The Royal Wedding was absolutely beautiful!
Ok, I admit I watched it from my couch at home, but I gasped and sighed along with every spectator from Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey as I saw the guests, the dress, the vows, and the two kisses on the balcony. And surely so did the over 20 million people who watched the grandiose ceremony live on TV.
Why did the British become so obsessed with the Royal Wedding and how come such a significant portion of the international community joined in for a global celebration?
There was a great deal of cynicism both in foreign and English media in the past few months. Critics of the wedding frenzy (with all of its merchandise, the 24/7 Kate and Will coverage, and the wedding gown speculations) claimed that the world has gone mad, especially since this marriage will not have an actual and tangible effect on almost anything, and certainly not on anything beyond the UK.
It is true that the British royal family has no actual power, but they hold a huge symbolical significance not only for the UK, but also for many people all over the globe. Here are my three answers to the above question:
One BBC commentator said this morning that the royal wedding captivated the hearts of so many people because it allowed them to live in a wonderful fairytale for at least a day. The idea that true love can change the rules of the century-old monarchy and the associations with the late princess Diana made the day truly magical. I agree, and I would add that the wedding is not about dreaming of finding your prince charming, but about dreaming in general and believing that dreams come true.
One of the interviewed spectators said that she will always remember this day because it allowed people to wholeheartedly celebrate their Britishness. Indeed, the TV reportage showed Scotts, Wealsh, Irish, expats, and citizens of the Commonwealth who together celebrated the symbol of their shared values and national pride. While covering the wedding, Bulgarian TV shows even showed British families with second homes in Bulgarian villages who were having a royal wedding party together with their local neighbors. I can’t even imagine how many British flags all over the globe stood waving today.
Lastly, William and Catherine’s wedding became a historic event for the modern multimedia age because it caused global rejoicing. While some internationally broadcast events can cause joy in one country but gloom in another and some world news can cause sorrow to everyone, the royal wedding was the epitome of love and beauty and it evoked nothing but happiness for any observer of any corner of the world.
Brits, today I’m rejoicing with you!