Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Much Ado About the Royal Wedding

So in two days the UK will witness the marriage of the heir apparent to the potential future queen of England. I've found no middle ground on opinions of this event. Either people can't wait to witness the event and have set their DVR's weeks in advance- some are actually hosting watch parties in the wee hours of the morning the day of the blessed event; or people could care less and don't understand what all the hubbub is about.

I read a great article the other day about why the Brits are so obsessed with the wedding. They're witnessing a tradition that goes back a thousand years in their country. It's history-in-the-making. It makes sense that they would want to feel like they were a part of the lives, at least in some small way, of the future heads of state of their country.

But why are Americans so interested? Well, besides the fact that up until 200 years ago, we also had kings and queens, at least for the girls I know, the interest falls into two categories. For some, Kate represents the little girl who always wanted to become a real genuine princess. And people will watch to see what her dream wedding will actually be like and imagine that fairy tale world where the peasant girl (or daughter of millionaires, whatever) gets rescued by the prince on a white horse and gets whisked off to the castle on the hill. But for others of us, I think we watch half excited for the pomp and circumstance of it all, and half astounded that a young woman would willingly step from relative obscurity into the very public and lifelong pressure cooker that is joining the monarchy by marriage.

We relate to it on some sort of personal level. We all know what it's like to have expectations placed upon us by the world around us. We try to fathom the pressure she'll be under once she says her I do's. We watch hopefully, cheering for her to succeed, but terrified at the same time that she might fail. We've already seen one princess succumb to the scrutiny of the crown-- and more than that, to the scrutiny of the public. And it eventually cost her her life. So we watch with high hopes, thinking of our own wedding days (and future wedding days), and wish her all the happiness and success in the world- and the strength to make it endure.