Much like many of my fellow Americans, I found the build up to (and now the post-coverage of) the royal nuptials unnecessary, superfluous and just plain too much. I had no intention of waking up before what is a reasonable time for any human being who is not a baker to watch England’s heir marry his shining new princess. I understood the historical aspect of it and the 23 million Americans who did tune in thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but it wasn’t of great concern to me. In fact, I had completely forgotten about it on Friday morning until I flipped on the TV per my morning news routine. And there she was on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. A glowing young woman pretty in a way that is completely relatable. Beaming at her new husband in her Grace Kelly-esque wedding gown.
I felt an inexplicable twinge of emotion. A strange combination of childish jealousy and ennui. I was completely embarrassed. I can’t even really explain where this came from. The monarchy represents an oppression and lineage of entitlement that we as a people have railed against since before the Revolutionary War. I have no desire to take on a set of notoriously judgmental and controlling in-laws. I haven’t been a tiara girl since my misguided sophomore year prom attire. I don’t even find William remotely attractive or see him as a charming individual (I barely noticed he was there).
For every five articles about the circus there is one (or two) trying to explain why there is so much fascination with the outrageously overpriced nuptials of a distant couple. In particular why women are drawn to the whole affair. I can’t make sweeping generalizations about why women around the world made a point to be witness to the event. Hell even when it comes to my own experience I can only speculate as to why it affected me in the least.
I could say it’s because the new duchess is an inspiration as an independent woman who pulled herself up by her commoner party hat straps to become one of the most admired women in the world. But the reality of it is I don’t think any woman who is truly independent would set her sites on a goal that could only be achieved by landing a man who would bring her into a world that would undoubtedly rob her of much of her freedom. (Because let’s face it, as a royal, especially one who married into it, she will be controlled in ways she never would have been if she had remained out of the palace spotlight.) This isn’t to say she isn’t a strong woman or what have you. No one who doesn’t personally know her can really speak to this. I just mean that her marriage is in no way indicative of any type of independence.
I can’t even blame my borderline obsession with fashion because though I love a good heel and cocktail dress as much as the next girlie girl, I’ve never been emotional about accessories.
I’m afraid the only culprit is my sappy romantic side. My hope of finding that elusive Prince Charming (ick). The cynics are quick to point to the last royal matrimony that began with a spectacle and ended with an emotionally destroyed woman. But even they have to admit the circumstances of that marriage are much different than those that surround these two. They honestly seem to be in love (the horse-drawn carriages and palace reception help to romanticize the whole affair I suppose). I don’t know many of the details beyond what has come across my regular news sites over the past eight years (so apparently I know a lot). And no one can really know what happens within any relationship aside from the two involved. Still, their loving looks seem genuine. The refusal to sign a pre-nup suggests a trust that is missing in more low profile relationships where there is far less to lose. And that’s what inspired an embarrassingly emotional reaction in me. It’s the same slight bit of sadness I experience every time I see a couple that truly belongs together. Just a subtle reminder that love can be as rewarding as it is difficult to find.