Where I sat, an elderly Gentleman-at-Arms, magnificently accoutred in a scarlet tunic, his gold helmet extravagantly plumed in swan feathers carrying a ceremonial battle-axe, marched past, proudly erect in bearing, his spurs clanking on the paving stones, to take up his post at the door, as others of Honourable Corps took their places in front of the Quire. He seemed somehow to embody a pageantry that was at the same time magnificent and vaguely preposterous; irrational, and profoundly moving.
…A trumpet fanfare seemed to shake the vaulted ceiling of the Abbey, announcing the arrival of the Queen. She paused at the door, peering with what looked like amusement and curiosity at the sight of the avenue of trees lining the Nave, before processing to her seat to the stirring strains of Charles Parry’s March from The Birds.
An eyewitness reflects on the pageantry of the Royal Wedding.