Apr. 29th, 2011

Kate and Will Wed with 2 Billion Viewers

A wedding is a wedding. But, a royal wedding, well, now thatís a wedding Ö especially if itís British.

Earlier today London at Westminster Abbey with its majestic fanned and vaulted ceiling, Wills and Kate got hitched with virtually everyone's attention. World leaders with a direct connection to the House of Windsor 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 Ė the horror!) were in attendance. Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers are still lining the streets to pay their respect.

Grand hymns are being sung. Bells are being rung. 2.5 million tweets were tweeted 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 a century to complete) since the 1200s.

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 as well as inside the church. Will and his brother Harry have never warmed to the press after the treatment of their mother and the mediaís 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.

The wedding of Kate and Wills is truly a world event. 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 business from their big wedding.
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Carol Driver
A journalist with more than 12 years' experience writing, subbing and editing at national and regional publications and websites in the UK.

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