British Royal Wedding Required Traditions


With all the buzz about England’s next Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, Miss Meredith Sweetpea’s mind has turned to romance. There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding. Especially so when marrying into the royal family.

In British tradition, there are a number of age-old royal wedding requirements.

  • The monarch must permit the marriage in writing for the six heirs closest in line to the throne.
  • A formal engagement announcement must be made by Kensington Palace, followed by a public photo session and joint interview. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle posed for the press in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace.
  • The king or queen is the Head of the Protestant Anglican Church of England, therefore they and anyone they marry must be a member of the Church of England or they will lose the right to the throne. Ms. Markle will be baptized into the Church of England prior to the wedding.
  • Royal brides must wear a white gown, and customary lace, ever since Queen Victoria wore a white gown at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.
  • Royal grooms must wear a military uniform. Prince Albert was the one to start this trend.
  • In Queen Victoria’s bridal bouquet was a sprig of myrtle, expected to harbinger love and good fortune int he marriage. Victoria received the myrtle bush from Albert’s grandmother and planted it on the Isle of Wight. Sprigs of myrtle have been provided from this bush for royal weddings ever since.
  • The bride must wear a tiara. Princess Diana wore a Spencer family tiara for her wedding to Prince Charles. Catherine Middleton borrowed the Cartier “Halo” tiara that was originally given by King George VI to his wife, Queen Elizabeth, then given to Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.
  • The bride’s wedding band must be made from the gold taken from a specific mine in Wales.
  • The bride must lay her wedding bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior after the ceremony. Every royal bride has done so since the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon following her wedding to Prince Albert.
  • There are generally two receptions: one between 11 am and noon with a lunch or brunch, and another in the evening with dinner and dancing.
  • No shellfish can be served at a royal wedding. Or garlic.
  • The wedding cakes must include a fruitcake.

–Excerpted from The Knot, “Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Break Any of These Royal Wedding Traditions?” by Maggie Seaver.

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Wedding Omens and Predictions


Queenb-Victoria-Orange-BlossomsFor centuries, people declared that there were omens that could predict weddings and happy marriages. Here are some of the ones the Victorians believed, and some we still believe today:

You (or someone you know) will be married soon when:

  • A chicken enters your house with a straw in i ts mouth, which it leaves behind.
  • A mockingbird flies over your house.
  • A white dove comes near your house.
  • A spider descends from the ceiling and “dances” up and down.
  • A cow moos at night.

Your marriage will be happy if:

  • You feed a cat at of one of your old shoes just before you marry.
  • A cat sneezes in front of the (or your) bride on the day before the wedding.
  • Either party dreams about the wedding day.
  • You marry in June.
  • Your wedding ceremony lasts between a half hour and an hour (the rising hand of the clock denotes rising fortune.)
  • You marry in the afternoon.
  • You marry on a beautiful day.
  • A ray of sunshine falls on you as you leave the church.
  • It snows on your wedding day.
  • You see a lamb or dove on the way to the church.
  • A flock of white birds flies directly over you on the way to the wedding.
  • You carry bread in your pocket and throw it away on your wedding day.
  • A spider crawls on the wedding dress just before the ceremony.
  • The bride wears earrings during the ceremony.
  • The bridge has her hair done and veil put on by a happily-married woman.
  • A new dime is placed in the bride’s left shoe just before she walks down the aisle.
  • Orange blossoms are used in the wedding decorations.
  • You carry a pinch of salt to the church.
  • The bridegroom carries a horseshoe in his pocket during the ceremony.
  • The bride cries on her wedding day.
  • You both step into, and out of, the church on your right foot first.

There are also don’ts that you should heed:

  • Don’t get married to someone born in the same month as you.
  • Dont’t get married on your birthday.
  • Don’t get married during Lent.
  • Don’t postpone your wedding.
  • Don’t let the groom see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony.
  • Don’t let the bride wear pearls (each pearl represents a tear).
  • Don’t get married in a church with bats (if it flies over you, it will bring bad luck.)
  • Finally, don’t believe everything you read!

Whew, with all of these things to worry about, it’s a wonder people get married at all!

–Excerpted from “Everything Romantic: A Book for Lovers” by Michael Newman

Am I the Granddaughter of King Henry VIII? | Meredith Sweetpea


Henry_Carey_King_Henry_VIII_comparison

L: Henry Carey; R: King Henry VIII; Middle: mashup of the two. The resemblance is uncanny. Could he be King Henry VIII’s son?

When Miss Meredith Sweetpea read the best-selling historical novel “The Other Boleyn Girl” she was captivated by the story, and read the entire book in one sitting. Have you read it?

The story, written by British historian Philippa Gregory, tells the tale of Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s older sister, who had a long-term affair with, and two children by, King Henry VIII prior to his meeting and subsequently marrying Anne. It is told from Mary’s point of view, beginning with Mary at the naive age of 14.

