Caroline Walker has long been a fan of British royalty, and her husband, Bill Walker, seized a Christmastime opportunity last year to gift her the chance to see a royal wedding in person.
“For Christmas, they surprised me with a commemorative plate of the wedding. It was kind of homemade and sweet. I was looking at it then my husband said, ‘well, maybe you can replace it with a real one when you go to the wedding.’ And I just kind of lost it for a second. I was so excited,” Caroline Walker said.
Once Bill Walker found out about the wedding in November, he booked flights and hotels for their journey, which started with a three-day visit to Neuschwanstein, Germany before a jump over to London.
“The weather was amazing. You know, it’s usually rainy over there, but it was 80 degrees, sunny, kind of like it is over here,” Caroline Walker said. “We ran around and did all kinds of stuff in London. It was just the two of us, so we had a great time. We did things like the Jack the Ripper tour and Sherlock Holmes pub. It was just so beautiful.”
When Saturday came, the Walkers headed out early to make their way to Windsor on the train.
“It was just so magical. It was just so surreal. If you were at a UT game and it was at the Kentucky Derby at the same time, that’s kind of what it was like. I had my picnic basket ready to go, so we headed for the Long Walk in front of Windsor. We were crossing the street, and I found an open spot right next to the street, and I said, ‘this is it.’ Seven hours later, the procession came down,” Caroline Walker said.
The picnic basket was a subject of much attention, as she had brought with her goodies like champagne, sandwiches, tea biscuits and even a blanket to claim their spot.
“Everybody was interested in the basket. A TV crew came up and asked to see it. You know, we were there for seven hours, so it was nice to have a few little things.”
Finally, the royal wedding procession came through, and the carriage passed right by the Walkers. People waved flags representing both America and Britain as the couple who would soon officially be the duke and duchess of Sussex trotted by in carriage.
“I always followed the royals and followed Harry, but I really didn’t hear about Meghan until they pretty much announced their engagement. They’re both humanitarians, and she has her causes, and he does too. It was just perfect timing for both of them, I think.”
Though the Walkers weren’t close to St. George’s Chapel, they were still able to experience the wedding.
“They played the whole wedding and procession on loudspeakers, so we were able to hear it from where we were, and everybody kind of joined in by bowing during prayers and cheering during certain parts,” Caroline Walker said. “It was really almost like we were in church. We felt like a part of the wedding.”
Caroline Walker has lived in Lebanon her whole life. She does interior design work and has taught at McClain Christian Academy for 16 years. She also helps with the annual Phoenix Ball. Bill Walker works for UPS.