On 29 April 2011 William and Kate tied the knot and it was quite a do. According to Bloomberg.com an estimated 1 million people lined the streets locally and another 2 billion watched from various parts of the world. In case you’re not counting that is a third of the world’s population and the numbers are a testament to British Royal appeal not technology.
No wedding ceremony has ever been witnessed by so many. Most watched with joy and wonderment. Romantics were teary eyed and traditionalists were comforted. A few were negative but that is always to be expected where British Royalty is concerned.
And kudos to the organizers. Security was tight, events were well ordered, the ceremony message was clear and as far as you could tell everyone was happy. It was a demonstration of great organization between many government departments.
In spite of the tension that normally accompanies events of this magnitude, William and Kate smiled at one another and made what must have been endearing remarks occasionally. Unlike other Royal weddings you got the sense they actually love one another. The world is not used to seeing such sentimental displays at important state events.
And, even though they made an effort to introduce a human element to the occasion, inviting friends from their past rather than just heads of state, it was still politics and business as usual. There was a wedding buried below all the hoopla somewhere and the ceremony gave us a glimpse but I’m not sure the rhetoric will do much good.
Yes, Kate was swept off her feet. Yes, the Prince was resplendent in his army uniform. Yes, vocal commitments were made in a public setting. Yes, all the right things were said by the right people – no questionable clerics involved. The music was world class and, yes, everyone approved. Since Britain is the mother of chivalry based romance we shouldn’t be surprised to find them expressing it so well.
The stuff of fairy tales maybe but not weddings. At least not any more. The Brits loved it, to be sure, but why?
No one else will ever have a wedding with so much splash, other than the next member of the Royal family, maybe. In fact, a wedding with that much flare is so out of reach for anyone else that many just give up ever having one at all. Even a few guests at the wedding were just “partners.” I don’t wish to be negative but if that wedding sets the standard everything else is paltry.
But even though the wedding did little to escalate marriage in the minds of most it certainly touted British pride. No royal wedding from any other nation will receive so much attention and there are plenty outside Britain. If it wasn’t for British Royals – “THE” Royals – we wouldn’t even know others existed.
The Brits no longer dominate the world on land or sea but they still hold sway over sentimental ideas and they use the Royals well to maintain the power.
Not only was the wedding good publicity for British esteem it didn’t harm the economy either.
Carl Bialik, “The Numbers Guy” for the Wall Street Journal, consulted the opinions of several authorities to determine the cost of the wedding to the British economy. The bottom line is still not certain with some suggesting as much as 10 Billion pounds – obviously naysayers wishing for the worst – while others argue for just the opposite, a modest increase in GDP.
Even the value of the Middleton’s online business improved from 8 million to 30 million pounds following the announcement of the wedding announcement.
There has been much discussion in recent years about the value of the Royal Family, “should they stay or be phased out?” But, after this display of their natural ability to garner public good will for Britain, and encourage economic activity, if not outright gains, I doubt they are going any where any time soon. The benefits they bring to the table far outweigh the very small cost of just over one pound per year per tax payer to keep them afloat.
All the best to William and Kate but hats off to the shrewdest politicians in the world. On this most recent stage the Royals loved (hopefully), the Brits gloated and the world watched, some seething most swooning.