April 29, 2011

Why America Cares About The Royal Wedding

Hey, we fought a war to gain independence from the great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of the groom over two hundred years ago. Logically, we shouldn't care about this wedding.


And yet, a great many of us do.

One can, of course, reasonably seek to explain this anomaly -- and as I've thought abut it, I've come up with several reasons.

1) Everybody loves a party. And this is quite a party. The British royals are not merely a part of the government of the UK, but of the entire commonwealth, so a lot of the world was celebrating. Indeed, one of my colleagues reported to me that his lovely wife -- and they grow them pretty, charming, and smart up in Canada -- was up and dressed hours early because she wanted to see her future king and queen. How many times was that scene repeated around the world. We Americans wanted to join in the fun.

2) Everybody loves romance. Here's an unlikely pair of college sweethearts getting married despite the odds. How can you not love it? Imagine my surprise at hearing a 17-year-old Hispanic girl here in my classroom today complaining that she had to miss the first kiss because it was set to coincide with the bell for first period. She'll likely never meet the newlyweds, but she knows a good story when she sees it.

3) Everyone loves a fairy tale. This one had it all -- knights on horses, open carriages, and a common girl marrying a handsome prince. All that was missing was William slaying a dragon to get the fair Kate. We were raised on these stories -- Cinderella, anyone? -- and so were attracted to the real thing.

4) This is a once-in-a-generation event. I watched the groom's parents wed three decades ago. I was a recent high school graduate, preparing for my first semester of college. This morning I joined my wife to witness this little bit of history, now a middle aged teacher. Should I be blessed to live so long as to see the heir to William marry, I fully expect to be at least a septuagenarian. How can the spectacle not draw the eye?

5) We instinctively are drawn to pomp and ceremony, even when it isn't ours. Growing up Catholic, I came to understand and appreciate the role of the pope and the ceremony that surrounds him. Yet many born and bred Protestants look upon the pope and the great ceremonies of Catholicism with a sort of awe and longing for that they do not have, even if they are staunch heirs of the Reformation. We Americans don't have royalty or the great ceremonies of the monarchy and so in our hearts we long for the externals of that grand institution even while we hold to the republican principles of the Founders.

6) Who doesn't love a happily-ever-after? Consider the narrative of William's life. He was born to a mother fooled into marriage based on something other than love. At an early age he was exposed to the scandals that ultimately led to his parents' divorce. He suffered through the agony that followed his mother's tragic death in a senseless accident. And yet somehow, despite an upbringing that might well have left him inclined to avoid marrying at all, he found love in an unlikely place -- and he and his beloved endured and strengthened their bond over the years until they have at last married. Hollywood could not have made this movie.

So in the end, I cannot understand how man or woman could resist this show -- a celebration of country, of tradition, and of love.

May God bless William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they begin their lives together.

|| Greg, 07:39 PM || Permalink || Comments (2) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

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Comments on Why America Cares About The Royal Wedding

Well said!

|| Posted by Mack Hall, April 30, 2011 08:29 AM ||

I'm A Brit living in England, Its comments like these that make us really appreciate what we have and its so nice to see that for just one day we can all be happy around the world, I love your enthusiasm and its great to share a fun day with you all


|| Posted by Tim Denyer, April 30, 2011 01:34 PM ||
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