The Royal Wedding Fairytale

Even Fairy Tales Aren't Fairy Tales Anymore

Apr 29, 2011 by

"Royal Wedding Fairy Tale"When we first discussed the idea of an All the Single Girlfriends post regarding the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton not surprisingly there was a diversity of opinions amongst the Girlfriends regarding the Royal to-do ranging from yawns to disgust, and everything in between.

This is not all that different from the rest of the planet except that in my observation of  the media coverage of the event, the Official Royal version appears to be speaking the loudest. According to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll just 28% of Americans are under the Royal Wedding spell but as Kathryn Shattuck notes in the New York Times, the other 72% of us might plan on Netflix streaming for home entertainment on April 29th.

ABC News (yes, ABS News) is apparently not only offering an “All Access Pass”, i.e. 20 hours of live programming on every imaginable outlet from to Hulu to Facebook,  they have even produced an eBook called Royal Wedding: A Modern Fairy Tale and a video that accompanies.

On a darker note regarding the spinning of the Royal Fairy tale,  according to Tech Dirt via The Columbia Journalism Review the Royal Family is seeking to enjoin negativity and disrespect  and banning the use of official footage from Westminster Abbey “in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content.”  This footage ban from Westminster Abbey includes the  “period from the arrival of the first member of the royal family for the wedding service until the last member of the royal family leaves the main entrance of Westminster Abbey following the conclusion of the wedding service.” This apparently stems from planned coverage by the  The Chaser Boys which was ultimately cancelled.

So, what about this Royal Fairy Tale anyway? Penny Young Nance writes on Fox that the appeal of the royal wedding is that “women still want a fairy tale ending.” Duh?….if fairy tale ending is meant to be synonmous with happy ending, who doesn’t want a happy ending? Ms. Nance is not really writing another Royal Family fluff piece here; she is writing about the importance of marriage, the institution not the fairy tale, to society. I would agree with that thought but I can’t quite agree with her position that believing in handsome princes somehow gets us to respect the institution of marriage. In fact, I believe just the opposite… real life marriage, not only does the handsome prince often turn into a frog rather than the other way around; expectations based upon frogs and princes have little to do with the reality of human behavior but can wreak havoc with relationships.

When this latest and unavoidable Royal Fairy tale came slamming onto my radar screen it made me recall the Diana and Charles Royal Fairy Tale…or shall I clarify that statement: What I recall from 1981. I recall much the same spin, more quietly of course because we only had TV and print, but a similar enough fairy tale romance of true, true love, Barbara Walters and happily ever after. I was in the process of moving from Boston to New Jersey and was living in a hotel on their wedding day. Friends were visiting and we woke up in the wee hours to watch the coverage.

Among the things we talked about was the totally remote possibility, in our opinions, that 20 year old Diana Spencer could actually be in love with 33 year old Prince Charles and vice versa: It was “time” for Charles to get married and only Vestal virgins need apply….this requirement alone narrowed the possibilities. Diana was “tested”, passed and on with the show. The creation of the fairy tale romance seemed quite consistent with the need to rationalize the existence of the British monarchy, itself a fairy tale artifact of another time. Part of their job description is to entertain their subjects and everyone loves weddings, right?

Following Diana and Charles, the Wedding, we had Diana and Charles, the Marriage; the Birth of the heir and the spare, the Scandals, the Divorce. And by the time the actual divorce occurred there really wasn’t much left of the Royal Fairy Tale Romance to believe in…in fact we all knew far more details about their lives than we needed to know about even our closest friends.

So, I really can’t take this latest fairytale from the House of Windsor and ABC news too seriously. I think the one thing that Diana and Charles made crystal clear is that even fairy tales aren’t fairy tales any more.

About the Author

Marianne Richmond Has Written 7 Articles For Us!

Marianne Richmond is a new media strategist and word of mouth marketing consultant.
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1 Comment

  1. Debra A Pearlman

    True enough, not all fairy tales have a happy ending, but at least this royal couple seem to have chosen a more traditional way of building a romance…meet at school, date, break-up, get back together, live together (oh the royal shame of it all) and eventually decide it’s time for children so we should marry. Glad the Queen decided that it was A-okay for a “commoner” to become a royal (is that just the icing on the cake?).

    I can’t believe all the to-do that has been made about this wedding, I mean is there nothing else happening in the world that warrants wall-to-wall coverage. What about what is going in on in the Middle East, the awful weather, etc.

    But the dogs woke me up at 3:58 this morning, I managed to get back to sleep for about an hour, and with nothing else to pass the time, I put on the television. I wanted to see the dress (remember my guilty pleasure of “Say Yes, to the Dress”)– reminded me of Grace Kelly and I thought it beautiful and it made a perfect back drop to catching up on email, tracking on twitter, and cleaning-up the kitchen.

    As a young girl, I never wanted Prince Charming to come and sweep me off my feet (I was more the Jeremiah Johnson type) so I don’t buy into that “every little girl dreams of her prince charming….” I really think its all about the hats…oh those amazing hat!


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