Friday, 25 March 2011

A right royal event

This might sound like a bit of a harsh question, but does anyone actually care about the upcoming Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton? Don't get me wrong, if they're happy and in love then I wish them both a wonderful day and a lifetime of happiness together, but no more than any other young couple getting hitched. I do genuinely wonder if I am actually supposed to care a bit more though?

When there have previously been big royal events like weddings, funerals, coronations, etc, people have been waiting outside churches for days before the ceremony and lining the streets the cars will drive through en route. Those who don't live close enough to actually go and physically be a part of the main event have instead been glued to the television to watch all the action (or lack thereof) unfold. And it's not just in the UK. I happened to be on holiday in Spain in May 2004 when Prince Felipe married Princess Letizia and everyone, be they the Spanish staff or tourists who barely knew how to say "hola", seemed to be transfixed by the televisions in the bar throughout the whole day. Royal fever had everybody gripped. I just remember glancing at the screen, thinking "flip, he looks a bit nervous" and then nipping back out to the pool.

Am I abnormal in my nonchalance? I just don't really get the attraction of watching two people I don't know get married, even if they are famous and important. I have no interest in how much the rings cost, how big the cake is or who designed the wedding dress. That said, such things clearly do become part of pop culture, since I wasn't even born when Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot in 1981 and I have no interest in fashion designers whatsoever and yet even I know that the Emanuels (whoever they may be) designed her dress.

Perhaps I should just submit to societal pressure and spend the day watching the whole rigmarole on TV like everyone else will be, if only so I can join in the inevitable conversations about it and actually understand the jokes and comments comedic pundits will undoubtedly make about the big day. Or maybe I'll just glean the basics from the BBC website and spend the day doing something actually fun. I would like to buck the trend and go with the latter but when people ask me, maybe ten years from now, "Awww do you remember the royal wedding? Wasn't it a lovely day?", it would be a bit rubbish to say, "Actually I have no idea - I slept in and then went to look at shoes and drink coffee in Starbucks that day instead." Also I'm getting a day off work because of it, so am I therefore morally obligated to spend the day as per its actual purpose?

I suppose for now I'll keep my options open and see if wedding fever strikes me on the run-up to the big day. Knowing me I'll swing from utter ambivalence to sipping sparkling wine on the sofa all day, getting steadily drunk, whilst wearing my own wedding dress and cheering them on up the aisle. Now actually, that sounds like a plan...

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