COMMENTARY | It seems for many Americans the mystique and spectacle of a British royal wedding fizzled out. The New York Times maintains that a Times/CBS News poll unearths a mere 6 percent of people in the United States who are keeping a watchful eye on the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Only 22 percent express an interest to some extent.
Why is William and Kate’s wedding failing to generate a higher degree of excitement? One reason is the never-ending wedding bombardment on TV and the web. I believe, unfortunately, it also has to do in part with the couple’s lack of sensationalism, which fascinates the public.
The Couple Lacks Mystery
Prince William and Middleton appear to be a shining example of two young lovers about to wed. They are a polished and handsome couple. They met in school. Kate is wholesome, a former shop worker. William surpasses wholesome. They have matured together. They seem to be on the same page in life. Essentially, they are a glowing couple with a squeaky-clean slate. They are my idea of perfection. This is the problem.
The American public always viewed the royal family as celebrities in their own right. William and Kate are no different. Regrettably, a ho-hum couple in a healthy relationship does not reel in the interest of the masses. Curiosity about the tittle-tattle involving a celebrity couple increases, though, if there is dirty laundry to be aired.
Overshadowed by gossip, a couple with issues from the get-go typically draws the most attention. Consider the falseness of union that shrouded the Prince of Wales’ awkward marriage to Diana Spencer.
Shadows of Charles and Diana’s Wedding
I confess to having had, and maybe for the wrong reason, more than a little interest in Prince Charles’ marriage to Lady Diana Spencer, who became the princess of Wales.
Watching the couple’s 1981 wedding on TV was as much about the glum story of Charles marrying someone he in all likelihood did not love, as it was the fairytale wedding itself.
My curiosity piqued because the wedding was overshadowed by ongoing media insinuations that Charles was still carrying a torch for long-time gal pal Camilla Parker Bowles. The mega wedding event embraced everything a great novel would defiantly, happily, and sadly bestow upon its reader.
The Fairytale Turns Ugly
Plenty of magical pageantry and excitement existed the day of Charles and Diana’s wedding. It was followed by a tumultuous relationship between the royal couple. The entire world watched as the couple’s life fell apart bit by ugly bit.
America then witnessed the divorce of the duke and duchess of York, Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. It was another royal marriage collapse. Is it possible these scenarios left a bad taste in the mouths of Americans who really did believe in fairytales?
Royal Wedding Overload
When Charles and Diana married in 1981, America’s intrigue was extensive. Americans were not inundated 24/7 with Internet and television coverage resulting in overload. Today, U.S. networks and online news outlets feel compelled to flood the airwaves and the web with everything William and Kate, sweet couple though they are.
Perhaps more Americans would take an interest in the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton had they not already overdosed on pre-wedding hype.
Ravi Somaiya, “In Media’s Wedding Frenzy, Hints of Viewer Fatigue,” New York Times
Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy, “Camilla Never Wanted to Marry Charles” Mail Online
Hadley Freeman, “To Americans, Prince William and Kate Middleton are the Ultimate Celebs,” Guardian.co.uk
Richard Adams, “America Resists Royal Wedding Fever,” Guardian.co.uk