Looks like one of the most enduring images from yesterday’s royal wedding isn’t of the royal newlyweds, Prince William and Kate. Rather, of a frowning little girl wearing a crown of flowers and a frown while she covers her ears and ignores a kissing couple.
What was up with little Grace Van Cutsem, the frowning flower girl? What went wrong? Did cameras just capture her in a bad moment?
Judging from pictures taken throughout the day, she was never really into the wedding. Why wasn’t Grace smiling, even in the official royal wedding picture? Was she being an entitled little brat?
No, not at all. Grace Van Cutsem is 3. That’s why she wasn’t smiling.
Having gotten past the defiant threes twice, I’m surprised little Grace hasn’t already torn off that crown of flowers and thrown it from the balcony.
Dig through some pictures and what you see is little Grace Van Cutsem doing very little smiling and a whole lot of just getting through the day. Which, really, can you ask anything more of a 3-year-old? Even the official photos of the royal wedding, released by Clarence House, show a Grace Van Cutsem ready to be done with it all. She’s got that glazed-over look a 3-year-old gets when the clock strikes hour two past naptime as she stands there knitting her fingers, one loud noise — one request to, “no, Grace love, look over this way” away from a humdinger of a meltdown.
If this is what makes the official cut, I can only imagine the shots that didn’t.
But that’s 3 for you! Self-possessed, defiant, constantly hungry, constantly tired (yet with too much energy to go to sleep). The royal couple was taking a risk when they asked Prince William’s god-daughter to be a central part of their day. Judging from the balcony scenes, the two didn’t let Grace’s ear-covering ruin their day.
As for Grace, those pictures will follow her everywhere. When she cracks her first public smile in, oh, about a year, we’ll be seeing before and after shots, mark my word.
But the people I really feel for are Grace’s parents. I’m sure they were sweating bullets the whole day, just waiting to be told to come get their child, that she’s picking the petals off the royal wedding flowers one-by-one.
Three. You can’t win! You can just get through.
The other royal children in attendance did just fine. Because they weren’t 3 years old.