Like most people, I sat down to watch the Royal Wedding this morning. I started watching around 10 am, by which point the coverage had been going on for 2 hours already. I have no idea what they showed.
It was interesting to watch, and fortunately the weather held up. I had visions of there being a downpour, which would have been extremely unfortunate! The service itself was less engaging than I thought it might be, partly due to its long length and the often dreary choice of music. It all seemed to go without a hitch, with the exception of the slight difficulty William had getting the ring on Kate’s finger. I was impressed with Kate (sorry, the Duchess of Cambridge) and her siblings Pippa and James, who must all have been very nervous but carried out their roles successfully. The dress was a winner and I loved the trees in the Abbey, which softened it a bit.
The crowds, as expected, were enormous and excited. The best part of the wedding for me was the pageantry. There’s nothing like seeing a troop of the Blues and Royals and the Life Guards in full ceremonial gear. We British do this sort of event better than anyone. Between this and the Olympics, what an advert for British tourism!
I understand people who think the monarchy is irrelevant, outdated, or outright undemocratic. I would agree if they wielded any real power, but in the circumstances I think they do more good than harm. We have a democratically elected government who run the country. The monarch is a figurehead, much like the President in countries like Ireland which have a President and a Prime Minister, where the PM is the one with the power. (I almost used Russia as an example there until I remembered that Putin is the President in Russia and he doesn’t take a back seat to anyone.) Yes, they cost us all money through the Civil List and expenses such as security, but they also bring a lot of money into the country through tourism and the like. They are a real symbol of Britishness to much of the rest of the world and are a huge part of ‘Brand Britain’. The monarchy also provides a tangible link to thousands of years of British history.