The Royal Couple
Hellooo! After an action-packed week in the UK, I’m finally getting down to some very serious business that I’ve been neglecting: the Royal Wedding! Yes, I know that today is Will & Kate’s two month anniversary, and yes I know you are probably wondering why I haven’t written a blog post about it yet. Well, I think at the time I was swamped in a daze of sleepless nights and reality TV. Now that that’s subsided a bit, I thought it only appropriate to turn back to this most important of events.
Even to this day, I do get asked many questions about the wedding. Perhaps people hope that, as a Brit, I’ll be able to shed some light on the mystery of the Royals. And in the wake of my trip to London last week it only seemed an appropriate time to write.
Today, for example, I was asked an interesting question about what I thought people in the UK actually think of William and Kate, and all the hoopla and excitement that have surrounded them. In my opinion, the country consists of two main camps, the first being the typical British cynics who either don’t approve of the Royal Family on economic and political grounds or who don’t believe all the fairy tale hype and would rather wallow on what may be the true reality of the couple and of the other members of the Royal family. The other half, mainly the younger generation, are as excited as many Americans about what the couple represents: hope and fantasy, love and a fairy tale that lifts everyone’s spirits at a time in which many need a little pick me up as most of the world still struggles to recover from recession and both Hollywood and Washington continue to disappoint.
You see, with most celebrities, we go through a vicious cycle of building them up and only to tear them down. We find out so much about their lives and their pitfalls through constant media exposure that the fantasy of old Hollywood glamour is often difficult to achieve. There is just too much visibility there for the fantasy to be alive for too long. However, England is a country in which we still don’t have freedom of speech, so not everything is reported — especially when it comes to the Royal Family.
There is a certain cloud of mystery surrounding our monarchs that allows us to imagine what we want them to be like rather than actually knowing them. Just as with American celebrities, I imagine most would probably be utterly disappointed with the Queen if they truly knew her favorite meal, what she was really thinking or how she spends a Monday afternoon. The same goes for William and Kate. Are they as utterly in love as we all hope? Are they the perfect and wonderful role models and leaders we all think? The truth is, I don’t know. But I would argue that “truth,” at least when it comes to the Royals, is really not the point — after all, they don’t actually run the country anymore! Instead, they provide an escape, a reason for hope, a fairy tale that seems real.
They allow us to dream and, quite frankly, what is wrong with dreaming? So be careful what you wish for and don’t ask to find out too too much about William and Kate, just enjoy them for who you think they are and what they represent for you. Here are some responses to a few other questions about the Royals that I’ve received in the last two months:
- Technically William and Kate are HRH (His Royal Highness) Duke of Cambridge and HRH (Her Royal Highness) Duchess of Cambridge. Royals receive new titles on marriage, hence the “Cambridge” part.
- William is from the House of Windsor and technically doesn’t really have a last name. Although it is said he graduated as “William Windsor” from St. Andrew’s University.
- Kate was wearing a dress designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. This was a fantastic choice because Burton is not only an amazing designer but the choice is also a great boost for British fashion. Burton normally designs more edgy styles but chose a classic here for a very classic young woman
- British weddings usually happen in the morning followed by the “Wedding Breakfast” or “Wedding Lunch”. There is then a large party that follows in the evening, often attended by all of your friends (even if they didn’t attend the more traditional and often smaller ceremonial part in the morning).
- If you were ever to meet the Queen, chances are you would be heavily coached beforehand on what to say….you aren’t likely to run into her at the local post office unannounced, if you know what I mean (after all her head is on all the stamps)! But should it come up, in general she is called “Your Majesty” and then “Ma’m”, short for Madame (pronounced Maaam). You should never turn your back on her nor touch her unless she extends her hand. It is all about following her lead.
- Princess Diana was 10 years younger than Kate when she married Prince Charles.
- Although I heard some chatter over here about the color of Pippa’s dress at the wedding, it is quite normal in England for the bridesmaids to wear white. We also tend to have far fewer than in American ceremonies and they often follow the bride holding her train.
- Instead of wedding presents, William and Kate gave a list of charities to which to donate. This is quiet unconventional for a Royal Wedding but does shows signs of how they might spend their time as Royals, doing good in society.
So there you have it, some of my musings on William & Kate and the Royals at large!