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The Royal Wedding and the Monarchy
By Elizabeth Horner
Teen Scribe

The international press descended in London to cover what the media is reporting to be the most watched television event in history, the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. The television stations crammed the airwaves as I woke up early Friday morning  April 29.  Who designed Kate’s dress? How much did the affair cost? Will the prince and princess live happily ever after? People want to know every detail.

Here’s the biggest question of all: Why in this day and age where the Prime Minister and Parliament run England is there a place for kings (in this case a queen) and castles, knights and horse-driven carriages?  If Britain is like a teenager, it is passed the stage where it needs the hand of the monarchy to guide its growth.  Should it cut its ties and move on?

The future shines with the possibility of kicking out old, tired customs and replacing them with modern practicalities.  Intertwining politics, culture, trade, advances in communication are all leading to promoting similarities rather than individualities in fashions, art and music, and taste that it would not take long for things to become so blended that it would be hard to distinguish things apart too easily anymore.  Should England shed this one trademark that makes it unique?

Some people may complain about the tax subsidy for the royal family. Excesses or not, valuable or financially rewarding or not, in terms of the publicity, tourism and public image, there is no doubt the monarchy is truly a significant part of England’s living history that is so much a part of its identity. Sovereigns have ruled there for hundreds of years, calling their countrymen to fight in Britain’s interest, to make peace, to convert to one or more religions, etc.  In the past, knowing that their fortunes were so connected to those of their monarch’s, people praised weddings and births of new heirs by dancing in the streets. But now, I think the British people are right to celebrate out of loyalty and love to protect its distinctive national character.

More than just giving young girls the chance to dream of becoming Cinderella, it reminds us of many things too of our past that is worth preserving.  And though limited in their power now, I still believe that the monarchy performs an important function.  And while there have been King Williams and Queen Catherine’s before and we are likely to see the same in the future, I am sure that the newly wed will put their own unique imprint in the history of the monarchy.  Best wishes and congratulations to the newly weds!

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