Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thoughts on the royal wedding

Today my friend Peg wrote on my Facebook wall, "Why oh why have we not seen more from you on the royal wedding? Are you not buying into the hype? Too busy? Will you be watching LIVE at 5 AM?"

I've been thinking about this a lot. The truth is, I'm just not into it. But why? You'd think that a rabid Anglophile such as myself would be all in a tither over this -- the fanfare, the pageantry as only the British can do, the sense of history being made, the fashions, and whether or not William and Kate/Catherine will smooch on the Buckingham Palace balcony as his parents so famously did in 1981? -- but I'm not. And this week I finally figured out why.

You see, I was 16 when Charles and Diana got engaged and married and thought it was all so romantic. Diana was just a couple years older than I was, and seemed so innocent and yes, very princess-like in that there was a lot of talk about her excellent bloodline (because back then you had to be an aristocrat to marry a prince) and whether or not she was a - gasp! - virgin. And we all know how that marriage worked out. Thirty years later, the world has changed. William led a very different life from his father and his courtship of Kate was thoroughly modern. They lived together in college, have lived together after college and during their engagement, and while there's some snarky talk about Kate's humble origins, there's no talk about her "purity" (or his, sheesh). They're just a young couple, like many others, who seem well suited to each other.

When I was 16 and watching Charles and Diana marry, I was starry-eyed about men and marriage. Today, I know that marriage is a lot of work, even for royals. (Men, too, are a lot of work. Many are a piece of work, but I digress.) This week will be all pomp and ceremony, but the real road is ahead of them. I'll be more interested in how they relate to the public in the coming years, given that anti-monarchy sentiment is high. Will they continue to live a normal-ish existence in the coming years? How will the monarchy change as a result? Those, to me, are the interesting questions ... not who's designing Kate's wedding dress.

So will I be up at the crack of dawn on Friday to watch the festivities? Probably not. Instead I'm going to sleep in (my son has the day off from school) and I'll come down and watch all the videos posted online at the BBC, CNN, and more. I'll be in my jammies, drinking chai, and no Philip Treacy millinery in sight.

What about you? How do you feel about the wedding? Do you plan to watch it live or will you catch the highlights when it suits your schedule?


  1. Well, you just nailed my response exactly. Except I'm going to record the wedding on BBC America and watch it, maybe Saturday (busy day Friday).

  2. If I had BBC America, I'd do the same Amy. It does sound like the major networks will be covering the events, but I know their breathless commentary and dumb rhetorical questions will send me looking for the scotch.

  3. You can always watch me live on your computer this evening (Wed). I'm on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" at 7pm Central time. Not quite sure what we'll be talking about but it will be light-hearted and slightly irreverent if I have anything to do with it! www.wttw.com

  4. but I know their breathless commentary and dumb rhetorical questions will send me looking for the scotch.
    That is exactly what I am afraid of. I would rather watch BBCA in low def than hi def silliness.

  5. Funny, my love of England has never made me a 'Royal Watcher'. Although, I watched Diana's wedding, it was more of a slight curiosity but for some reason, I'm a bit fanatical about this one. To my surprise, I was up at 2 a.m. (I didn't intend to be!), smiling, crying, wishing I were there, feeling proud, being emotional. I thought it was spectacular and perfect. I agree, it's the tough road ahead that will be the test, but something tells me they'll pass with flying colours.


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