Here comes the controversy

Story by Emily Gresbrink

I love weddings. I guess it’s because of the free food, dapper dresses and suits and the idea of eternally sealing love (and other governmental benefits). It seems appealing from almost every aspect of civilized existence.

So when Prince William FINALLY manned up and asked Kate Middleton to be his princess (and eventual Queen of England, whoa buddy!), I instantly squealed and got far too excited for my own good. NPR, on Apr. 26, said that British tabloid newspapers are billing the wedding as the greatest national celebration in 30 years.

And, much to my dismay, the Today Show is cutting (gasp!) a few hours of their (excessively early starting time) broadcast of the wedding, saying they fear “it will be too boring.” The same NPR story mentioned above said that a poll of Britons published this week by the Guardian newspaper found only 37 percent of respondents are feeling “genuinely interested and excited by the royal wedding.” Forty-six percent are not.

My proper English hat, Earl Grey tea, crumpet tray and love for the British Monarchy’s history would like to politely disagree. Even if the broadcast is excessively early, many of us find the royal wedding to be a big deal! I don’t know about you, but I’m getting up at the crack of dawn on Friday to watch it.

In theory, there is nothing boring about the royal wedding at all. It’s a wedding. Flowers! Rich people! Beautiful everything! If that doesn’t sell itself, think about it: these two youngsters will someday be sitting on the throne as king and queen. KING AND QUEEN OF ENGLAND. That’s kind of a big deal, if you ask me. And this isn’t some trashy, third-time-married celebrity wedding. This actually matters. They do have a say in what happens over there. And this tradition of big ol’ royal weddings has been around for
(literally) centuries.

I wasn’t alive for the last big British royal wedding of Charles and Diana, but my mom and dad said it was sure a big deal back in the day. It mattered because whether or not we like to think so, Diana had a huge affect on Charles. She had a huge affect on the world. Heck, she did more than Charles ever did in her lifetime. She was a humanitarian, a fashion icon, and bore two of the world’s most beautiful men.

Sounds like a good life to me.

All things aside, I honestly think people are getting so subconsciously ruffled over this wedding, specifically Kate Middleton, for a few reasons: one, they think the wedding is a commercial sellout. I know there are shirts out there that read “commoner” in reference to Middleton, as well as imitation jewelry and slogans even calling for the abolition of the monarchy. Some will argue that this wedding has gone far too commercial and away from the direction of politics and — perhaps most important — love.

Second, and perhaps most important, I think people are still feeling some shock from the death of Princess Diana and some are even comparing Middleton to Diana. This in and of itself is really, really unfair to the late Lady Di. She was her own person and of a different time – Kate Middleton can potentially be as great as Di, but we can’t hold her to the same standards just yet. We don’t know what she’ll be like as of right now.

NPR said that this week’s Guardian poll also found that a large majority of respondents think the royal family is still relevant to public life; 26 percent said Britain would be better
off without them.

Can’t we just set that indifference or aversion aside just for a day? It’s their wedding day, for goodness sake. Would you want someone saying, “I don’t really give a hoot” on your wedding day?

I just don’t understand why a royal (ROYAL!) wedding can be boring and why networks would cut programming just because Middleton isn’t as “posh and pure” as Diana was. I honestly am really interested in watching them get married. I think they represent a new generation of princes and princesses (key factor: I think they actually love each other and it’s not arranged or set up in any way; they found each other). I think Kate Middleton is already a role model in a lot of ways.

Why would we want to miss out on the future of English monarchy? It’s monumental and exciting. And the bottom line is: we as normal folk now get the chance to celebrate with the Royals the first wedding of this decade. And for that, I will raise my glass … of tea.