The royal wedding will be seen by more people around the world than any other event in television history. Every major network and quite a few less important ones will be devoting their best reporters, and hours and hours of airtime to the historic event. Forget tsunami-ravaged Japan, people-led revolts in the Arab nations, and the almost hopeless, economic situation here in the US, come April 29th, CNN will have at least 125 reporters on the ground in London, the main anchors camped out in front of Buckingham Palace.
Where are our priorities? Is this massive outlay of resources justifiable? Or have we simply gone royal wedding mad?
If we have, there is good reason. At a time of so much upheaval, tragedy, and human suffering, America, Britain and the rest of the world are all desperately seeking a feel good story, something to celebrate, to believe in, a bit of hope, a fairy tale. And these young, British royals seem to have the answer.
I can remember 1981, when Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer fever gripped the world. Everybody was caught up in that fairy tale. It all seemed so glamorous, so romantic. The prince had finally found his princess. But it was only a fairy tale, a façade. Charles married Diana even though he was in love with someone else. And Diana knew it, but was pressured into following through with the wedding. That someone else, of course, was Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles’ current wife, and clearly his true soul mate.
Can you imagine having to marry someone you do not love because it’s the “right” thing to do? Or watch the person you love marry another, again because it was appropriate or what the royal family required? Or find yourself marrying someone that you know does not love you, and whom you do not love, but you feel like you have no choice?
While the world delighted in the fairy tale, the participants themselves were suffering.
So what about Prince William and Kate Middleton? Is this just another fairy tale? Just fodder for the prying eyes of a desperate world? Is this another marriage where the participants do the “right” thing? Where they just play the role their families and their country want them to play, regardless of how they really feel inside? Is this just a fairy tale or is this a true romance?
The measure of a relationship is in the degree to which the people involved make each other better persons, or not. Do they bring out the best in each other? Do they push each other to grow? Do they “get” each other’s souls? Do they nurture each other?
It looks like William and Kate have something real. She is not at all whom he should be marrying. She is a commoner, a middleclass girl with no links to British nobility. That’s a good start, he’s chosen from the heart. Then there is a true friendship between them that is the basis for the marriage. They have been through much together, over the last ten years. The relationship has been tried and tested and their bond has proven to be very, very strong. It looks very much like they are equals in every respect. And that they make each other stronger, better individuals. Add to that William’s awareness of what his mother suffered, his own compassion and sensitivity, and Kate’s real, inner strength and this thing may actually be a real, true romance that can go the distance.
In the past, royals married for every wrong reason - wealth, power, bloodlines. Perhaps William’s first significant act, as an heir to the British throne, is to be a true example of romance and marriage, one that transcends class, tradition, and bloodlines, and that is simply based in honest, pure, love and friendship.