In light of the fact that more than 2 billion people are believed to have watched the Royal Nuptials between the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it will come as no shock to you that the wedding was a very big deal. Leading up to the Big Day, there were a number of surveys and polls, each indicating that the British public was a little annoyed at the whole affair and didn’t understand the fuss. Then, on the day, a million people lined the procession route and the entire country was thrown into a Royal tizzy over the marriage of their future King. More than anything, I am infinitely proud of that strange little isle in the North Atlantic.
I don’t mean to sound patronizing when I say that I’m proud of Great Britain, rather I just mean that, well – I am proud. Just as in many areas of the world, times have been tough lately in the U.K. The economy is bad, there are a few wars going on and the new austerity measures have been difficult to say the least. That’s why the Royal Wedding was the perfect pick-me-up, a veritable bouquet of flowers delivered to every citizen.
In the social media world leading up to the wedding, I saw a number of nay-sayers asking why so much attention was being paid to the wedding of Will and Kate. These grumpsters kept commenting that it was a huge waste of time and money and that there’s no such thing as a fairy tale. The problem with that is, well there is actually such a thing as a fairy tale.
Cultural fairy tales are important for every country. National pride and unity depends on sharing certain unique moments through which one may both live vicariously as well as discover a certain amount of patriotism. An example here in the United States is the Presidential Inauguration, in the UK it’s the entire Royal Family.
Last week, most people in the United Kingdom, albeit with a certain amount of sarcasm (I would expect nothing less) enjoyed the Royal Wedding and what it symbolized. It’s the elegant continuation of 1,000 years of monarchy, through which Britain attained the status of one of the most important countries in the world, which it still enjoys today. Imagine that, a small, damp island in the North Atlantic STILL represents a quarter of the countries in the world through the Commonwealth. This is an amazing legacy, and the Royal Wedding is the physical manifestation of this grandeur.
Is the Royal Family perfect? Naw, not at all. Is it expensive? Yes, but at £1 per person per year, it’s not a bad investment. More importantly than the fuss and cost, the wedding and indeed the entire Royal Family represents the ideals and values found throughout Great Britain and which makes it the nation it is today.
I’m an American, yes, but I have always had a great love and admiration of our limey friends and I am so proud of not just their ability to throw a wedding bash, but for being proud of that bash.