The (UNSEEN) Royal Wedding Pictures

Do you feel like you've seen the same pictures rotated over and over again through the internet
of Will & Kate on their big day?

I do.

(Ha. Get it? Because we're like talking about weddings?)

Those pictures are pretty dreamy,
but I love looking through the pictures from our camera...
cause it makes me feel cool.

These photos are, admittedly, not as good as 
the AP photography you've seen in papers & online.

Those guys had a pretty good height advantage 
over me up in the press box... but I'm not complaining.

In fact, I wouldn't trade my perch for most anything in the world.

Well, except a Birkin. I would have definitely thought about it for a Birkin.

So for those that have asked
(and even those that haven't)

... here is this half-jokingly obsessed,
view of her day at 
The Royal Wedding.

I'll try my best to cut to the good parts, 
since I know your blog roll is quite heavy this morning...

Prince William and Prince Harry arrived.
Didn't they look cute? 

You could just hear the sighs of all the girls in the crowd 
as he walked in the chapel doors
and off the market forever.

The most eligible bachelor had made himself, permanently, ineligible.

Then, the moment that 
(not to be dramatic)
kind of changed my life.

When Kate Middleton arrived.

Kate got out of the car,
gathered herself,
 and stared at the crowd.

From where we stood, the sun beamed so brightly off her dress, 
it left her beaming like an angel.

 I may, or may not have, have compared her to a patronus. 

(editor's note: my husband recommended I retire that reference at the risk of being a dork. oops.)

It seemed like a million years as she stood there and stared at the crowd (us!)
before her face broke into that lovely smile,
and the crowd (us!) went wild.

There Kate was. A normal girl.
Just like any of us.

Standing there so peacefully and happily...

about to change her entire life.

Most people would claim that their lives changed on their wedding days,
but for Kate Middleton, it was much deeper and significant.

At that moment, the world saw her committing to spend the rest of her life with William
and accept all the standard risk in sharing your life with another person...

(growing apart, unfaithfulness, family issues, weight gain, etc.)

But unlike any other woman in the world,
Kate Middleton was fused into a world of scrutiny & expectations.

... cameras, rules, isolation, engagements, secrecy ...

As exciting of a notion it was
to witness a normal girl become a princess,
a very bittersweet feeling enveloped the moment.

I think my heart was about to beat out of my chest.

Since we were so close to the abbey, there wasn't a broadcast of the ceremony on our block
to prevent the noise from disrupting the actual service inside.

Once Kate waved goodbye and the abbey doors closed, 
the crowd began buzzing 
with recounts of the amazing moments they had just witnessed.

the four of us- tired but very excited!

As we retold our perspectives with those around us,
 no Brit standing nearby had a dry eye.

As Americans, we see the Royal Family as this amazingly posh celebrity family,
like the Trumps, the Hiltons, or the Beckhams.

People that elect to live in the spotlight.

But here in the UK, there is a calmer attitude towards the Windsors.

One that involves less celeb hysteria and more of a remorseful pity
for this family that never chose this attention...

They have been born into it and left without any other option 
but to be constrained to it's perimeters
 and thrive within them.

This split of opinion between how the Royal Family is perceived 
became suddenly clear earlier this month
as I was riding in a taxi around the Mall.

The driver leaned over his shoulder and said:
"We're passing the Queen's Prison."

I looked up to see Buckingham Palace pass by.

"It's not a life to want, is it?" he asked.

As hard as it is as an American to feel sorry for the Royals
with their castles, their good bone structure, their obscene wealth...
the British seem to view all those "perks" as necessary means to cope
with such immense pressure and confined lives of service.

It's an interesting perspective to consider.

After the ceremony, the bells began the first of their three hour ringing.

The crowd got back up to their perches and waited for the long walk down the aisle.

They walked through the abbey doors,
and oh my, didn't they look happy?

I thought so.

And I hope they are.

I somehow ended up standing next to the Royal Family Photographer,
during the ceremony and as the royal family watched
the Duke & Duchess climb into their carriage.

We started talking as I read an article in the paper that featured 
a picture of Charles, Diana, and 10 month old William.
He pointed to it and smiled: "I took that picture."

When I asked if he had been to Charles and Diana's wedding,
he told me yes- and the one before that.
This is his fourth generation of Royals to photograph.

As I stuttered to comprehend what a vault of memories he must have stored away,
I asked him which generation was his favorite.

He laughed and said:
"I hope this one will be. I'm starting to have my doubts on the others."

I think everyone feels the same.

The world is excited to watch how William & Kate
change the role of the British Monarchy.

... and how they will rock the style pages for years to come ...

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy
* please do not copy without permission or sourcing. thank you.


  1. Such a well-written and thoughtful post (oh, and funny, too!). I can't imagine what it must be like for them, the media attention across the world is just insane! I really, really hope it doesn't harm their happiness.

