Mother of the Bride: 'Be yourself and don't put up with any Princess-y behaviour from your daughter'
'I wish more Mothers of the Bride would retain their own preciously sweet sense of identity like Doria did' says Bairbre Power
I watched the royal wedding on American breakfast TV last week. Big mistake. Huge. They were all over the place with frothy, inane coverage most of which I watched with my hand over my mouth. It got worse day by day and the absolute low came with the lookalike bride and groom competition for which the judges really should have gone to Specsavers.
I should have just turned the painfully awful coverage off early in the week but the ol' jet lag kicked in so I was awake at 2am.The irony was rich because on Saturday, the wedding day, I was actually sleepy at 5.30am and had to force myself to turn on the telly. The previous few days, I was getting increasingly frustrated at the media's silly attempts to brand her a Princess because, just like Kate Middleton when she joined 'The Firm', Meghan is now a Duchess but not a Princess - she is not a royal by birth.
I popped in my new contact lenses in order to see the wedding outfits better. It was fabulous to see the fashion spectacle. I loved Amal Clooney's dress with its exaggerated bow train and pleated cap sleeve detail. I'm 100pc certain I will be seeing lots of 'homages' to the Stella McCartney concept and that glorious shade of goldenrod when I'm judging on the Best Dressed racing circuit this summer.
Wait, was that forlorn-looking blonde on the telly Chelsy Davy, Harry's on-off girlfriend? If it was, wasn't that nice of him to make sure she was invited? Oh, I craved some plummy toned BBC accents with comprehensive TV reportage to go with the live footage. The Americans segued to reporters whose onsite offerings were to wave at the passing royal couple and to interview Wildcat alumni from Northwestern university, which Meghan attended.
But meanwhile I wanted to know why there were seats left empty in front of the Queen and Prince Philip. And I wanted a close-up of Doria Ragland, the serene looking mother of the bride. What was that colour she was wearing? Was it lemongrass, like the Isabel Toledo outfit Michelle Obama wore for her husband's 2009 inauguration, or was it more of a pistachio green?
Either way, I loved her diamond nose stud and her dreadlocks scooped up in a tear drop hat. I wish more Mothers of the Bride would retain their own preciously sweet sense of identity like Doria did. She certainly ticked the age-old MOB convention of dress and matching coat combo that most mothers now run from, but she brilliantly did it on her own terms in pistachio Oscar de la Renta and most importantly, preserved her personal style. I suspect wearing nude tights was a concession to royal protocol for the free-spirited clinical therapist.
Interestingly, both she and Carole Middleton are both former air hostesses and I salute women who raise daughters with a self-belief that they can reach for anything they want in life. Just two decades ago, it would have been unimaginable that two daughters outside royal circles could have married the two most eligible Princes in the world.
I've no doubt that Meghan would have respected her mother not to ask her to take out her nose stud - so to the mother who contacted me about being nagged to put a plaster over the hippy 70s tattoo snaking around her ankle for the daughter's posh wedding, I say be yourself and don't put up with any Princess-y behaviour.
By the way, I totally recanted my initial disapproval of Meghan's messy hair and ended up loving it. It's going to be interesting to watch Duchess Meghan define her role as a modern royal and if she makes it to Ireland for their mini-moon, all the better!