I remember the night very well. The year was 2004. I was dining with friends at a popular restaurant in Nashville and midway through my fish entrée, I noticed a group of young adults near my table, laughing and seemingly having a wonderful time. Both the guys and girls were dressed casually in jeans, ball caps, t-shirts and hoodies. One young man caught my eye. He was tall, blonde-brown hair, beautiful smile, and movie-star handsome, and he presented an image of politeness, thoughtfulness and kindness. He stood out. I noticed how mannerly he was with his waiter and the others at the table. I asked my waiter, “Who is that tall guy at that table? He honestly looks just like Prince William.” The waitress smiled and said, “It’s him alright.”
I learned that Prince William was visiting a family farm outside Nashville. At the time, he was attending St. Andrews University in Scotland and his Nashville host, Anna Sloan, was a student at the University of Edinburgh. They were friends and along with several other students, came on holiday to visit Sloan’s family’s 360-acre farm in Franklin, about 25 miles south of Nashville. Even though Anna isn’t royalty or blueblood, per se, she does have some aristocratic credentials to add to her dossier. Sloan’s father, George Sloan, was a world class steeplechase racer who coaxed England’s Princess Anne into riding in the Royal Chase at Percy Warner Park in Nashville in 1987. Sloan’s grandfather, John Sloan, Sr., was one of the founders of the Iroquois Steeplechase.
According to the Associated Press, Anna Sloan received an invitation to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding which took place today at Westminster Abbey in London. There’s no word whether she attended the event or not. Sources say that Sloan is currently married and running an interior design business in London.
The Royal Wedding is one of the biggest pop culture events to happen in the 21st century. This event and royal couple will affect the way people dress, behave, and celebrate in years to come in the U.K., America and the world. As British journalist and CNN host Piers Morgan told The Huffington Post Thursday, “You’re talking about a stratospherically big event, and it will propel William and Kate into the absolute quadruple A-List of celebrity. They will be the two biggest stars on the planet. We will have a new Diana and Charles from when they got married.”
Indeed, there is a worldwide love affair with Prince William and Kate. Their unique personal circumstances set up a true royal fairy tale. For Prince William, it was the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, at such a young age. Many believe that it was that grace under pressure that rescued the monarchy from true danger following Diana's tragic death.
There is truly a soft spot in the heart of everyone for Prince William – especially those who remember Diana’s death and the courage of Prince William (and his brother, Harry), during that time. In addition, this Royal Wedding has given the world a respite from the deadly tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and wars all over the world. Some people in America wonder why we should make such a big to-do over the Royal Wedding. It’s simple. It has given the world a glimpse of love. It has given the world a bit of hope for a better future. For me, the Royal Wedding is a time for me to remember the handsome college student with the beautiful British accent who blended in with Nashville folks and for a while, was just a commoner like the rest of us