Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Royal Ballyhoo

I’m not particularly an Anglophile. There are a number of things I admire about England—its fascinating, lengthy history, Queen Elizabeth I (an amazing woman who ruled for years while escaping people who sought to do away with her, marry her off, or assassinate her). There is that 800 years’ worth of outrageous business with Ireland that still rankles, but I digress.

It’s England’s talent for pageantry that I really enjoy. As an observer noted recently during one of the dozens of TV shows building up to this week, “This is what we do best.” So because I’m on the West Coast, beginning at 1:00 AM Friday I’ll tune into the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

When I mentioned it to my mother, she thought I was nuts. “Royalty is such an outdated notion. What do those people actually do now?” When I explained I enjoyed the pomp, she replied, “It’s not realistic. It’s just a fairytale.”

Ah ha! And that’s what makes it special. It is like a fairytale, a magnificent spectacle. The precision, the beautiful table settings, the flowers and gowns, carriages and horses. Plus I have a very soft spot in my heart for the late Princess Diana and her children. I watched her wedding to Charles (well, who knew what was really going on behind the scenes back then?), I stayed up for her funeral and wept with the mourners lining the route of her cortege, still dumbstruck that she was gone. And I will see William and Kate married, hoping for them the joy that eluded his mother in her short life.