published Friday, April 29th, 2011

Leber: Give the Royals a break, it’s just pageantry

I have to say, I find the hatred some people have for the royal wedding to be pretty amusing.

Oh, sure, I get not caring. I get thinking there’s too much money being spent for too much hoopla. I get being confounded by the amount of coverage the event is getting in the international media.

But the vitriol that some people seem to be tossing in the direction of London — well, that confuses me. Were you hoping Prince William would dump that hat-loving chippie and choose you instead? It makes me laugh.

Some naysayers will talk about the fact that there are more important things going on in the world than the royal wedding. I can’t argue with that. But maybe so much tragedy means there’s a need to look to a joyful event.

Some supporters will speak of the cultural relevance — the perpetuation of a centuries-old monarchial tradition and of the significance of the future king of England marrying a commoner. Kate Middleton is no rags-to-riches story, but as of today she literally is a girl who became a princess. That’s pretty interesting.

I like weddings. I like the ceremony of them. I like seeing the groom’s face as the bride walks down the aisle. I like seeing the moments of ritual that differ from wedding to wedding. I like watching wedding episodes of my favorite television shows.

Before you say anything, yes, I think there’s a ridiculous amount of emphasis put, and money spent, on one day, on a ceremony and a party that overshadows the important fact that a couple is actually embarking on a new life partnership. But I still enjoy weddings.

So, yeah, of course I want to see what a royal wedding looks like. The last big royal wedding — that of Charles and Diana in 1981 — did occur during my lifetime, but I was far more interested in Gerber squash and my bottle than I was in matrimonial pomp and circumstance.

I also have a certain degree of sympathy for Kate. And not just because of all the responsibility she’ll be taking on and the privacy she’ll be giving up but because I can respect a girl who showed the kind of patience she did. I’m a believer in long courtships, and in a world where people, quite literally, find future ex-spouses on reality television, I admire a young couple who has grown up together.

Plus it seems young girls could do worse than look up to someone like Kate Middleton. Sure, she hasn’t done much, yet, other than demonstrate impeccable etiquette, but give her a chance. Comparisons are being drawn between William and Kate and Charles and Diana. Perhaps the new royal will follow in her late mother-in-law’s philanthropic and humanitarian footsteps.

But also, yes, I do want to see what the dress looks like.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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