I have a confession. It’s one that most Americans will gasp and scoff at me for. Not because of what my confession is but because of who I am for confessing it. In fact, my confession will cause me to look behind myself in fear of aggressors with conservative mindsets who believe that such thoughts from an American man is a form of some weakness. So with absolute full knowledge of the potential consequences of my words and thoughts I proudly make my declaration:
I am consummately looking forward to watching the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton this April.
Yes. I, David Boling, can not wait to see Prince William and Kate Middleton walk down the aisle in holy matrimony. I am more excited than the dog who wiggles itself into a frenzy when it’s owner gets home. I am more giddy than the teenage girl who waits for that first kiss from the cute boy in school. I am more ravenous for this event than the fat kid watching the first slice of a birthday cake. If this makes me a pansy, a nerd, a geek, a traitor to the masculine kind than so be it.
But why is the Royal Wedding so gloriously important for me?
I will admit that I hold a very special place in my heart for Britain (and Ireland). Lately, my anglophile nature has me locked on BBC America and YouTube watching shows like Doctor Who, Being Human, Skins and Torchwood, Nevermind the Buzzcocks, Mock the Week and QI (anything with Stephen Fry really). The Beatles, The great and talented Beatles, are my all time favorite band. My top ten favorite YouTubers consist mainly of Charlie McDonald, Alex Day, Tom Milson and more (all British). My favorite vacation I have ever taken was to England and if given the chance I would live there in a heart beat (at least for a few years). Most of the people I enjoy following on Twitter live somewhere in the UK and I hold the interactions with them very dear to my heart. The Rational British ideology on Science and Nature tends to follow more closely to my mindset than what I grew up with.
However, to be honest, and in all actuality, my excessive enthusiasm for this event begins in my very own childhood and carries through my adult life.
I had just turned eight years old two weeks before Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married. What a wonderful summer treat for a preteen boy who’s mind was excitably filled with romanticized images of medieval Europe. An actual wedding of a prince and a maiden who would one day rule his country. OMG! That was something I would never get to witness in my own country. Remember, at that age an eight year old still believed in dragons and chivalry. The real world was just too boring to hold any faith in.
I sat in front of that television (it was a floor model and truly a piece of furniture instead of just a screen) unable to move. Captured. I was captured by the grandness of the church, the beauty of Diana, the majesty of Charles, the pomp and circumstance of the whole event. Yet mostly I had a feeling that this… this right before my eyes was the beginning, or the ending, of the a real life fairy tale.
My mother cried on the couch behind me. I had chosen my normal seat on the floor just feet from the tv. After the wedding I am sure I jumped up from my spot and ran directly outside to hunt for those dragons and save the day.
Yes, there never was any better imaginary fodder for an 8 year.
A year later I heard the news of the birth of Prince William. A new prince who would be the prince of my generation. Two years later another Prince Harry would be born. Would there be a fight for the throne (yes my 11 year old self still didn’t understand the reality of the current world)?
Unfortunately, that fantasy reality I had in my head would soon disappear. With the announcement of the divorce of Charles and Diana, coupled with growing older and becoming wiser to how the world actually worked, I had to finally abandon the notion of fairy tales coming true. Although I would never admit it to anyone, I was crushed. That 8 year old boy and his enthusiasm passed into obscurity that day.
If there were any of that romantic dreamer left in me after the divorce it all passed the day I heard the tragic news of Diana’s death. I cried that day. In fact, the whole world cried as I remember. The good die young and that is definitely not a part of a good fairy tale.
So with all lost I move forward with my life. My boring realistic life. It seemed that every subsequent year some sorted story came out about the Royal Family. With each headline the fairy tale retreated further and further into limbo.
I am not sure when it all settled down. I just remember one day Queen Elizabeth was on my television screen again. She smiled and spoke with a confidence I hadn’t heard from her in a very long time. It was her speech after the 9/11 attacks. My heart began to warm for her and her family once again. That affection and connection (all in my mind as it may have been) with the Windsors suddenly came flooding back. No, I still didn’t believe in fairy tales, but in a realistic world I believed in compassion and admiration.
Once again, I started paying attention to her and her family. Prince William was now a man for all intent and purpose. Harry wasn’t far behind. Both of the young princes were showing signs that their mother’s beauty had blessed them as well. When a friend of mine said I resembled Prince William I just laughed, yet secretly I wanted it to be true.
The years to come would be filled with the richness of watching these two young men make their place in the world. From their military careers to their charitable activities we could see the best of them, the best of their parents, the best of Britain. And yes, we were starting to see a hopeful future. Now, true, there were some indiscretions but nothing that couldn’t be forgiven while being chalked up to merely growing pains of adolescence. Something we are all guilty of.
Every now and then we were given glimpses into the romance of William and Kate. Slowly, as I learned more of this relationship something struck me. Here we have a prince who has fallen in love with a “commoner” and swept her off her feet. He’s battled the dragons of the media to protect her as much as he could. She has supported and encouraged him to be the best that he could be. Was I seeing what I thought I was seeing happen? Could it be? No. Surely not. After all, they have dated their entire adult life and it hasn’t happened yet.
Every now and then we would get that random picture of them together, their brief separation, and then, oh so happily then, the engagement. How about that ring? I truly believe Diana would be proud of her son.
So this brings me to today and the source of this long winded blog. The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and my obsessive excitement. Back to the question: Why is the Wedding so gloriously important to me?
This wedding is a rebirth. A rebirth of the fairy tale (even if in modern terms) and a rebirth, I hope, of that 8 year old boy. I plan on watching this wedding as well. I might even watch it with my mother if she can and then I will rush outside, grab the nearest, most threatening stick I can find and battle dragons once again.
That is why this wedding is so gloriously important to me. May William and Kate live happily ever after in that land that is so far far away from me (for now).
PS. As I write this a thought came to me. The rest of the world would seem to look up to the Royal Family more than the average Briton, but Britons will be the first in line to defend them when the call came.