I am not referring to Annie Lenox’s popular number, but the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Full of pomp, pageantry and of course romance.
Few occasions have made such a large number of people so obsessed with a single event. According to estimates, nearly 2 billion people across the world watched the live telecast of the exchange of vows. For weeks, we have been consuming every teensy weensy gossip about the wedding - the minutest details of the ceremony, the clothes, the guest list, the menu, even the bride-to-be’s nightmares.
Considering that the ceremony concerns people so unrelated to us, held in a country with which most people have very little association, one would wonder why.
One reason is apparent. It is a part of our fixation with celebrities. The whole episode appears like a soap that we wouldn’t miss on television. Knowing about others’ lives is like watching an engrossing tale.
It is acknowledg
ed fact that most people don’t like to read about misery spilled on front page of newspapers, but would gladly flip through Page 3 tittle-tattle. Tabloid journalism, after all, has its existence rooted in very compelling psychological reasons.
It gives us pleasure to probe and discuss every move of other people. When it involves the charming elite, pleasing surroundings and an advantageous circumstance, we like to derive vicarious gratification. Following something closely, gives us a false notion of involvement; of being a part of the marvellous spectacle.
The gleegasm of Britons has been understandable. Having been hit hard by recession, facing cuts in social spending with ever shrinking education and health funds, the royal wedding provides a rare chance to celebrate and feel good, to deliberate at length the noblesse-oblige, to draw strength from a bygone era when the royalty was still pertinent and a powerful emblem of nationhood.
The fact of a commoner coming upon such an exceptional stroke of luck may at a subconscious level give them hope for better prospects for the plebeian class.
For all of us, it brings with it a fond remembrance of the People’s Princess – Diana, the unique, one and only. People would like to revel in her child’s marriage and want to participate in his big day. They feel it would have been such a happy occasion for the woman who broke the cold, stiff and distant image of royalty.
Most of all, look at the entire affair in its totality. First, the simple story of boy and girl meeting and falling in love. Then the twist of the break up, the heartache, and finally their enduring love and patch up.
We see in reality what we read in story books. The Prince Charming, the poor Cinderella, countryside ramblings, the palaces, balls, elaborate gowns, young love and a dream marriage. The klieg-lights on the wedding are in truth a toast to la dolce vita.
In this wild, mean world of violence, treachery, scams, need and ever lengthening shadows, it provides us an escape. It brings alive the child that exists in all us, who refuses to accept the dreary reality of our sordid everyday existence. And still believes in fairytales and beautiful endings.
(The views expressed by the author are personal)