Saturday, April 23, 2011
In just a matter of days (hours, minutes and seconds, for those counting down), the occasion defined as "the wedding of the century" will be taking place in Westminster Abbey in London. With an estimated million spectators expected to be lining the streets in London, and billions watching on television screens across the world, the long anticipated Royal Wedding of Britain's future King and his Bucklebury princess will be underway.
Global excitement and media coverage is reaching unprecedented levels. Quite unbelievable really, considering the rather exclusive nature of the occasion. Still, the hype is inescapable, the countdown globally audible, the expression of emotion uncontrollable, the falling unstoppable...
As the big day nears, it is interesting to look back at the process of the world falling in love.
First, there was the introduction. The world outside of the Commonwealth was introduced to a prince and a future princess through the announcement of an imminent royal wedding. Suddenly images of the beautiful Brits started appearing on grocery aisle magazine racks from the U.S. to the U.A.E. Her beauty, his throne and their fairytale romance swept the world. Royal watchers or not, it was hard not to take a little look at the couple causing all of the excitement.
Then came the courtship. As the months ticked by and details around the royal wedding were carefully shared with the world, slowly slowly slowly the royal couple started to make their way into the hearts of hundreds of millions of people across the globe. The butterflies were busy stirring up pre-wedding ideas, images and insights. Without warning they caught our eye, captured our interest, won our hearts. It was not love at first sight - it took time. But, ultimately, it did happen. The world fell in love.
It was love at first hope. For the first time in a long, challenging time, there was something happening which made our hearts feel hopeful, feel happiness, feel warmth...even if it is for someone else.
Now, it is an all-out love affair. The world is intoxicated by the emotion of the moment. The royal wedding has become a global event, an Olympic size celebration of love, romance and promise...and a magnificent Olympics 2012 warm-up for the city of London.
Interestingly, with the growth in momentum of excitement, there also seems to be a growing momentum in justification of why, exactly why, we care.
Why has the marriage of a young couple within a single monarchy, a world away in lifestyle and geography for most, taken hold of our attention, our hearts, and our plans for April 29th in such a remarkable way? Why, by latest account, are over 600,000 people now believed to be travelling to London on wedding day, many sleeping on the wedding route to be able to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds on their way to Buckingham Palace following their vows in the magnificent Abbey? Why will over 2.5 billion be watching the wedding through global media feeds of over 7000 credited journalists and 40 global networks all camped out in the global media village? Why are fashion designers across the globe waiting to see the future queen's wedding dress, knowing that the much-anticipated creation will define the next decade of design for women across the globe? How did wedding take on literally epic proportions?
Rationale is being articulated in a myriad of creative ways. For some it is a romantic heart. For some, lineage. For some it is a life-long affection in the idea of royalty. For others it is simply an appreciation for history in our modern times. And for many, it is a curiosity in what all the fuss is about.
Ultimately, why we are interested, why we will be watching, does not matter.
What does is that for once the world is being united by the concept of love, the reigniting of hope, the belief in happily ever after.
Media and mementos aside, even the most cynical of royal subjects across the UK and the globe, those still shunning the value of the Royal Family, will be raising a glass in their local pubs on the forthcoming public holiday, proposing a toast to the newlyweds.
Some things need no rationale. The fact that we feel joy is reason enough. Especially joy for others - wherever they may be geographically, socially, royally.
To William and Kate. Long live the power of romance.
Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2011