As everyone has surely heard, Prince William and Kate Middleton are going to throw themselves a wedding. I was surprised to find myself a little excited by the prospect of a big splashy royal to-do. I think a little escapism that doesn’t involve speculating as to which former Disney starlette is putting what up her nose or whether or not Jen and Angie are going to finally Jell-o fight for Brad or pair up in cat burglar gear to steal Ashton from Demi is just what we need in the rather bleak times we’re all stuck in.
Sure, the mugs are cheesy as all get out. (If I were on a commemorative mug, I would have a set for beer pong, royal or no.) Sure, the British tabloids will be even more insufferable than the US tabloids until the last Royal Thank You Note is issued. But it’s a wedding. Two goofy English kids who’ve known each other forever are getting married and it’s going to be fabulous. Even though we all know the pomp and ceremony are mostly make believe and anachronistic in the twenty-first century, lots of us are going to eat it up on both sides of the pond. In the publicity photos for the engagement, the happy couple does look genuinely happy, with that reserved WTF look rich white people seem to pull off better than the rest of us. I empathized with them, in a way I didn’t expect.
Perhaps the general reaction in the US has been “meh.” to quote Mary Elizabeth Williams from Salon’s Broadstreet, but I think a little Official Frippery is just what we need to see us through another long winter of a crippling economy. Even the bitchiest amongst us will spend a few delightful evenings feeling superior and bootstrappy and patriotic while poking fun at goofy, expensive, English tradition. I think the various outlets that assume America is giving a Taylor Momsen level eye roll to the event may underestimate our need for a real life feel good story. My US news diet seems heavy on felonies, foreclosures and perky stories about how the economy is really great for rich people. The entertainment side of things is a little heavy on rehab, reality stars and general idiocy. I could use a few lame puns and a parade of ugly wedding dress sketches. Plus, for ridiculously wealthy people, they seem like nice kids. Rooting for them feels like the right thing to do.
So you go on with your fancy marrying hoopla, Kate and William. I’ll be one of those goofballs getting up at the crack of dawn to watch.