I have a confession to make.
I’m actually looking forward to watching the Royal Wedding on 29th April 2011.
When I’ve mentioned this in polite company, people are horrified and look at me, aghast, as if I’ve just said that I like morris dancing or trainspotting (no offence intended to either of those groups). They ask me if I’m ‘a Royalist or something’, but to be honest I don’t think I’m really either a Royalist or a Republican. For me, it’s more about the whole British thing (and I usually don’t refer to myself as such, preferring to be known as English instead). In a list of things that are peculiarly British, the Monarchy would probably feature towards the top, next to the BBC and our weather, and just above the national obsession with tea!
Recently, in an attempt to justify myself to the aforementioned horrified members of polite society, I’ve been trying to unravel just what makes me interested in the forthcoming nuptials of Wills and Kate. I’ve decided that it comes down to four things:
1) Location – Kate Middleton is a local girl done good! She grew up not far from my hometown. We were born in the same hospital and I’ve been told that one of my old teachers is a close relative of hers. I reckon that if I lived in a different county I wouldn’t be half as interested in the whole wedding malarkey.
2) Age – The happy couple are a year or so older than me, which is probably equivalent to being in the year above me at school. Lots of friends my age are taking the plunge and getting married at the moment, so in my world, weddings are pretty topical.
3) Once-in-a-lifetime – My mother collected loads of Charles and Diana-centric memorabilia and newspapers when they got married, so it feels like I’m just continuing the interest through to a new generation. I don’t know if my mother felt some kind of empathy with Diana as, at the time, she was herself a young bride who had married an older man who was not entirely convinced by the concept of ‘love’ a la Prince Charles. Family issues aside, it is almost a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy being part of history. I’m sure the happy couple will probably have children who will grow up and get married themselves in twenty or thirty years or so, but I doubt that I will be so interested in the whole thing by then.
4) Memorabilia – there are some lovely, sophisticated Royal Wedding memorabilia items available this time around. I’ve already (dare I admit it?) acquired the sticker book (look, it was free, OK?), a lovely mug and this biscuit tin from one of my favourite illustrators, Kate Forrester, which hopefully means that I am supporting an artist as well as having a beautiful commemorative tin full of scrumptious biscuits. (As an aside, you might recognise Kate’s work for the John Lewis paper-cut wrapping paper Christmas campaign a couple of years back). Still feeling the need for a Royal Wedding tea towel!
If anyone else is brave enough to admit that they’re looking forward to watching the wedding, or that you’ve planned a special event around it, let me know please! My only plans are to eat the biscuits that are in that lovely biscuit tin…