The Royal Wedding: 10 Reasons Why We Care

The hoopla is almost identical to that July morning in 1981 when Prince Charles and Lady Diana got married. In fact, it’s that day but on steroids. Roughly 750,000,000 people watched Charles and Diana tie the knot. Will and Kate’s spectacle was watched by nearly 2 billion people. By the time you read this post, they will be man and wife — or prince and princess.

Back in 1981, I was close to Diana’s age and completely fascinated by the wedding. It was certainly a fairy tale in the traditional sense with the requisite young virgin, the older prince, and the longed-for happy ending. I got up early to watch it on TV that morning and continued to follow Diana over the years — her evolution from shy teenager to fashionable jet-setter, to her sad marriage and ultimate demise. It wasn’t much of a happy ending after all.

Her failed marriage was followed by another debacle with Charles’ brother Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. And many other royal marriages have ended in similar fashion, or they are shams of convenience and royal duty. Most marriages have a 50% chance of survival, and royal marriages probably have less chance for success. So why should we care about William and Kate if their odds for marital happiness are break even at best?

There are plenty of reasons not to care. Most of us aren’t even British. Plus, this wedding is costing the British people millions, not to mention the security issues and other inconveniences caused by the event. And it has certainly dominated the news lately. What is the point of the whole monarchy thing anyway?

But we do care. We care in a big, over-the-top way that dragged millions of us out of bed before dawn to watch it unfold. We care in a way that makes us  read vapid articles about the wedding frenzy, buy commemorative Will and Kate coffee mugs, or entice us to “dress and look just like Kate.”  Take a look at this bestseller on Amazon — a knock-off of Kate’s (formerly Diana’s) engagement ring!

Bling Jewelry Kate Middleton CZ Sapphire Royal Engagement Ring

Why do we care so much, even when we say we don’t? Because for all of the carnival atmosphere, exorbitant cost, and distraction, this wedding draws us to some of our deepest emotions, dreams, and connections.

The Power of Love

In spite of all of the failed marriages around us, we still believe in love. We are in love with love and find it intoxicating. And it’s more intoxicating to watch it played out before us between a prince and future princess. Prince Charles famously qualified his love for Diana by remarking, “Whatever ‘in love’ means.” From all appearances, it seems that Will and Kate know what it means.

Our Hopes and Dreams

Whenever we see a young couple get married, we are reminded of our own hopes and dreams. For love. For security. For happily ever after. For the woman or man who will share our lives and make our world a better place. In this Royal Wedding we see our dreams played out in high drama, with our roles being played by the beautiful princess or the handsome prince.

A Great Story

Who doesn’t love a great story, and this is smashing one. A modern prince who meets a commoner in his university dining hall. A long courtship with twists and turns and a few break-ups. A proposal in a rustic African cottage. A parallel to his own mother’s story thirty years earlier — but with the chance to do it right this time. Books have already been written about it!

Truth and Beauty

We love to look at beautiful people. Kate is stunningly beautiful and Will is tall and handsome enough. But it seems there is truth to their beauty — an inner beauty that shines through. It’s hard to know for sure, but they come across as genuine and kind. They seem approachable and down-to-earth in a way other royals haven’t figured out, except for Diana perhaps. Those qualities are more appealing than their outer beauty.

Redemption

After several marriage failures, the Royals finally get a do-over — another chance to get it right. And we want to see them succeed. Things look more promising for Will and Kate. They’ve known each other for years. They’ve lived together and experienced the ups and downs of a normal relationship. Royal duties will certainly add a strain, but they seem well-matched. Fingers crossed!

A Sense of Community

We are part of something bigger than ourselves, and it draws us together. Great Britain isn’t experiencing this alone. The world is watching — billions of us! For one shining moment, we are kindred spirits sharing the joy of a happy occasion.

The Spectacle

Those Brits know how to put on a spectacle. And the rest of the world is fascinated. Royal carriages, horsemen wearing furry hats, the Queen and her purse. It’s a throwback to an age that seems far removed but is now being acted out live on our iPhones and computers.

A Celebration

Let’s face it — we like an excuse to have a good time. This is as good an excuse as any. And why not? The world is with us. Every news station, every magazine, everybody is celebrating this wedding. I got up at 5:00 with my daughter (who name is Diana and who shares Diana’s birthday) to sip tea and watch the event live.

Tradition

Traditions matter to us — they strengthen our sense of history and belonging. This may be a wedding of two young people in love, but it is also a royal occasion steeped in tradition. The heir to the heir of the British throne is doing what he’s supposed to do — marry and then procreate. And even thought this wedding wasn’t a state occasion, it still reflected the best of Royal traditions.

Distraction

There is a war in Afghanistan. There’s a war in Libya. People are out of jobs. Record tornadoes have killed hundreds in the U.S.  Bad news fills the headlines. But today we are distracted. Today two people in love, a prince and princess, have begun the first day of their happily-ever-after. Or so we can hope.

Best wishes to the happy couple!

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Comments

  1. You are so fabulous! Thank you for explaining to me why I am so obsessed with the wedding! 🙂 I told my husband that I love him dearly and wouldn’t trade him for the world, but I would love to be in Kate Middleton’s shoes, just for this day. 🙂

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Amy,
      Wouldn’t that be nice! She certainly looks like she was made for the job. So poised and beautiful. I’m glad I gave you the excuse to enjoy your obsession. 🙂

  2. Hi Barrie,

    I was only around one year old in 1981 so I cannot remember the hoopla that surrounded the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana haha! So I will have to take your word for it that the wedding of Will and Kate is like that but on steroids. 😉 That aside, it is a grand affair and it does bring the world closer together in some way thanks to the use of social media today. Imagine if there were more events like these which was powerful enough to unite the world. The world could truly use more unity instead of all the issues that divide it.

