Why I'm Sick and Tired of the Royal Wedding
Blah, blah, blah.
As a British woman living a few hours outside of London in the midst of the royal wedding media circus, it's easy to become cynical about the upcoming nuptials of the prince and his fiancee.
You can't escape it.
We don't have a television in our household, and so you'd think we might be able to avoid the worst of it.
Restaurants are advertising their "special wedding deal meals." Supermarkets are reminding us to buy enough alcohol for the wedding day. Minor news about the wedding is splashed across all the papers. Royal wedding news is all over Facebook and Twitter. Prince William. Kate Middleton. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Overexposure is one of the reasons I was feeling sick and tired of the royal wedding hoopla. But there were others.
The British institution of the royal family can be a controversial topic in my circle of friends and acquaintances. Isn't it outdated to have a monarchy? What purpose does it serve? Are those palaces (and this very expensive wedding) really the best way to spend all that money?
Sometimes supporting the royal family just isn't very fashionable.
And if I'm really honest with myself, I can detect a hint of jealousy in my cynical attitude. Wouldn't we all like to spend [insert huge financial figure] on our weddings? Wouldn't we all like that wedding dress? Wouldn't we love all that attention, just for being born into the right family or falling in love with the right man?
This afternoon, I had an experience which made me think again about the whole situation.
I'd tweeted earlier in the day about enjoying Earl Grey. Twinings, a British company that makes marvelous tea, tweeted back and asked me if I wanted a 50-pound voucher for their tea. I replied (cheekily) asking if they could send me a box of it instead.
They replied, offering me a commemorative box of Earl Grey. Guess what it was commemorating? The royal wedding, of course.
My immediate response was snarky: "A tacky commemorative box for the royal wedding? No thank you!"
I shared my reaction with my fiance, Kaspa. He gently suggested that instead, maybe I could be grateful for their generous offer.
I looked again at the box of tea. It was worth £5 (not peanuts) and Twinings was willing to mail it to me for nothing. I know they're a big company with a marketing department, but there is also a human being behind the twitter account who decided to extend the offer. The tea was in a posh box and is white Earl Grey with a hint of rose, which sounded rather delicious.
This led me to think some more about Prince William and Kate Middleton, too. They are just two ordinary people, after all. It wasn't their fault that William was born into a particular family or Kate fell in love with a particular man. They are young, they are in love and they are committing to spend their lives with each other. Goodness knows it won't be an easy life. It can't be very easy being them.
Suddenly, the whole situation felt completely different. I was ashamed of my initial sarcasm. I was thankful for Twinings and its offer of tea. I felt grateful toward Kaspa for pointing out my ingratitude.
And I feel a new empathy toward Prince William and Kate Middleton, for being at the center of this media storm and for weathering all the sassiness that I and countless other people have been sending their way.
Here's to Prince William and Kate Middleton. Here's to the royal wedding. And here's to love. I hope they live happily ever after.
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