Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Burning questions about the royal wedding

I've been thinking a lot over the last 12 hours, since hearing about the royal engagement, of how much time I want to spend writing about this subject on Hail Britannia, and the answer that feels right to me is Some. I mean, I can't ignore it, but the truth is I'm not very interested in British royalty, except a. to discuss the pros and cons of a monarchy; b. to look at it through the lens of history and c. to gossip about salacious and scandalous escapades some of the colorful members of the family seem to fall into. Prince William and his fiancee seem like a nice, pleasant young couple and I wish them all the best in their marriage, but beyond that, I'm just not interested enough to turn this blog into a breathless series of posts about what Catherine (what Kate prefers to be called) will be wearing on her wedding day and who Prince Harry's date will be. So sorry -- if you've come here for that, you won't find reams of it.

That said, occasionally I'll post about small details that interest me. For example, I'm very curious what Catherine's title will be once she marries Prince William. She'll get the HRH title, of course, and she'll become Queen Catherine if William ever takes the throne, but what will she be called until then? It looks like it's up the Queen, but until then, links here and here have some ideas.

Commentators have made much ado about this wedding boosting tourism to the UK, perhaps as an argument to the republicans (that's republicans in the British sense, not the guys who sit across from the Democrats) who are grousing about how much this wedding will cost British taxpayers. Certainly it will put the spotlight on Britain, but I'm doubtful it'll motivate droves of tourists to descend upon the country. Which leads me to another question: who will pay for this extravaganza? Both William and Catherine come from wealthy families -- how much will they contribute, given that the British economy is about as bad as the US economy? I can't imagine how pissed off Americans would be if they'd had to foot the bill for, say, Chelsea Clinton's wedding ... indeed, there was enough grumbling of how much it was costing taxpayers to provide security for the wedding party in Rhinebeck that weekend. Any ideas, or will this be a "state-supported" wedding as decreed by law and/or tradition?


  1. It would be extremely unusual if the whole thing wasn't state funded, as with every other royal wedding. Apparently William is very mindful of the economy and it said to be trying to keep it as low key as possible. However, as the talk is already of the ceremony being held in the centre of London, as opposed to Windsor where Prince Edward was married, the security and traffic diverion costs alone with run into the millions.
    There will be the usual grumblings of cost to the taxpayer, and the other side saying that it's good for morale and tourism. And as long as the British public is paying for the wedding, they'll want to see as much of it as possible.
    The bride will be Princess Catherine until the Queen gives William another title, say Duke or Earl of something. When Andrew married Fergie, he was made Duke of York, which is why she's known as the Duchess rather than Princess Sarah. Ditto with Edward's wife who became The Countess of Wessex rather than Princess Sophie.

  2. Apparently the Middletons are giving a " five figure sum" toward the cost and the majority will be out of the Queens budget: all though there has been a lot of argument over that recently.

    The British aren't thrilled to be footing any kind of bill particularly as this is 2010 and not 1910. Personally I am wary of the billing of Kate as a peoples princess like Diana.

    Note: my source is the Daily Mail.


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