Controversy over the TSA grope-a-thon at your local International Airport (making us safer I guess from all those bombs they keep finding hidden under peoples’ genitals) has taken a back seat to the biggest story of the week:
Prince William’s GETTING MARRIED!
Yes folks! Prince Handsome himself is finally tying the knot. Can you believe it? I’m so excited!
But who is this woman who’s stealing the man every woman in the world has been all hubba-hubba over? What girl has usurped and destroyed all those dreams of becoming a Princess that you’ve had ever since you were a young girl?
It’s probably some young snot with a long line of royal background and titles. She’s probably a Dutchess of some sort, or the daughter of a multi-billionaire six steps away from the line of succession in Monaco, or someone whose father is a respected and uncontroversial member of the House of Lords. Spoiled for generations and lending further chuckles and guffaws overseas to the idea that the House of Windor’s family tree only forks so far before retreating back inward.
Except…no. Surprisingly, that’s not the case at all, and therein lies the real story.
William’s fiancee is Kate Middleton, who was born the daughter of a stewardess and a flight dispatcher. When Kate was still a child they started up their own party supply business, which made them millionaires. The story of Kate’s family is a true working class rags to riches story. The Middletons do not come from any great respected lineage; they bear no titles and made their own way in the world.
Which makes this much different from most royal marriages throughout history. The British Monarchy has a long history of politically ordained marriages, romances that required approval from monarchs, and in some cases inbreeding. In fact William’s own father and current heir to the throne, Prince Charles of Wales, had wanted to marry a woman by the name of Camilla Parker-Bowles. Unfortunately, the romance did not meet the approval of the Royal court, and thus Charles was informed he had to dissolve the relationship…which he did publicly, but not privately. Some years later Charles married Diana Spencer , the descendant of not one but two illegitimate children of English Monarchs and amember of the highly connected Spencer family.
Love and romance were set aside in favor of politics and titles. In hindsight, perhaps it’s not surprising that the marriage of Charles and Diana turned out to be not quite the fairy tale everyone had hoped.
Thirty years later, it looks like the House of Windsor learned its lesson.
William met Kate at school. Kate doesn’t have any titles, nor do her parents. The romance was not arranged through letters, political maneuvering, or favors between cousins. They met, fall in love, and aside from a brief period where they separated, have been together for almost nine years.
The importance of this marriage cannot be understated. It is more than just celebrity gossip rag fodder or a handsome royal settling down. It is instead the culmination of decades of scandals and questions about the archaic practices of the monarchy in England and throughout the world. This union symbolizes the changing tide of the British crown for the better.
In prior generations, the marriage would not be allowed no matter how pretty she was or how enamored the press became with her. Yet here we are, and in 2010, and the monarchy has finally modernized its ideas and approach towards how it views courtship and its role in England and the world at large. In allowing this courtship, engagement, and eventual marriage, they have allowed for the possibility of a King that will truly be a man of his time.
So yes, America, this is an important story. It’s the story of an institution’s survival despite changing times and finding that balance between maintaining tradition whilst correctly adapting to changing attitudes and climates of the time. It’s proof that you can keep those things you deem important – in this case the dignity and prestige of the House of Windsor – whilst not miring in the petty details and constructions of past rules and obligations.
Respect and reverence for your past while allowing yourself to adapt to modern times. Now there’s something worth celebrating.
- Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye…
- Listen to me LIVE as guest co-host of Alternative to Sleeping tonight at 10pm!
- Realtors: “WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH” George Hearst III: “NONONOO SSSSHHH IT’S OKAY, it’s okay…here. Here’s a pacifier.” Kristi: “#oops.”
- Open Mic web series premiere tonight @ Lark Tavern
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