But while the proceedings seemingly went off without a hitch—no flubs, no streakers, no besotted members of the extended family, etc.—any event of this caliber is bound to have at least five moments where the mouth starts to go just a wee bit slack and the jaw ultimately drops.
And here they are:
1. It's All in the Timing: Could this thing have run any smoother? Give or take a minute here and there, the royal nuptials were carried off to the letter just as the experts had laid it out weeks in advance. The Archbishop of Canterbury was off and running by 11:05 a.m., England time, and Wills was slipping a ring on his bride's finger by 11:18, after which there was some perfectly lovely Four Weddings and a Funeral-style singing and sermonizing. There was nary a disturbance outside—worth mentioning, anyway—and none inside! And if someone had any objections, he or she is forever holding his or her peace.
2. Dressed to Thrill: We knew it! When London's Sunday Times pegged Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton as the designer of The Dress last month, the crafty devil wholeheartedly denied it. We took her at her word, more or less, but where there's smoke... there tends to be a woman with a needle and thread (not to mention a a whole McQueen team and the Royal School of Needlework, or RSN as it will now be known the world over). And what a gown it was! At least now Burton can properly bask in the glow of her triumph for the ages. Do designers get copycat residuals? (Although the Friday-evening quarterbacking has already begun, with some fashionistas expressing disappointment that the design was a little safe.)
3. My Word!: The name of the game today was Hats. Big ones, small ones, solid colors, leopard spot, tilted sideways, sitting on the forehead (oh, Posh), decked out with flowers. You get the picture. And yet there was one of the most prominent female guests—Prime Minister David Cameron's wife—with a, gasp, bare head! Samantha Cameron was wearing an elaborate barrette, yes, but...'twasn't even a fascinator!
4. Two for the Price of One: Talk about the people's prince and princess! After the newlyweds' rather chaste kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the crowd shouted a moment later, "We want another!" And William and Kate happily obliged, sneaking in another quick smooch that was as delightful as it was unexpected.
5. Chance of Rain, Phfft: A rained-out Wimbledon it wasn't. At 60 degrees Fahrenheit and cloudy, the weather wasn't exactly what we would call nice, but the forecasted rain never came and the newlyweds were able to ride from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace after the ceremony in an open coach, rather than a glassed-in cage carriage. And was that sunshine peeking through the chapel windows during the utterly lovely ceremony? Who knows, maybe someone very close to the groom, who was known on earth for her particular brand of radiance, was smiling down from above.