Thursday, 18 November 2010

Will and Kate Sitting In A Tree K.I.S.S.I.N.G.

Kate Middleton is to be Prince William's bride, hurrah. I for one shall be perfectly content to watch the nuptials from the comfort of the sofa, wearing the inevitable commemorative sweater and leg-warmer combo and munching from an array of cold meats  and sausages on sticks laid out upon the coffee table. Lambrini shall be quaffed and twiglets shall be crunched.

I feel no shame about this intended grossly sentimental display of carnivorous fashion blindness as I shall be paying for all of this celebratory tomfoolery out of my own pocket. As, I am certain, Kate and William shall be.

The idea that the taxpayer would be expected to shell out for a Westminister Abbey wedding complete with designer frocks and limousines as has been suggested elsewhere is obviously a ludicrous ruse to hide the happy couple's real intention.

They are of course planning a good old-fashioned Orkney knees up which traditionally eschews fancy venues and puts the emphasis on fun, family and copious amounts of booze.

The night before the wedding, Kate's mother shall pop her daughter's feet into a bath full of water, dropping a ring in under her toes to be retrieved by the bridesmaids who shall be washing the feet of the bride. Whichever girl finds the ring shall be the next to marry.

The wedding shall of course take place during the waxing of the moon as ceremonies held during the waning phase are bad luck. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays are lucky days for weddings.

On the morning of the nuptials, Kate's mum shall serve everyone a stiff glass of gin at ten o'clock in the morning and the wedding party shall be led down to the church by a piper who has attached ribbons to his instrument.

'Hansel', that is pieces of cheese and bread shall be served immediately after the party arrive back at the bride's house and a bridecake of oats and caraway seeds shall be broken over poor Kate's head. This cake contains yet another ring and a button. The girl who finds the ring shall soon be wed herself and the boy who finds the button shall be a bachelor forever.

And then the dancing.

The Bride's Cog

As the evening progresses a 'cog' full of a heady mixture of home brew, whisky, sugar and spices shall be passed around the wedding party, all of whom shall take a drink.

Kate shall then retire to her boudoir to change for bed, whereupon male members of the wedding party, having secreted themselves within and without the chamber, shall burst out and try to steal bits of her wedding finery. Kate shall have taken some beefy, older women up with her to combat this assault, however, and a fight to the death shall ensue.

The cog shall return, full of plain ale this time, two hours after everyone has gone to bed as Kate's mother visits all the party guests in their bed rooms and offers them another drink just in case they are not quite steaming enough to have passed out completely. This revelry shall continue for the next two days or until the drink runs out.

I can't wait to watch it all unfold.

Photographs from the Tom Kent collection and information from Walter Traill Dennison's Orkney Weddings and Wedding Customs.


  1. Very interesting - but breaking cake on the bride's head? Makes you wonder how that tradition came about!

  2. It does seem quite harsh, and was indeed modified to the bride throwing the cake herself a la the boquet of modern times.


Are you delighted by what you have just read? Are you revulsed and appalled? Do let us know, we'd love to hear from you.