The royal wedding was a hugely significant landmark in the Windsor reign.
Queen Elizabeth II has held the British throne for 58 years. She has overseen 12 prime ministers and has only once faced true criticism for her actions during that time – following the death of Princess Diana.
At 85 years old, she stands as a symbol of stability in wildly changing times. Some say her imprint as one of the world’s greatest monarchs is eternal.
And before William could step up to one day continue the Windsor regime, he had the entire world at his feet falling in love with watching him fall in love.
The royal wedding permeated newspapers around the world — far beyond even the UK and its Commonwealth. While Union Jack flags were raised above Regent Street in London and Britain’s top designers vied for the opportunity to dress Kate on the big day, an extraordinary intrigue outside British borders developed.
British friends of mine abroad were asked whether they were invited to the ceremony; international broadcasters were thrown into a frenzy when they learned that the lights around Buckingham Palace would go off after midnight on the 29th, hindering their live coverage from Britain; even start up journalists like myself got the kind of attention for which anyone in the media industry lives.
I have been called upon for interviews, radio commentary and TV appearances — no less because I went to the same university as the beloved couple and just might know a few secrets about the duo’s history.
Still, as a news-hungry journalist competing with countless reporters in the UK and the rest of the world, I felt like I was somebody important.
There is no doubt my sudden spike in publicity will die as the fervour around the newlyweds passes, but the phenomenon struck a curious chord with me nonetheless. I began to wonder why everyone loved the event so much.
On the surface of it all, anyone with a taste for extravagance would naturally be drawn to such an elaborate ordeal — sapphire engagement rings, horse-drawn processions, a wedding party that includes several world leaders alongside the likes of David and Victoria Beckham is enough to make socialites around the world go weak at the knees.
For infatuated fashion enthusiasts it meant design revolutions and ruthless, innovative competition amongst stylists.
For the royalists, the exchange of vows meant the continued security of the Windsor name and the monarchy’s prosperity.
People began camping in front of Westminster Abbey days before the Royal Wedding. Some of these individuals were surely devoted royalists, but the feeling in the air leading up to the event was hardly one of servitude.
In the modern world where the British monarchy is little more than an independent system of checks and balances against the government and an interesting tourist attraction, few whole-heartedly dedicate themselves to the service of the royal family. Instead, the atmosphere was one of vivacious spirit and love.
Street parties filled London’s hottest areas, young people were glued to Twitter for all the latest updates, and broadcasters set up permanent stations in St. Andrews and London to provide continuous live feed of the special occasion. No one could get enough of the hype.
As the biggest thing to hit the news about the royal family since Princess Diana’s death, young people became interested in the monarchy for the first time. It has become quite clear to me that the thing binding the huge range of British, foreign, conservative, labour, old and young royal wedding followers was the majestic nature of a beautiful love story.
I know St. Andrews to be a wonderfully romantic town and I can certainly relate to many of the first moments I’m sure Will and Kate enjoyed together.
I cannot comprehend their wealth and responsibility, but I adore their passionate love for one another. And that’s something that transcends the monarchy, fashion and even the festivities themselves – that thrilling and thriving bond we all inspire to achieve.
Brittany Kennedy grew up in Red Deer and graduated from Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School. She attended university in Scotland and is now living and working in London, England.