The recent wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton caught global attention transporting me back to 1981 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. Even then I was perplexed by the notion that anyone would wake up in the middle of the night just to watch all of the pomp and circumstance. In today’s world at least DVR makes it possible for the scores of people who planned to watch to be able to observe the nuptials at a more convenient hour.
After all of the hullabaloo surrounding the Charles and Diana debacle this new marriage holds even less interest for me. Is it because I have no sense of romantic elegance or glamour? (I am at heart a romantic, just ask my wife). Is it because I can’t comprehend the institution of a monarchy? (We do have the Kennedy’s) Am I too well grounded to see the value in all of this opulence around one young couple’s initial staggering steps into “real” life? Doubtful. I have rarely been accused of being “well-grounded”. I suppose that the biggest curiosity for me is to see how Miss Middleton handles the “morning after”. I am confident that she has been extensively prepared for the responsibilities of royal familydom but I am equally confident, as with any marriage, that all of the preparation in the world will not spare her from surprise after surprise after challenging surprise of blue blood life.
I acknowledge that monarchies today differ from those of the past; they are more symbolic and less powerful but they do provide visibility and awareness of various good will causes and they also provide entertainment ranging from the embarrassing (Di & Fergie goosing men at Ascot with their parasols) to the down right scandalous (Camilla Parker Bowles’ taped phone communications with Prince Charles). Again, in America we have the Kennedy’s and even better we have Lindsay Lohan, Brittany Spears & Celebrity Apprentice.
At the end of the day, it seems to me that all of this is really just a form of idol worship. Common man worshipping somebody else because, well, because, well, I really don’t know why. Besides that, when I think of the number of people who don’t attend weddings to which they are invited why go to all the trouble of viewing a wedding to which you weren’t invited? In western civilization the official party line is that we are all created equal and yet strangely because someone’s blood test reveals a shade of periwinkle they deserve to have accountants and artists, cashiers and cab drivers pony up for the party of the century; a party to which most of the benefactors weren’t even invited!
It really does seem silly to me. We’re Americans; we’ll just keep on worshipping ourselves.