It was nearly 30 years ago, but the memory of the day Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles is etched in my mind.
My sister, Chris, my niece Marga and I watched the wedding coverage together, folding out the sofa bed in the living room of my parents' home. It was an early morning ceremony for us Americans, so we were sprawled out in our jammies, glued to the events unfolding in jolly old England that day, July 29, 1981.
That day, it did really seem like a storybook wedding. A beautiful young bride and a dashing older prince were saying vows in front of the world, an audience estimated at 750 million via television.
Diana giggled a bit as misspoke when she had to repeat her groom's long list of given names during the vows. Charles stole a kiss on the balcony as they waved to the hundreds of thousands of onlookers cheering wildly.
Of course, as the years unfolded, the fairytale became more wicked than sweet. It still seemed lovely when Diana and Charles introduced the world to their first born, William, but not long after that, the unraveling began.
The royal couple lived separate lives, indicative of their very different set of interests.
Diana became a celebrity in every sense, including being fodder for the worst tabloid headlines. Infidelity charges were leveled from supporters of both Charles and Diana and their marriage became an example of a painful mismatch of two unhappy people.
The couple divorced and Diana continued on in her public life, bringing attention to issues like AIDS and land mines. She was one of the most recognized human beings on the planet, much to the chagrin of her former in-laws, at least if the movie, "The Queen," is based on any grain of truth.
Then Diana was killed in a horrific crash in a Paris tunnel in August 1997 and an outpouring of grief marked the end of all the turmoil she had suffered through during the years she glowed in the spotlight. Her funeral, like her wedding, drew the eyes of the world.
This coming Friday, that first-born son of Diana and Charles will say his wedding vows in another ceremony being broadcast around the world. Prince William will take Kate Middleton as his bride early in the morning, U.S. time, in a wedding that's been scrutinized like few other such events, except his parents, of course.
This time around, I won't be watching with family. My sister lives in New Hampshire now and my niece in Rhode Island. As for me, I will be working that morning.
So let me offer my pre-nuptial perspective.
The ceremony will be spectacular, I am sure. They are a gorgeous young couple and seem to be handling all the attention with composure and humor.
While I hope the celebration turns out to be just what they dreamed, really what I wish for Kate and William is a happy, contented marriage, something his parents never seemed to have.
A commoner like me can never really know what life is like as a royal, under an intense spotlight at all times. Wealth and power are sought-after commodities, no doubt, but constant scrutiny must be unbearable.
May William and Kate find peace and serenity in their home. May their every move not be second-guessed. May they live a long and blissful life as a couple.
That would be a real fairytale come true.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal. net.