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Why are so many people attracted to the weddings of British royalty?
“What are you doing on April 29th?”
I hadn’t even poured Cheerios into my big, plastic Atlanta Braves bowl, and here my wife was, asking what I would be doing five months from now.
“I don’t know. Why?”
“Well, that’s when Prince William and Kate are getting married,” she says excitedly.
“Oh,” I say. “I think I’ll be sorting my socks that day.”
The last time a royal couple walked down the aisle, my wife got up in the middle of the night to watch the whole affair live on television. I slept.
So what is it about royal weddings anyway? Why do some people go bonkers over a wedding taking place 4,000 miles away, of two people they’ve never met, who speak English they can’t understand, who live in extravagance they can only imagine.
Is it the pomp and pageantry, the gown and the crown, or just living vicariously?
I’m not sure why, but my wife says I don’t understand. “Weddings are special to women,” she says. “They’re no big deal to you, but they’re special to us.”
Actually, I understand what she’s saying. Weddings are special — to me, too, really. Our own wedding was special. Our daughters’ weddings were special. Each of the countless weddings I’ve attended and taken part in over the years was special to somebody. Weddings are important — and as a friend in Murphy, N.C., wrote recently of his daughter’s wedding, they ought to be perfect.
It’s just that I don’t understand the hullabaloo over celebrity weddings, including those of the British monarchy. But, like them or not, the newly betrothed, Prince William and Kate Middleton, because of pestering paparazzi, will be flashing their pearly whites every time you turn on the TV for the next five months. It’s enough to make a man shoot his television, which, unfortunately, some guy did up in Wisconsin after Bristol Palin wasn’t kicked off “Dancing with the Stars” soon enough for him.
I believe you could pick out any good ol’ boy who doesn’t know a bridal veil from a veal cutlet, furnish him a church the size of Westminster Abbey, a fancy carriage pulled by a herd of horses, a sparkling diamond tiara, a wedding gown with a train as long as the Southern Crescent, and a few million dollars, and he could pull off a wedding that would make Queen Elizabeth slap Prince Philip right on his stiff upper lip.
But if the same commoner had just 50 bucks to pay the preacher, he and his bride could hold a simple wedding and become just as married as the Prince of Wales and his bride. And their chances of being happy are just as good, if not better.
So, no, I don’t have a hankering to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton walk down that long aisle of Westminster Abbey.
But because the wedding is special to my wife, I’ll ask her to tell me what I missed, in a Reader’s Digest version, of course.
Phil Hudgins’ column is published in many newspapers around the Southeast.