Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Royal wedding, Royal distraction

A few decades have passed since the last similar event of this magnitude - the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. It seems not much has changed in terms of the royal attention the couple - Prince William and Kate Middleton this time around are receiving.

The wedding has been in the spotlight most of this week in the news - the only difference from 1981 being the tremendous global impact of social media. Now there's cartoon facebook pages and wedding twitter feeds and more to keep the news hungry well-fed for the UK national event scheduled for the 29th April 2011.

While places like China are going a little crazy trying to capitalise on the royal wedding by flooding the market with replica wedding rings, souvenirs, branded t-shirts - and quite successfully so one might add, it does beg the questions whether this euphoria is justified, whether such events still should have a place in the world calendar, and no doubt for some, whether the monarchy should still be in existence.

Judging by the coverage on the BBC and other traditional media, it appears that those pro the wedding are significantly more than those against it. Most are welcoming it as a royal distraction from the turmoil going on all over the world at the moment - whether it's the nuclear fallout in Japan, tsunamis, or the North African revolutions that have spread from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya to Syria and many other locations in Middle East. The wedding does bring a sense of positivity and hope for viewers - much needed, one could argue, this year especially.

From an economic point of view, certainly there are benefits too. Spending increases a bit on everything from restaurant specials and romantic holiday offers to the actual purchase of tacky souvenir items relating to the wedding. The romance of it all - a fairy tale in the making is quite a captivating incentive to keep many women glued to their screens - again, quite a positive thing for the most part.

On the negatives, however, the argument is that the entire event constitutes a royal waste of public funds. This too, at a time when many feel that money should be allocated to more pressing matters - like saving countries economically. It was indeed a noble gesture for the couple to suggest that nobody send them wedding gifts but instead donate money to a worthy charity instead. I just wonder how many starving children could be fed with the funding going into the wedding itself. Still, I guess there are positives that cannot be totally ignored in this equation.

The bigger issue of course, and one that will no doubt be of importance in the coming week is the actual relevance of the monarchy itself. According to BBC and other news reports, there is likely going to be a significant anti-monarchy protest with members coming in from all over Europe to participate.

Other issues surrounding the wedding from a negative standpoint is unnecessary disruptions. Local government establishments have received over five thousand road closure requests for street parties and the like. If you're not going to be joining them, that will certainly make for some irritation.

Personally, I know there are more pressing issues to deal with in the world. I do believe however, that the public becomes immune to bad news after a while - there is simply so much of it. If anything, the Royal Wedding will provide some relief and help people recollect and celebrate life, albeit just for a short time. A royal distraction is what it is, but a much needed one for the world right now.

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As an aside, it has been great watching romantic wedding movies as TV schedules have moved to accommodate the event in their programming. The fairy tale nature of the wedding just makes one want to go out and buy lottery tickets online in the hopes that someday one might be able to have exactly the same type of royal experience. Sadly, for those amongst us that aren't princesses and have no real shot at meeting princes in our everyday lives, no visits to even the best online slots casino can come to our rescue. For us, we will all live vicariously through Miss Kate Middleton!

1 comment:

Valen said...

I absolutely loved the cartoon, thanks for pointing it out!