Two young people, a man and woman, met on the street yesterday. The woman turned to the man and asked “What time is the wedding?”
The man obviously befuddled replied. “I do not know. What wedding are you referring to?
The woman answered. “The Royal wedding on Saturday. What time will it be aired on television?”
The man said, “I do not know. I did not even get invite”
The Royal wedding is generating feverish excitement around the world with television audiences for this event estimated to top one billion. The interest in Guyana is also at fever-pitch with many Guyanese, particularly females, clearing their Saturday morning itineraries just so that they can view the wedding.
The bride’s father is unable to make the wedding because of a reported heart operation. There are persons in Guyana who will not turn up for work just so that they can view the wedding on television.
What accounts for the excitement over a wedding of the sixth in line to the British throne? It is not as if Prince Harry is ever going to become King or his wife Queen.
Firstly, there is the fascination with the Royal Family. The English Royalty is a source of both amusement and fascination. The private lives of the Royals have been a constant source of news within the tabloids. Despite this, there is a mystique about the British royalty which attracts public interest.
The British people are proud and protective of their monarchy. It is one of the institutions which still unites the country. A royal wedding is a spectacle which sheds favourable light on the Royal family. The British people will be out in their numbers.
Secondly, the excitement over this week’s Royal wedding has to do with toasting celebrity. The royal wedding is a celebrity event. A celebrity event is a talking point and people have their own fascination with celebrities.
Thirdly, there is a touch of fairy tale about this royal wedding. A great many books have been written about Princes and Princesses going out into the world and finding love. In the past, royalty married mainly into royalty. Meghan Markle five hundred years ago would have had little chance of even meeting Prince Harry much less marrying him. But the world has changed and a non-royal marrying a royal has a ring of a fairytale. The public wants to believe that fairy tales do happen and this marriage, in the eyes of much of the public, is a fairytale.
Fourthly, there is the fascination with the institution of marriage. Marriage has always been seen as being the institution which ensures stability in families. The model family is still the nuclear family. Without marriage, the nuclear family would disappear. Marriage therefore has universal appeal, because it represents an investment in stable families.
Fifthly, and finally, this royal wedding – as all royal weddings – is about fashion and business and tourism. People are interested not just in the pomp and parade, but also the bridal dress and the various outfits which will be on display by the wedding party and guests.
The media is hyping up this event because they know there is money to be made by them and by their sponsors. The televising of the wedding will bring a windfall of revenue to the major networks given the size of the audience which is expected to be just as big as the Super Bowl or the NBA finals. Businesses will make money by selling wedding paraphernalia. And tourists will flock to Windsor just to be part of this event.
In the meantime, Guyanese hoping to be part of the excitement are keeping their fingers crossed that GPL does not spoil their Saturday morning. It is not every weekend that a royal wedding takes place.
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