29 April 2011

Kate and Will Wed with 2 Billion Viewers

Wills, Kate and Prince Charles
A wedding is a wedding.  But, a royal wedding, well, now that’s a grand wedding … especially if it’s British.

It’s 3am here in California.  In London at this hour at Westminster Abbey, with its majestic fanned and vaulted ceiling, Wills and Kate are gettin’ hitched, as they say in some of our southern climes here in the States.  World leaders with a direct connection to the House of Windsor have traveled far and wide to pay their respects, streaming into the great church by the gaggle, sans Obama or other non-monarch leaders, though Prime Minister Cameron and his wife (without the requested hat – the horror!) were in attendance.  Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers are lining the streets to pay their respect.  All told, an estimated one million Britons were out celebrating their favorite son Will and Kate’s big, er, grand day.

Grand hymns are being sung.  Bells are being rung.  2.5 million tweats (so far) were being twung, er, tweated for wedding wishes.  Traditions and courtly strictures are being adhered to or continued and passed down to the next generation.  A monarch has participated in coronation, or wedding, or burial at Westminster Abbey (which took 100 years to complete) since the 1200s. 

And, that in and of itself is a grand thing (a grand thing is one step better than Martha Stewart).  I'm speaking of tradition.  Today was England and its Union Jack and English lilt or cockney accent and the many nationalities that once represented the many nations of the United Kingdom, where it was said that the sun would never set upon the Empire.  Britannia might not remain in a former glory,  but, Britain is still grand, and all of its wonderful colors and traditions and peoples with their wonderfully different accents all beamed with national pride today.  

Having a common grand tradition allows for the individual differences to be appreciated … as long as the exception doesn’t overtake the rule.  And, in the West, with our political notions of correctness, that isolationistic, hyperfocus on one’s “home” culture can and will lead to a degradation of the national pride.  Be it British or American or French or German or Ghanaian or Fijian.  Adopting and fitting in when one emigrates to another culture because of economic reasons is the takeaway here.  One is not better, but the new overall national culture should have primacy.  Your culture is still grand, but the national culture needs to be respected, with its idiosyncrasies passed along to your brood born here, wherever the new "here" is.

The union of Prince William and his bride Catherine, now Duchess of Cambridge, is a stately affair to be sure.  But, they did their best to remove the commercial impulse of the British press.  No untoward media blitz was allowed for any media participating and receiving the live feed from some 60 cameras along the procession route and inside the church.  It was remarkable to watch E! from London, with a few Yank reporters tossed into the mix, with nary a commercial.  I loved it, and it helped me stay awake until 5am. 

Will and his brother Harry have never warmed to the press after the treatment of their mother and the media’s complicit participation in her accident and death.  And, it showed great character for Will and his bride to open up their ceremony to almost 2 billion people from around the world, from every continent, evincing to many a modern sensibility on the traditional monarchy.  They said, sure, you can cover our wedding, just don’t muck it up.

The wedding of Kate and Wills is truly a world event, even if it went against my every grain to watch it.  But, as I said, it’s good for the British culture as well as their economy.  When the engagement and wedding was announced, Prime Minister Cameron was said to be quite pleased for some good news because of the bump to the British economy of over 700 million pounds.  In America, the wedding industry on the whole drums up roughly $75 billion annually, with an average wedding costing about $24k.  Weddings in America are big business.  But, it was a welcomed respite to see Will and Kate remove the big business impulse of US and UK media from their ... grand wedding. 


Dumbwit Tellher said...

Your perspective is much more profound and deep than my writing fluff and you are spot on. I think the whole wedding was handled with such dignity, grace and pride. I had not one criticism of the day & scoffed @ those who chose to pick. It was heart-warming for this gal to watch such happiness, beauty and tradition. The wedding truly was a respite from the worries of our week, year. I'm proud of you for watching Jg. I suspect you may be a romantic!

Have a royal weekend my friend.

Cheers x Deb

Char said...

whether we like it or not, the british expect a certain amount of pomp and circumstance to their royalty. i thought it was tasteful, she was beautiful, he was dashing, etc. i think we americans can do with a bit of dignity and respect in our lives too. :)

Lou said...

Bless. It was a gorgeous affair and the rain held off too. Wasn't she pretty and an Alexander McQueen dress too, the girl can do no wrong...... And TWO kisses. Down boy!!

Sorry, I may be gushing.

christian soldier said...

My respect for William increased when I watched and read more about him--I knew he was military-posted a video of him near the frfont a couple of years ago---
Did not know he was still in and is a rescue - helicopter pilot for the RAF--
As to Kate-all I can say is that I admire her tenacity her determination (I know-almost the same (-: )

I also admire you JG- for getting up a 3 ---not me--watched re-runs...
Did post one video- the one that has a great number of those fabulous horses (-:

As to the EV 'revolution' - loved the post-
will keep my gassed up auto for as long as possible - though---
the TESLA is good to look at though---

Barbara said...

Kudos to you for watching! I went the rerun route.
The entire wedding from start to finish was handled with such class. Yes, she was lovely in McQueen and he was handsome in his uniform. Diana would have been proud. It showed GB at it's best and proudest.

Kathy said...

It was fun to take a break and enjoy a happy couple on their special day...I love a good romance...k

Caleb S. Garcia said...

An excellent blog post Mr. G. I echo Tellher's comment that you are a deep and profound writer, your writing is elegant and flows like the wedding itself.

With all the positive things you had to say, I still don't understand why watching the wedding "went against [your] every grain to watch it."

Your a huge Anglophile, you're also pro-marriage, pro-weddings (especially Christian ones), and pro-romance as your "Grand Gesture" blog would indicate.

I thought the wedding, which I DVRd for the morning, was very nice. I especially loved the sermon by the Bishop of London, his words are so amazing that they even rival yours.

christian soldier said...

They got him-: O bin L---
God Bless Our BEST!!

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Hi Jg., I was delighted to read this and I'm with Deb! I too, loved every minute of it... but particularly the music and of course, THE dress. I found Paul Mealor's motet Ubi Caritas [composed in 1975] to be a telling choice of Wills + Kate and their thoughtfulness + dignity. English translation ~ "Where charity and love are, God is there." Lovely.
Best to you Jg., Barbara