Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Today is Royal Wedding Bank Holiday.  HRH Prince William of Wales marries his partner Catherine Middleton.  The whole of Britain (minus the republicans and religious fundamentalist groups) and the Commonwealth cheers.  A lot more were watching as the event was broadcastered to many more countries.  We've not had a proper British royal wedding for a long time.  The last time we had one was that Prince Charles to Camilla Parker-Bowles, which was a pretty low key event. However, so were that for Princess Anne's second marriage and that of Prince Edward.  It was a big deal, because there has not been a Royal wedding backed by popular public celebrations to this scale for a a very long time.  The last time there was anything to this scale was the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.

Prince William has grown up to be a very grounded and well respected figure in his own right.  He is well liked and he represents the hope for the future of the British Monarchy.  Both he and his brother Prince Harry represent a a modern look for the Royal family.  Things have not always gone well and they have not had the smoothest childhoods, but they pulled through.  The reputation of the Royal family took a tumble.  The old fashioned ways of the establishment persisted, even though the Royal family has changed a lot since Queen Elizabeth came to the throne.  This was not the main factor, but the way the public view the House of Windsor, when they took sides with Diana, Princess of Wales.  Prince William's marriage will make the Monarchy, hopefully popular again.  The Will and Kate brand will do a lot for Britain. 

A lot of people in Hong Kong would no doubt be watching.  Despite being no longer a British Colony and not even a member of the British Commonwealth.  Hong Kongers still follows British events with interests.  The wedding and the events of the day were broadcasted live and of course Hong Kongers would be watching with great interest.  This is about a handsome prince marrying a very pretty girl (who is not of royal or noble descent).  This is of course just like in a fairy tale and the sort material Disney features are made of.  It was a good show, nobody does military marches, pomp and circumstances like Britain.  Royal weddings in other European countries are nowhere this grand.  Prince William is not the heir to the throne the event is not a state occasion, but due the his popularity, it was pretty much so, unofficially.  Hong Kongers love sentimentalism and add the glamour, this is right up their street.  There was a lot of comparisons between his wedding and that of his father to his mother...

This is where it gets annoying, as Hong Kongers and Asians (actually many uninformed, liberals and no-brainers) will at this point take sides.  Princess Di, ever so beautiful and charming, could do no wrong.  The perpetual princess of hearts to many people.   Prince Charles will always  be the villain.  Whenever this topic is raised by Hong Kongers or other Asians, I feel I have to run.  I doubt they want my opinion on the matter.  I respect the late Princess Diana and all she has done that is good.  However, I have lived through the highs and lows of the matter.  I've read and heard it all in the press.  The British public have moved on, Mohamed Al-Fayed hasn't been heard in public for a while.  If I was asked, my response would be "It takes two to tango, you weren't there or directly involved and it certainly isn't your problem...."   

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