    P.S. Lovely snaps - you were SO close to the action! Amazing.

  2. thank you for these, they made my morning.

  3. What a great post Lauren!!!! Amazing photos!! Those two seem so in love and so youthful and I hope the stresses and obligations of their roles don't tear apart their love!

  4. absolutely stunning, gorgeous, amazing...and many more adjectives!

  5. amazeballs! i am so jealous. what a fabulous story you have to tell!

  6. these images are amazing! while I am a little jealous of kate's amazing dress, you are right, i would never want the life that she just signed up for in a million years. her dress on the other hand...

  7. holy smokes Lauren!
    that is just amazing!!!

  8. You know, I wasn't really taken with this wedding. After watching Diana struggle, I felt for Kate. But your post has just perfectly captured that little bit of magic, and I actually had tears in my eyes! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!

  9. Wow what an incredible experience. And thank you so much for sharing your perspective. You are so right, as Americans, we few them as celebrities but there is clearly another side.

  10. I shed a tear as I read your post and the images that you not only were fortunate enough to take but to witness history right before you. I love the words and the fact that this marks a new beginning for a new life.
    Did you get to see Pippa, her dress was simply elegant.

  11. How beautiful it all was! You had an amazing spot and I know you will treasure those memories for years to come!

  12. I just cried. At work. Oh my gosh. Stunning stuff, girl. Stunning stuff.

  13. OH MY GOSH! This is beautiful. The pictures...the way it has been written... That is SO NEAT that you got to be there...AND be next to the royal family photographer!!! Oh and I totally love your Harry Potter word...don't store it away ;)

    I just love Kate and William. I love how they were able to incorporate their modern styles into tradition. Just beautiful and breathtaking <3

  14. i LOVED these - really, really did! they might be even better than the ones we've been seeing all over the place 'cause you were THERE! love it!!!

  15. Wow! What a beautiful post, and what an amazing experience you had! Your photos are absolutely stunning, as was Kate. That dress, just perfection. It really is like a fairy tale come true!

  16. beautiful post. loved seeing your perspective. and that last photo is my favorite.

  17. Gorgeous!! And the best post about the wedding I've read!!

  18. This is awesome! I would totally frame that last photo - it is just beautiful! Thanks for the new perspective on the wedding of the year!!!! I am new follower!

  19. You lucky girl. These are wonderful pictures - I like the coloring. And what amazing memories!

  20. What an amazing experience! I love seeing real life pictures of the event not just the ones online by the media!

  21. I will probably read this post 5 times today. No joke. It's dreamy and I am so thrilled for you Lauren! Thanks so much for sharing...I think your understanding and enthusiasm is perfect.Also, I cannnnnnot believe you stood next to the family photographer? What a gift!

    I laughed out loud (and lovingly)at the patronus're in England, it's legit.

  22. I LOVED this post- the thoughtful commentary, the amazing photos that show how close you actually were (amazing,)and the insightful thoughts on the royal family- so so good. Thank you for sharing this amazing memory I'm sure you'll neeeever forget- even better than a birkin I think:)

  23. love this post and what great shots you got! thanks for sharing!!

  24. you're so cool. what a great spot. being at the harry potter premiere doesn't even compare to this amazingness you witnessed! jealous :) and how did you even start talking to one of the royal photographers? all i can say is of course you were standing next to him! ha ha you would ;)

  25. How beautiful your pictures are. I was at Diana's funeral, which was indescribably moving, but I would have loved to have been there for this.

    Of course, Wills is a local boy, so things were very festive in The Cotswolds on the day. I went to a bunting-clad village hall and watched it surrounded by little kids in cardboard crowns. There were balloons outside his dad's shop, and the bells rang for hours in Cirencester. I mentioned the event in an audio interview for Palaces & Calluses, if you'd like to listen to it. The interview.

  26. wowwww!! this is so well written, it made me cry! i found myself nodding my head the entire time at everything you said! the royals dont get to choose their life, and must do the best with it that they can -- and im so glad that william was able to forge out of it and marry for love. so excited to see what all is in store for those two!!
    and im so jealous of your amazing spot close to the abbey, as well as your pictures! i agree that the ones people actually take are so much better than the associated press. i hate so much i couldn't be there for the wedding, but definitely plan on making it across the pond for harry's!!! (to me! hahaha)

  27. This is amazing! How incredible to stand in front of a piece of history as grand as this! I love how you captured the event in words, it gave me chills again!

  28. I got chills! I cannot believe you actually met and spoke to the Royal Photographer. That is amazing! Wow... definitely a memory to share with all your posterity. You are amazing!

  29. woww! great photos and a beautiful story to accompany them. I never considered that perspective of the royal family. wonderfully put and so eloquently written!

