Nancy Reagan at 'fairyland' royal wedding


LONDON -- First lady Nancy Reagan couldn't find enough superlatives to describe the 'fairyland' royal wedding Wednesday, a historic ceremony her husband could see only on television.

Classically elegant in a peach silk three-piece dress with flowing neck scarf, Mrs. Reagan broke free of her security shadow for the first time since coming to Britain and entered St. Paul's Cathedral alone for the magnificent pageant.


The first lady was seated six rows back from the altar where Prince Charles married the new Princess of Wales.

No Secret Service agents were within sight or earshot, a Buckingham Palace official explained, because 'it's quite safe in an English church.'

The first lady saw no snub whatsoever in her distance from the crowned dignataries who got a front row view of the dazzling spectacle, and said she was just 'delighted' and 'thrilled' to have a chance to witness history.

'It was like a fairyland,' Mrs. Reagan said after the ceremony.

'She had never experienced anything like it and didn't expect to again,' the first lady's press secretary Sheila Tate said.

'It's all superlatives,' Mrs. Tate said of Mrs. Reagan's descriptions of the pageantry in St. Paul's.


In Washington, the president watched a repeat of the wedding on the morning TV news programs and a spokesman quoted him as saying the ceremony was 'Beautiful ... the pageantry was impressive.'

While Prince Charles' bride Diana stole the show with her dreamy ivory silk taffeta wedding dress and 25 foot silk train, Mrs. Reagan's eyes turned to the five bridesmaids, aged 5 to 17, who wore miniature copies of the bride's gown.

'The flower girls were adorable, cute, every adjective you can think of,' Mrs. Reagan said when she returned from a post-wedding luncheon hosted by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the Bank of England.

She was later to attend a reception hosted by Foreign Minister Lord Carrington and a dinner-dance at the exclusive Claridge's Hotel.

President Reagan was sure to get a first hand account of the wedding from his wife, who has called home daily during her trip to Britain -- the longest separation the Reagans have known in 29 years. She returns home Thursday.

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