Watching the Wedding

Posted on April 28, 2011 

Could this be the royals' last huzzah?

I know a lot of people have gotten their fills of the Wills-and-Kate wedding hoopla and wouldn’t lose any sleep to get up and watch the ceremony this Friday at 4 a.m., but I’m planning to watch it.


I got up that July morning in 1981 to watch Wills’ parents, Charles and Diana, wed. I’m just a sucker for that mushy sentimental fairytale wedding stuff, I guess. I’ve asked Dan to join me (he’ll probably be up anyway), but he refused.


“That’s precisely why we came over here from England,” he said, referring to the ancestors who established the United States of America, “to get away from all that royalty and monarchy nonsense.”


And that’s precisely why I’m going to rise early to watch the wedding. Some gut instinct is telling me this is going to be the last huzzah for the British monarchy, and it’s always important to be on hand to watch history unfold, whatever time it happens to happen.


Like many other people, I wonder how relevant a monarchy is in the 21st century. Is it mostly for show these days and not really a ruling power? Is it really sustainable and viable and desirable? (Those royals are expensive!) Surely the British will come to the point when they realize it’s time to end the monarchy – some are already there, I imagine. I think after two more stellar events – a sad one, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, whom I’ve always rather admired, and a spectacular one, the coronation (after the longest wait ever!) of Charles III – we will see the House of Windsor not so much collapse as just quietly fold.


It probably won’t happen right away, of course. Elizabeth just turned 85 years old and she’s got that longevity gene going for her, inherited it from her mum who was, what, more than 100 years old when she died. So that means Charles probably will have to wait 15 more years for his chance at the throne. After such a long wait, will he even want it? A lot can (and will) happen in 15 years.


But back in the here and now, I’m still going to get up early and revel in a last bit of regal pageantry. I think Wills and Kate will have a long-lasting marriage. They’ve already been together nine years and they seem to be, first and foremost, friends who are comfortable with each another and know and like one another. It was obvious Charles and Diana didn’t really know each other very well when they married, and more obvious that she was more in love with him than he was with her. And it still hurts my heart to think if only she hadn’t married Charles, she would probably still be alive today. Charles has always loved Camilla, who is now his wife (but she won’t be crowned queen when/if he becomes king; she will just be his consort, which is good). It was wrong to make Charles set Camilla aside. He should have been allowed to marry the woman he truly loved. Like King Edward VIII – how much different would Britain be today if he had been allowed to marry Wallis? How much happier everyone would have been if Charles had been allowed to marry Camilla in the first place. But then, we wouldn’t be getting up early this Friday to watch another royal wedding, would we?


And I think this blog post shows that I know just too darn much about it all. That’s why when this is over, I’m done. Until the coronation. And then I’m done. I mean it.

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