It has been two weeks since over two billion television sets across the world were tuned into one very special event: the wedding of England’s Prince William to his non-royal bride Catherine Middleton. The morning was a romantic vision of success and audiences all over the globe appreciated witnessing history. It was a wedding that was not reserved just for the United Kingdom, but the event also gave the world a moment of optimism during this time of turmoil.
For those of you who don’t know the background to this romantic affair, William and Kate met while studying together at Scotland’s prominent St. Andrew’s University. While they remained close friends, eventually they developed a relationship, which has had its ups and downs for the past nine years. In November of 2010, William and Kate announced their engagement to the press and ever since there has been non-stop buzz over all of the wedding details.
Much of the attention surrounding this wedding comes from the initial excitement over William’s parents’ wedding. Prince Charles and his young bride, Diana Spencer, wed on July 29, 1981. Sadly the couple divorced in 1996 and shortly thereafter Diana was killed in a terrible car crash in 1997. Diana was considered the “People’s Princess” and ever since her death, the people of England and beyond have taken special interest in her two sons happiness and safety. Therefore, the wedding of William and Kate is especially celebrated and Kate is already on the fast track to becoming the next “People’s Princess.”
Even some residents here in America rubbed the sleep from their eyes between 4-5 AM to watch the live broadcast. Bethel High School junior, Allison Leavey, woke up at five to see the wedding procession until she had to leave for school. “It really lived up to my expectations, I was very excited to see it,” says Allison.
Expectations were indeed exceeded as Kate arrived at Westminster Abbey in a Grace Kelly inspired gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The blushing bride walked down the aisle to her dashingly suited Prince dressed in the traditional uniform of the Irish Guard. Victoria Santos, a BHS sophomore, said her favorite parts were, “when Kate walked into the church and when Kate’s brother, James, was giving the reading and William and Kate were looking at each other and smiling!” There were countless touching moments and the public were finally allowed a small peek into the private lives of the royals.
Many people here in the US criticize the royal wedding as a publicity ploy and an expensive spectacle. What these critics do not understand is that this wedding represents much more than the union between ‘some prince’ and ‘some girl.’ It is history in the making. This young couple is the future of the British monarchy; a tradition that has been in existence for centuries! Of course, this brings about the other argument that the monarchy is an ancient practice and should be abolished in England. And again, people miss the point: there are some traditions which are so deeply rooted in our culture that they symbolize much more than political power. Who are we to condemn the royal family just because they seem passé to our modern, narcissist generation?
What we all must take away from this beautiful wedding is that for a few hours a majority of the world could come together and feel a joyous connection. From the highly anticipated dress reveal, to the traditional vows, to the swarming crowd outside of Buckingham Palace, and finally those two very special kisses, it was a wedding to remember. Best of luck to the happy couple…and of course, God save the Queen!