She got married recently. And if you are looking for a pageantry filled military wedding – look no further. The bride wore an amazing wedding gown to walk up a very long historic aisle to her handsome soldier/pilot husband, who looked resplendent in his full dress uniform. This is one uniform that outshines the Marine Dress Uniform.
A few days later, he was headed back to work, piloting rescue helicopters and she went back to their home, went grocery shopping and started planning a big trip. That trip took the couple to Canada, where they enjoyed canoeing, attended a big Canada Day celebration, met lots of fun folks and ended up at the Calgary Stampede. She packed carefully, and even recycled some of the clothes she already had, including her fave jeans and those really comfy heels for when she had to be on her feet for a long time.
The trip ended in the US, where they went to a huge party, he played some sports, they did some art and fun stuff; then they went to a military support activity and packed some care packages.
Sounds like a fun trip, huh? Well, I think HRH the Duchess of Cambridge had some fun, but she was also working hard. Working hard as a representative of the Queen; working hard as a representative of her new family; working hard as a new wife.
She met thousands of people, from Governor General and elected officials, to homeless teens; from Green Gable re-enactors to cancer patients; from survivors of fires, to members of the tribes of the First Peoples, from stars of stage, screen and TV, to children on Skid Row. The last appearance was at a Joining Forces, Service Nation/Mission Serve event. As her husband said:
This is the last event on our tour of North America, but to my mind, it is one of the seriouslyt most important. This is because it is about men and women who – of their own freewill – choose to put their life on the line for their Country. They are the front line of a remarkable relationship between the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, which has safe-guarded our freedoms for a century.
But Mission Serve is about something more than just men and women in uniform. It is about our other halves. The half that makes the loved one’s duty and sacrifices possible and worthwhile. It is about you: families, partners and friends.
When HRH talked to some members of Blue Star Families, she mentioned wanting to help the military spouses in her own country. Clarence House/St. James’ has made it clear that she and the Duke are going to maintain a lower profile while he studies for flight captaincy and she mulls over which of the thousands of charities she will become a patron of. I can only hope that she will choose a group that works with military families. We may not hear as much on this side of the Atlantic, but our military family over there are struggling with the same issues we have; deployment after deployment; reintegration problems; PTS and TBI; dealing with the military bureaucracy. While she cannot influence the government, she and Prince William can take the work they saw during their LA trip and extend that. The Prince William and Prince Harry Foundation are already working with military families and Prince Harry has made helping wounded warriors a priority for him. As the Duke said:
I am delighted, therefore, that our Foundation – and in that I include my low-flying Apache very average brother – is a partner in today’s event. We have much to learn from you.
It was wonderful to see the attention being paid to our issues by the mainstream press, even though some of them were more interested in the Duchess’ dress. I could hope they continue to spend some time on them, without the dazzle of royalty. We’ll see!