This book penetrated my mind, and for years, lingered with a familiarity unclaimed by any other novel.

Years later, I began to research my genealogy, and was shocked and pleasantly surprised to find out that I am the 18th great-granddaughter of Mary Boleyn through each of these two children supposedly conceived through King Henry VIII: Catherine and Henry Carey (Mary was married to William Carey).

Are these the children of King Henry VIII?

Although it has never been proven that these two are the children of King Henry VIII, nor were they ever acknowledged or legitimized by the regent, there are a number of indicators that they may be. For one, it is said that Henry closely resembled King Henry.

  • William Carey was given a number of royal grants between 1522 and 1526, which generally indicate a reward.
  • Henry claimed in 1533 that he was “Our Sovereign Lord the King’s Son.”
  • Anne Boleyn became Henry’s ward after the death of Mary’s husband William Carey.
  • Henry VIII admitted to his affair with Mary, which he probably would not have done had he not issued children with her.
  • Both children were born during the time of the affair.
  • Elizabeth I (Anne Boleyn’s daughter) loved the Carey children and bestowed favors upon them. Henry was knighted by her and made Bason Hunsdon. Elizabeth also visited him on his deathbed and gave him the patent and robes of the Earldom of Wiltshire. Henry’s son, Robert, received Queen Elizabeth I’s ring from her hand upon her death.
  • Catherine Carey was Queen Elizabeth I’s most senior lady-in-waiting, and was buried at Royal expense and given a prominent memorial when she died.

It is rumored that King Henry VIII may have acknowledged these children, but he had already taken in HenryFitzhugh as his legitimate child. He was the child of an affair with Bessie Blount.

The_Other_Boleyn_GirlIt is exciting to know that I am the descendant of this woman who so captivated me through her story, and believe that I am the 18th great-granddaughter of King Henry VIII. Perhaps there is something in our DNA that recognizes those who came and went long before us, and left their mark upon our futures.

–facts excerpted from The Anne Boleyn Files

 

A True Gentleman Is… | Meredith Sweetpea | Manners Quotes


cup-of-tea

“A true gentleman is one that apologizes anyways, even though he has not offended a lady intentionally.
He is in a class all of his own because he knows the value of a woman’s heart.”

–Shannon L. Alder

What’s the Big Deal About Wearing Sweatpants?


Kate-Walsh-in-sweatpants

Actress Kate Walsh — sloppy or chic?

Miss Meredith Sweetpea grew up with a Southern grandmother who required certain standards for a lady. We were to smile prettily, be dainty, and look our best at all times. Why, she wouldn’t think of going to the grocery store without first applying lipstick. And remember the television show “Father Knows Best?” The mother always wore a dress–and pearls–even around the house. I know, it’s a glorified image of life in the 1950s, but why not uphold a standard?

When did we transition from looking our best to looking our worst? And when did it become okay? Continue reading

Secrets to Love: Respect


always-love-&-respect

While reading through one of her favorite books, Miss Meredith Sweetpea came across a section titled: Secrets to love: Respect. She’d like to share those words with you here, in hopes that all might glean a bit of insight into making your love life a little sweeter.

Secrets to Love: Respect

Excerpted from Living Romantically Every Day, by Barbara Taylor Bradford

I think that in order to love someone, you must first respect him [or her] and that respect must be tended to for the duration of the relationship. A romantic partnership is a relationship  between equals — I believe it ‘s virtually impossible to have a successful relationship, let alone a romantic one, with someone you don’t’ respect as an equal. Respect is a form of honoring a person and his individuality, and it’s so important that it’s part of the traditional wedding vows (“love and honor”).

Be attentive when you listen

Respect means holding your partner in a position of high regard and showing that you believe he is genuinely worthy. An important one is to be wholly attentive when you listen. If he’s telling you  a story, don’t interrupt. When he’s done, ask him, “Then what happened?” or “I think the part about X was so interesting. What do you think?”

Respect your partner’s ideas and opinions

Don’t expect the two of you to agree on everything. Agree to disagree about certain issues. As long as you agree on core values, such as how to raise your family, there’s a lot of room to debate everything else. Continue reading

Steve Harvey on Texting and Dating | Meredith Sweetpea


While watching the movie “Her,” Miss Meredith Sweetpea found herself noticing that almost all of the people in the background scenes were interacting with their phones and not with actual people.

Texting isn’t a real relationship. It may be fun to get that “ping” that notifies you that a new message has arrived. It may make you laugh for a moment. But it doesn’t take the place of having a real one-on-one interaction with someone–especially in the dating arena. Let’s see what the experts say…

steve-harvey-photo

Relationship Expert
Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey’s Take on Texting and Dating

TV talk show host and comedian Steve Harvey has developed quite a following with men and women as the new “expert” on relationships, and he speaks up about texting and dating. He says that social networking websites and text messages can be a great way to keep in touch with friends, but it’s not the best way to date.
Continue reading

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