I know the Royal Wedding has escaped no one. But everytime I think about it, something gives me pause. My strange perspective as an American in England has allowed me to see both the American and British build up to the whole thing. Basically, everyone is excited. What’s strange to me is that along with this excitement is something else, which I think could be called embarrassment.
Hear me out.
While I was home for a week earlier this month, I was legitimately surprised at how coverage of Kate and Wills was literally everywhere. I knew that Americans like the royal family – I remember the reaction when Princess Diana died. But I really didn’t know it was on this scale. I’m sure everyone knows what I mean – magazine covers, mentions on every news show in existence, etc.. But while everyone has noticed this proliferation of memorabilia and stalker-like coverage, no one will admit to being part of the intended target audience.
Follow me now across the Atlantic to England. I honestly think there is just as much coverage here, if not more. I don’t watch the news, so I have no idea how things compare on that front, but the BBC has a designated Royal Wedding page, any shop that sells anything gifty has Union Jack merchandise displayed in the window, and this morning on the river I saw a pleasure boat cruising with a Kate and Wills flag billowing behind it. I get it. I think. It’s their royal family, and they love them.
The Queen herself was in Cambridge yesterday, and there were certainly crowds here to meet her. (Note: these photos aren’t mine. I had a class 😦 But I made sure to give my camera to a friend who was going to go and try and catch a glimpse! )
However, a lot of my friends/classmates were grumbling about how they closed the roads, it was so inconvenient, etc..
|(obviously not my photo)|
One of the reasons I wanted to go to university in England was just because I love this country. However, my enthusiasm for the royal family/wedding is really not anything remarkable. My friends consistently make fun of me for a) taking pictures of everything and being a massive tourist and b) getting excited about little things. So, my excitement about going to the wedding has been the target of many a British joke, but what annoys me is that they won’t admit their own excitement. Plus, my excitement isn’t limited to the royal family – I want to experience this because it’s a once in a life time chance, not because I love the monarchy.
Of course, it really doesn’t matter why people show up. But both my British and American acquaintances are poking fun at the hubbub. Why? I don’t know what’s wrong with admitting that this is something fun and interesting. For Americans, monarchy is the stuff of fairy tales. For the Brits, it is an essential element of their identity. Either way, what’s wrong with embracing it? I have long ago relinquished all dignity, and plan to fully embrace the experience.
Off now to catch a train to London, stay over with a friend who lives there, and catch a night bus to the first train of the day into Westminster – look for me on TV!