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As a PR person, I’m always intrigued by what people find interesting and newsworthy. And leading up to last Friday, almost nothing was as “newsworthy” as the royal wedding. Nearly 23 million Americans set their alarms bright and early to watch Will and Kate tie the knot. I was not one of them. The debate about the importance of the royal wedding has been going on for months, and I am more in the “I could care less” camp, but I’m curious about these 23 million people who are in the “I really care about this” camp. What is it about a wedding taking place between two people we don’t know in a country an ocean away that gets people so excited?
In an effort to understand this more, I checked out some of the media coverage concerning the wedding. A lot of it centered around what Kate was wearing (she did look fabulous, by the way), what the guests were dining on, where the happy couple would be going on their honeymoon, and generally a lot of random details about the wedding. So 23 million people tuned in to get a play-by-play on the most extravagant of weddings they’ll ever experience? I still was not convinced.
The more I researched though, the more I found that people were talking about the wedding as a symbol of happiness, hope, and love in the midst of the tumultuous times we live in. Here’s a particularly positive account of what the wedding meant to author, motivational speaker, and Huffington Post blogger Agapi Stassinopoulos:
“Prince William and Kate stood as a living symbol of healing and unity. A gentle reminder that we can still celebrate. A reminder that no matter where you are from, how old you are or what generation you belong to, we all want to believe in the existence of love. Yes, we want the fairy tale, but we also want more than that. We want to experience the celebration of goodness and unity in the world. We need hope so that we can keep going in the midst of disaster and suffering, so we can still believe that love and happiness exist somewhere in the world.”
Well, that’s a pretty grandiose argument, but I have to say I’m still on the side of “I could care less.” Why? Because although that all sounds great, I guess I’m just not really buying it. Sure, a wedding is a symbol of love, but look at what happened to Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ “fairytale.” Or Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew. Maybe I am just cynical, but I don’t exactly get a warm-and-fuzzy vibe from royal marriages. And is a wedding really going to make the world forget about its problems? Maybe for a day, but all those problems will be right there waiting for us after the wedding is over.
So is it just that 23 million people disagree with me? Maybe. Or maybe, some of those 23 million people were tuning in to see history in the making. Or just to see what all the fuss was about. So I’d love to hear from our blog readers – why did you watch the royal wedding?