    I have always been a fan of royalty and monarchies. I suspect it has to do with my love for history and empires. Thus to witness the marriage of a royal couple who happen to be close to my age is indeed interesting. It would be the way you felt when you followed Diana I suppose. Hopefully this marriage will have a happier ending.

    I love and agree with all your reasons for caring about the wedding. Like I said, the world needs more events that unite instead of dividing it. If people could only remember to celebrate instead of destroying life, the world would be a much better and happier place. I look forward to watching the wedding on TV later! 😀

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Irving,
      As much as some might scorn the monarchy or the craziness surrounding this wedding, it was certainly a joyous morning. These events do bring people together — and it’s so much better to come together over happy occasions rather than tragic ones. You will always remember this event. 🙂

  3. I’m English and I might watch the ceremony .. Being male, I don’t agree with all the hype (mind you there are some guys that are obsessed) but I like both Wills and Kate and hope their marriage succeeds .. and yes Kate is pretty attractive 😛
    But maybe Kate’s story can inspire people to follow their dreams.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Andy,
      Did you watch it? It was a pretty amazing morning. Even if you didn’t enjoy the wedding, at least you got to stare at the beautiful Kate!

      • Yes, I did, I got into it a bit once I started watching, she is beautiful and her sister isn’t bad either!

  4. Oops, I slept in! This is such a sweet tribute to their wedding and all that it symbolizes.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Marci,
      I’m sure you’ll get to see it replayed over and over for days to come! I was up at 4:00 a.m. with my 13-year-old daughter and now my eyes are burning. Be happy you slept in. 🙂

  5. I really struggle with this, and feel increasingly isolated over it. It’s as if a whole cascade of blog posts and news articles is determined to hype the positive and drown out dissenters. Disclosure: I’m British and really resent the fact that we live in a constitutional monarchy in which no-one born outside that family can become head of state. Imagine if in the US you couldn’t cast a vote to elect your president… After all, you fought a very sensible war a couple of centuries ago to cast off our royal traditions.
    You know, I wish them joy, they seem like a reasonable couple. Some of the points you make are valid. But their popularity is, as you point out, likely to increase the popularity of the monarchy and continue to trap us in this archaic form of government.
    Sorry to rain on the royal parade!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Tess,
      I can certainly understand your feelings. Plus you have to pay to keep them in their palaces! I thought the monarchy only had ceremonial and representational duties within the government. Do they have any real power? If you separate the event from the validity of the monarchy, you must admit it was pretty spectacular. It’s hard not to share in the joy of the occasion.

      • Hi Barrie,
        Thanks for being gracious with my kvetching! You’re right it is largely ceremonial, although there are some powers devolved to an elected parliament through convention rather than law. But all our elected political representatives, our police, our soldiers etc have to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen personally, not to the country. And our national anthem (as you know) is about the Queen, not the country.
        However, I thought the dress was lovely – a welcome and unexpectedly unconventional choice of designer, I liked what the Bishop of London said about their marriage, and I did feel a swell of patriotism – for the country! – when the Lancaster bomber, the Spitfire and the Hurricane did their flypast.

  6. Hi Barrie,
    I missed this one, but I was up and watching when Diana and Prince Charles married. Like you I was fascinated by it then. The idea of marrying a prince was so alluring. I do wish this couple well and that they have a better marriage than Diana and Prince Charles did though!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Angela,
      It appears they have more in common — and more common sense! It was certainly a spectacular wedding.

  7. Barrie,

    Great post articulating why we care. I think the symbolism and tradition are huge and meaningful. This marriage seems so right, perhaps the British Royal Family will get a fresh start. She is so beautiful and poised. They make a great and genuine couple.

    PS: I loved her dress!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Mara Rose,
      I loved her dress too. Compared to all of the wild hats and attire among the guests, it was a breath of fresh air! And her sister’s dress too. It was a fun day!

  8. Thanks for sharing this Barrie. It has been difficult to put my finger on WHY the wedding was such a big deal for people. I was like you, I watched Princess Diana’s wedding and loved her. I followed her life until it’s sad end. I guess maybe that is why I *haven’t* been as enthralled with this wedding. Maybe it feels disloyal. I don’t have TV access and only watch things by choice online, so i have not been privvy to much of the hoopla, maybe if I had I would’ve been more intrigued!
    I did see Kate’s dress, it was gorgeous!
    Bernice

  9. chris albert says:

    Hi Barrie,
    I did watch some of the event on TV and I thought the couple looked great together. Putting aside all the politics I agree that we all love to see the outworking of love between two people who have committed their lives to each other. Romance, pomp, fanfare was in the air! In today’s world with all the disasters happening around the world this was an event worth celebrating.

    Chris

  10. You have already to pursue me about this topic.Congrats
    I admire Lady Diana very much because her beauty and her behaviour.

  11. Thanks for this post Barrie. I must admit I’ve been enamored with royalty and its history since I was a young girl. Must have had something to do with the whole “princess” phenomena early on but now I have definitely learned to appreciate the much deeper meanings of tradition and symbolism. I’m still eying up one of these royal engagement ring replicas, however: http://www.brilliantearth.com/news/royal-engagement-rings/ I find them to be absolutely stunning and so much more unique than the traditional diamond ring we most often see. Their post also offered some additional history that I found interesting and hoped to share.