The Royal Wedding and the Monarchy
By Elizabeth Horner
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
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!