Why Americans can't stop obsessing over the royal wedding
For a nation without a king, America can't seem to get enough of the British royalty. Is it admiration of an elegant culture or just drooling over their jewels – or both?
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In another twist, the prince’s choice of bride evokes the American dream, says Susan Shapiro Barash, author of "The New Wife: The Evolving Role of the American Wife."Skip to next paragraph
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“Marrying up has been done in America for years, whereas in a class culture like Britain, you don’t have that kind of fluidity,” she says. “[William’s] choice supports the American dream as women in the US see it.”
Brides Magazine’s Ms. Kilbridge echoes that idea. “Americans clearly appreciate the fact that Kate is a commoner – a bit more like us than all those posh aristos,” she says. “This wedding feels much more ‘American’ than royal weddings past, what with Kate inviting her butcher, arriving in a car instead of a glass coach, and having an after-party with friends, not politicians.”
But America still cherishes meritocracy over aristocracy, Kilbridge notes. “An awful lot of Americans … seem furious that the Obamas weren’t invited to the wedding, even though this is clearly not a political snub, but simply a way of controlling numbers and security expenses. As practical a move as it might be, we seem to feel that our president earned a place at the wedding!”
Nobody does excess like royalty
One additional explanation for American fascination with the wedding is the American love of excess – an extension of the corporate-driven, consumer culture.
Weddings have become a modern “ritual of ferocious, gluttonous, consuming, a debauch of intensified buying, never again to be repeated in the life of an American couple,” says Marcia Seligson, author of “The Eternal Bliss Machine: America’s Way of Wedding.”
“When it’s over, five hours later, there’s the debris, the soggy egg salad, the drooping peonies, the cigarettes shredding in the champagne glasses, and the bills. Somehow, it’s all worth it.”
If competing with the Joneses floats your boat, history shows there ain’t no bigger or richer family to compete with than the Windsors of Britain.
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