Our royal obsession? Rubbish!

| May 12, 2011
Royal engagement dress

Copyright 2010 Mario Testino.

Am I the only human being who didn’t give a flip about the royal wedding?

Reportedly, more than 23 million Americans tuned into the television coverage that started at 3 a.m. EST on April 27. I have friends who took off work to not miss it. I even know someone who sent out legitimate wedding invitations for a viewing party at his house.

We don’t know Will and Kate. We were not invited. We’re not even British!

What really struck me was how millions of women who have been planning their dream wedding since birth were captivated by this event. Aside from marrying into the title of “princess,” Kate’s wedding was anything but a fairy tale. Forget modern, simple or edgy, by nature British royal weddings are heavily rooted in age old traditions that must be upheld.

Religious Restrictions
Before the wedding can even take place, there is the approval process. The 1701 Act of Settlement prohibits royals from marrying Catholics. For a royal bride or groom, violating this stipulation would mean forfeiting his or her place in line for the throne.

Predetermined Venue
Will and Kate’s wedding was held at Westminster Abbey which became a mainstay for royal weddings in 1919 after the previous locale, the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace was deemed too small.

The Bridal Party
Traditionally, English brides are escorted by a group of bridesmaids; typically girls between the ages of 10-12. Kate upheld the tradition but also included her sister, Pippa. And at the ripe old age of 27, she will go down in England’s history as the oldest royal bridesmaid to date.

Bouquet Requirements
Since the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert in 1840, English royal brides have carried a sprig of myrtle, known as the herb of love, in their bouquet. Thankfully, the bouquet is not required to be entirely made of myrtle as Queen Victoria’s was, but nonetheless the herb must be present.

Kate actually left her bouquet at the grave of the unknown warrior at Westminster Abbey in honor of those who have served in the armed forces. A noble gesture, but further evidence to how public and political her special day was.

Obligatory Invitations
Will and Kate sent out nearly 2,000 invitations to their nuptials. Among that guest list were fellow royals, foreign leaders, church officials and diplomats. Sounds more like a corporate function than a personal celebration.

Impersonalized Ceremony
Writing one’s own vows is out of the question. Pandemonium resulted in 1999 when Sophie, Countess of Wessex, promised to “honor, cherish and obey” Prince Edward. Imagine omitting anything with specific personal meaning from your ceremony for fear of public backlash.

Reception Itinerary
Typically, British weddings take place at noon and are followed by a formal luncheon called a “wedding breakfast.” Subsequent to the meal is a public kiss scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m. on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

Weddings are typically a reflection of the couple and the receiving line is an opportunity to meet and greet all of the important people in your lives that took the time to be present. For a future princess, the reception is more so a public relations balancing act.

It seems to me that the wedding obsessed would frown upon the lack of creativity involved in the royal wedding. Kate truly had little say in the occasion. When I think about all the wedding details that make future brides gush with excitement, working a sleeve into the gown design isn’t one of them. And don’t even get me started on the wedding “fruit” cake.

All criticism aside, I am very happy for the newlyweds. But weddings are only relevant to me if A. I’m invited and B. requests for Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” are unlimited. And from what I can gather, that was not the case at Will’s and Kate’s.

Some information was obtained from http://shine.yahoo.com

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