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William & Kate wedding: Most Americans won't tune in

Most Americans aren't enthralled by the royal wedding. Rather than get up at 4 a.m. to watch, they're more likely to be interested in what Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert have to say.

By Daniel B. WoodStaff writer / April 24, 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive at Witton Country Park, Darwen, England, April 11. The full list of confirmed guests attending the royal wedding was released Saturday. Soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria were among the most recognizable names. Royal family members from countries including Bahrain, Denmark, Spain, and Morocco will also attend.

Tim Hales/AP

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Studio City, California

Mrs. Ross Hunt uses expletives to describe massive, global interest in the royal wedding. An American who left communist Prague 40 years ago, she will not be among the projected two billion worldwide television audience on April 29 to witness the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

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She is evidence, say media watchers and sociologists, that Americans are looking at the royal wedding through a different cultural lens than the British. When 750 million watched the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981, it was the largest TV audience in history. But much has changed since then, especially on this side of the pond, they say.

“Today we look at this wedding with a more jaundiced eye,” says Debra Caruso, founder and head of DJC Communications, a New York-based media firm.

“More of us are waiting to see how Jon Stewart, David Letterman, and Stephen Colbert will frame the event,” she says. “We’re attracted to the negative. Will there be a slip-up? Will someone mouth words on camera that will make headlines? Guaranteed, the fashion ‘don’ts’ will make more news than the fashion ‘dos’.”

Additionally, the results of a recent PriceGrabber survey of 2,842 US online consumers show 95 percent of American respondents do not plan to attend or host a party to celebrate the wedding and 92 percent do not plan to purchase royal wedding commemorative merchandise.

Sitting in the lobby of her audio-video production shop in Studio City, Mrs. Hunt, a Czech émigré, is only too happy to explain why Caruso’s comment is true for her.

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