Five questions for a Will and Kate fanatic
A few days before Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton say their vows, Chicagoan Allison Lackey, 24, rattles off the list of regal memorabilia in her Lakeview apartment. “I have commemorative plates. A William and Kate t-shirt, a William and Kate mug to sip my coffee or tea out of. I have a big poster in my apartment with [the text] ‘Keep calm and carry on’ [a saying created by the British government to boost morale during World War II] with a crown on the top of it. Books, magazines, a tea towel. And the Chicago Public Library probably hates me because I have all of these books checked out about the royal family.”
For her superfandom, Lackey—who in college had Google alerts set for ‘Prince William,’ ‘Kate Middleton’ and a few other choice royal buzzwords (“Since then I’ve had to turn off those alerts… as you can imagine, my Gmail would have hundreds of notifications,” she says)—won a spot on recent BBC reality show Royally Mad, which took her and four other fans to London on the ultimate royal tour. She answered five questions for TOC before the big day.
There’s always been that fascination. I’m sure you can remember, growing up, every girl picks her book report [subject] to be Princess Diana. We idolized her in a sense, largely because our mothers did. [When] I stood up in my first wedding ever, I think I was 7 years old. I did not understand my role as a flower girl. I’m not sure I even understood what the point of this wedding was. So to put this in perspective for me, my mom showed me footage of the pageboys and pagegirls at Princess Diana’s wedding, and I said, “Look at that dress! It looks like something you’d see in a Disney movie,” and she said, “Yes, just like there are princesses in Disney movies, there are real princesses in England.”
You threw a bachelorette party for Kate—how was that?
I had a hen party. All of my girlfriends and I. We wore fascinators and little Kate Middleton jackets. Even at The Drake, it’s very stoic and elegant, even in that setting we just completely stuck out. People were coming over, taking our pictures, asking, “Is somebody getting married?” And we were like, “Yeah. Kate Middleton. Haven’t you heard?”
Does your boyfriend think you’re crazy?
Um, yes. He’s certainly grown to tolerate it [Ed note: They met in college and have been dating for six years]. On the show, they flew him over to London to surprise me, and he gave me a beautiful diamond and sapphire ring like the one William gave Kate. But even before that, for Christmas he had given me a knockoff of the ring. He’s given his nod here and there to the obsession to appease me. What I tell him is, Jason, imagine if the Chicago Bears were going to the Super Bowl only one time in your entire life and it only happened once. That’s what this is.
Any eye-rolling from the rest of the world?
A lot of people say, I don’t get it, it’s not even your country, we would never want a monarchy, that’s horrible, why do you like it? But I think beyond the pomp and circumstance and the pageantry and the fairy tale, I think there’s just a really beautiful love story. All of the other weddings have had the glamour, but not every one of them has had a love story.
What’s the plan for Friday?
Oh my gosh. It’s going to be a big day! I’ve taken a vacation day; I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus on [work]. I’m going to be waking up at—at first I was thinking midnight, but now I see coverage isn’t starting until 3, so I’ll probably wake up at 1 or 2. Make some tea, have some treats ready to go, and start watching the coverage! From what I understand, at about 4am our time, Kate will be stepping out of her car and walking up to Westminster Abbey. For the coverage itself, I have a girlfriend from college, she studied in London, we’re going to watch it together. We have a few invitations to go to parties but we’re so concerned about not missing a single second that we might watch it live ourselves and then go to a viewing party later [to watch a re-airing]. I know Globe Pub is having a party. I’m going to be a tired royal wedding fanatic!