Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wedding of the Century- The British Royal Wedding

'Wedding of the Century', that was how the wedding of prince William, the future king to Britain, with Kate Middleton, his long time love, was dubbed by America's Star magazine in May, last year.  The wedding then was a speculation, for everything around it was tagged and sealed under top secret by the British royalty. Magazine's another speculation was that the wedding would be a whooping ''$40 million extravaganza”.




Nearly an year after the magazine's speculation details about the royal union are still scarce except that fresh ones are cropping up.  According to the latest, the wedding is going to take place on the 29th of this month (April).


South African national TV announced yesterday that one of its channel would be dedicated to the live broadcast of the wedding ceremony on that day.  So it could be true. So to the SA public, passionate  about anything of soft sentiments, love, weddings, love-lost, fashion, etc a visual treat of a life time is guaranteed. They are quite upbeat about it. So finally the speculation is unfolding for real.


Well, how different is this wedding, other than one of the couple is going to be the king to Britain one day, from an ordinary one, to cause such a stir on the globe, some may ask. I am with them. True, this wedding need not have to cause such trumpeting but only knitting one's brows about the $40 million or more extravaganza at the expense of the British tax payers.  But me and you would be soon sidelined.


Thankful to the Indian leaders-such things were happening in India too-for dissolving the 500 more Princely States at the eve of the Indian independence which the British Raj was secretly planning to uphold.  At the same time it is not true that India has completely overcome its royalty.  En-massing the public wealth by individuals who live like royals still continues.  In other words, India now has only royal cults, as privileged social colonies that proudly choose a distance from the ordinary Indians.  Caste and religious regimes are neither less virulent.  What they all do is to stick to their above mentioned identities when it comes to choosing life partners. You can recognize them with various tags trailing behind their names. 


It may be ironical that in the still kicking British royalty, things happen different. The difference is in its members' willful attempt to shed of its deep symbolism and hierarchy to identify with the other- the commoner.   


From the stories of Prince Charles and late Princes Diana, if remove the paparazzi extravaganza one can see the strains of such transformations. They might have paid huge prices for that. To break away from privileges be it in the name of royalty, racial hierarchy and caste, one has to face a fair share of tragedies and risks.


However, the pressure is still on.


Daily Dispach a South African Daily quotes Daily Mail a British news paper on how the royalty experts try to transform Kates, a middle class commoner to be regal. ''Kates, 'regal re-invention' extended to teeth straightening and whitening as well as a taming of her tumbling locks into a 'carefully pinned back' style''.


''The makeover has led to a change in behavior, body language expert Judi James told the Mail''. ''Etiquette expert, Jean-Broke-Smith found that Kate's wave still left something to be desired''.
 ''(Her) wave is still distinctly un-regal....It needed to be transformed into a 'more subtle lifting of the hand, to acknowledge the crowd, but never having her fingers apart''.




Other factors; the royal wedding is considered a best employment and economy booster.  It is a trend-setter for industries like bridal gown, designing, culinary, floral arrangement, jewelry, decorations, photography and so on that churns up millions in income cashing on people's vanity, insecurity, beauty, taste, sensuousness and class.  It also involves bashing on, celebrity gathering, business extravaganzas, top-billings, media gossip, and show off of aristocracy. 


Middletons' bridal gown the bridal industry insiders expect 'to be copied many times over as soon as the public gets its first glimpse' writes DD.


India is no strange place for trend-setting weddings.  There are families there that can afford more wedding extravaganza than the royal wedding, using their hard earned or corrupt money. Though many cannot compete with royal weddings, the number that can afford afford its miniature versions is increasing. No doubt, such weddings give great feelings to the couple and everybody associated with them.  But for every such Indian family there are thousands who feel small and insignificant (I agree, only if they feel so) because they cannot afford even a miniature version of that.


It would have been an act of sympathy to the cause of transformation already shown by the individuals in the British royalty, if Prince William and Kate (or who ever were responsible for that), had decided to cut down on the wedding extravaganza. Especially when the ordinary Britons are said to be undergoing economic hardships and lack of employment.       

















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