  30. The photos are incredible, Lauren. But I am in love with your words even more. Fabulous perspective. You are so lucky to have shared in that historical moment, almost as if an insider! Best royal wedding post, ev-er.

  31. These are incredible, Lauren!!! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! I feel like we were right there with you :)

  32. Such fabulous pictures!! Thanks so much for sharing them. I'm so glad you got to experience such a joyous historic moment! :)

  33. GORGEOUS pictures! I was hanging out in the vicinity of Buckingham Palace so these are totally new perspective! Wasn't it a truly charming day?!

  34. Beautifully spoken, Lauren. I couldn't agree more. I can't remember how many times I said poor girl (referring to Kate) during the wedding. I am; however, thrilled for them. I am praying for them, that the may have as much happiness & more than can ever be imagined possible despite their situation.

  35. Love your pictures!

    I have been delighted with "The Wedding" and have never thought that the locals may have a different view of the royal family. Very interesting.

  36. LOVE your pictures! I spent some time in London and Scotland a few years ago and think I loved all of the same places, things to eat and see, and buy as you did! It was like reliving my trip again! This really rings home for me! I just found your blog today after hopping around (avoiding laundry)...such a great find...look forward to being a follower :)

  37. so lovely, lauren! you did the day justice...and showcased it beautifully! i find myself thinking of kate a lot in the past few days.

  38. wow, what an amazing experience! your shots are so wonderful and how lucky to be that close :) and that chat with the photographer was so great! such a thoughtful question you asked him!

  39. What a wonderful experience- thanks for sharing it!! Your pictures are great and I could totally imagine the feeling of anticipation you must have felt while snapping them. I think you're spot on about Kate's bittersweet new life. She is gaining so much, but also losing more than we know. Glad you could chat with the photographer:) I'm hopeful for Will and Kate. xx, MademoiselleMichael

  40. Can't believe you were there. I was thinking a lot of the same things watching the coverage. Can you imagine how her parents felt as well? Thanks for sharing - I'll live vicariously through you. :-)

  41. Great Great Great Post!!! How lucky are you! :)

  42. This is so fun to read :) Great photos and such fun memories!

  43. Wonderful post-- loved it! How lucky you were to be there!

    ~Blair @ scsd

  44. Wow! Beautiful pictures! What a wonderful experience that must have been!

  45. I watched at home with friends - it was evening our time, so we had a little party. I am, however, completely jealous that you were able to experience it close enough to photograph. What a once in a lifetime experience!
    Reading your post made me teary all over again. Very well written.

  46. These are better than the professional ones! It's like I was right there in the audience. What a great experience for you!

  47. I think I like your photos as much as some of the ones appearing in the magazines. You had such close access and you captured the event from an angle I hadn't seen yet. How lucky you were to experience it in person!

  48. omggggg you are so so lucky!!! wow these pics are amazing.

    ps- going to feature/link you on my friday faves post tomorrow :)

  49. Such a great post! These are super amazing pics as well! :)

  50. This is the first time I've read your blog - it made me cry - you are an amazing, talented blogger, and you made me feel like I was really watching the wedding through your eyes.

  51. adored this post as much I adore them! thank you!!

  52. Beautiful pictures. I am just so enamored by the Royals. I loved watching the replays on TV but its great to see these pictures from a real person. Thanks for sharing.

  53. Wonderful post. Love that you got to take your own shots and talk to Ian Pelham Turner too! HA! Please tell your husband that only dorks think patronus could ever become a dorkish reference. Hahahahaha!

  54. I'm also obsessed with the royals and England- how long did you camp out there to get that spot? That would have been heaven for me! Great pictures, thank you for sharing!

  55. beautiful pictures. beautiful words. makes me feel like i was there. thanks for sharing. pam

  56. OH MY GOSH, you were so close!!! what great photos! I loved watching it all on tv. thanks for sharing with us. It must have been so exciting to be there!

  57. Thank you for sharing your photos and your perspective. It is interesting you used the word bittersweet as you saw Kate go into the church. I really got a better sense of the day thanks to you! Great photos! What a wonderful experience you had.

  58. Great perspective on the Royal Wedding! Loved your pics too:)

  59. How awesome that you got to be there! Such a beautiful wedding!!

  60. Hi Lauren,
    I just came to this post from your post about the Royal Baby!! This post was absolutely beautiful. I love your perspective of their life as Royals and how this is not a life they chose, but embrace!!!

    I miss living in London so much, and look forward to vicariously living there again through your posts!!!

    Thank you!


  61. Lauren, I just stumbled upon this post when I read your recap on the royal baby! How exciting that you get to witness these amazing and life changing events! I was hoping you might be able to tell me... what kind of camera were you using to shoot these?? Was it the iPhone?

    Thanks girl!



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