royal wedding. I'm old enough to remember Princess Diana's giant, puffy-sleeved, ivory-silk taffeta Elizabeth and David Emanuel wedding gown; it was the beginning of my love affair with her and with fashion in general. So it is with great anticipation that I plan for the Friday nuptials of Diana's son, Prince William, to "commoner" Kate Middleton.

Many of the Kate-and-William wedding details are shrouded in secrecy, including the big one: Who is designing Kate's wedding dress? People magazine has a slideshow of high-end designer possibilities to browse through, and fashion mags and blogs have spent the weeks since the engagement announcement making their best educated guesses. Designer Bruce Oldfield is often mentioned as the top-pick, though no official announcement has been made. If I were a betting woman I'd say Kate goes with a British designer like Oldfield, but personally I would love to see her in something equal parts romantic and edgy, like Romona Keveza.

Kate is known for her own flair for fashion, drawing many comparisons to her late mother-in-law over the years; she made a splash at her engagement announcement in a sapphire blue ISSA wrap dress, which perfectly matched her sapphire engagement ring -- originally Princess Diana's -- that was designed by Garrard, the official crown jeweler for the last 160 years. The future princess clearly knows how to dress herself, and she's got an eye for cute details, perhaps as a result of her past work as an accessories buyer. I'm anxious to see what kind of jewels she'll be decked out in for her wedding day -- something tells me her future grandmother-in-law has a few nice pieces in a jewelry box somewhere.

As for the wedding itself, to say that it's going to be a "stylish affair" is as massive an understatement as one can make. Pay attention to the flowers, as they are being designed and executed by royal wedding florist Shane Connolly, who also did the flowers for Prince Charles's 2005 wedding to Camilla Parker-Bowles. Also on display will be The Hats. Female wedding guests will be sporting all manner of unusual headpieces. Kate herself is a big fan of Philip Treacy hats, though something tells me her headpiece will feature more baubles than feathers come Friday. Her love for hats has sparked a renewed interest in the accessory, and Houston is no exception according to this KHOU report.

So, Anglophiles! Start your engines and set your alarms (or your DVRs) for Friday--the wedding broadcast begins bright and early. Most major networks begin their coverage at 3 a.m. Central Time, or you can watch the proceedings online at the official royal wedding website: The Royal Wedding: Prince William & Kate Middleton.

If you want to get your royal wedding on with like-minded folks, there are also some local royal wedding viewing parties to attend:

British Isles in Rice Village, 2366 Rice Blvd. • Ouisie's Table, 3939 San Felipe • Red Lion Pub, 2316 S. Shepherd • Alamo Drafthouse (both the West Oaks & Katy locations)

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Christina Uticone