Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Royal Turnaround

Before the Royal Wedding commenced on Friday morning, I was pretty sure I had my mind made up about it. The Royal tradition, the pomp and circumstance, the British fashions, the big hats, Victoria Beckham and George Michael. The perfect ingredients to induce me to the point of spewing vomit all over the walls. Now I’m not suggesting I didn’t try watching it. I certainly did, I really tried. But I just couldn’t stomach two minutes of it. I really couldn’t. So I’d watch, flip the channel, flip back for another try. But I was convinced I had the right idea about this Royal dog-and-pony show. At this point I wasn’t a big fan of that dorky-prince William or ‘the commoner’ Kate Middleton. I kind of have a hard time understanding the role or relevance of the Royal Family. I simply don’t get it. It's too drenched in ritual. It's too boring. It's too British. Is that an ethnocentric attitude? You bet London Bridge it is.

Then something happened.

As I was attempting to watch the replays of the day’s affairs on Friday night, still struggling as I had the whole day to stomach two minutes, William did something that led to my instant Royal Turnaround. It was during a replay of the actual ceremony, and someone was on the pulpit of that grand church, British-ing his way through another reading for the Royal Couple, a prayer of some sort. William, in his Royal red suit and Kate in her gorgeous wedding dress (no denying that) were sitting on the side, holding the prayer books in their laps. Then William did something that completely Americanized the whole affair for me. He turned to Kate--in front of a thousand spectators in the church, thousands more outside on the streets, and 2 billion watching around the world--and he winked at her. It was a cool, Kobe-Bryant-Tom Cruise wink, that totally changed my take on William, and the Royal Wedding, and all the nonsense. In that wink William became instantly human and relatable to me. In that wink, he told Kate, “This circus isn’t too big for me,” and “It’s you and me now,” and “I know this is insane but it’s how we roll,” and “This is really all yours now . . . all ours.” You must realize that Kate was probably TERRIFIED at that moment. Imagine 30% of the world’s people watching YOUR wedding? But William slickly hit her with that little wink and set her free from all that. Well done, Prince.

It was such a needed break of humanity from all the rigid, British tradition. I immediately got it. I understood it. I immediately started liking William. I know it sounds weird but seeing that second of realness from him was the turning point. Then came their kiss on the balcony (two kisses actually) and then Kate gave that epic look-back over her left shoulder at the crowd below, the shot that will run till the end of time, and it was awesome.

I actually think Kate is a better fit for this job than Diana was. Kate was natural, and cool, and collected. Diana was like a walking ghost on her wedding day, with that flat British look on her face the whole day, hidden under that veil. Honestly, I think Kate is much smarter than Diana was too. I actually think Diana was kind of a British ditz. And I also believe the Royal Family was behind her death. But that’s another story. Bottom line: I think Kate will be very good in this role. And If William ever is King (which is very likely) she’ll be an amazing Queen.

To me, America is like the world’s father. We’re in our 40’s, the height of our earning powers, still strong enough to outmuscle our kids, even the teenager who thinks he’s tough enough to take the old man on. Dad, at that age, is still feared and is definitely a threat that must be taken seriously. Is there any figure in society stronger than dad when he’s in his prime? That’s us. That’s America. But Britain is like the world’s grandparents. They're all about tradition and the old school. They aren’t actually a legitimate threat to anyone, but they are still respected, because they used to be the world’s strongest country. A lot of Europe is like that actually. Germany is kind of like the evil great uncle who had a stroke in the 1940’s went crazy.

My point: For me to be hugely interested in something, I need it to be real, relevant, and American. The Royal Family might as well be space aliens. They are just so different and so rigid. But William closed that gap with a simple little wink to his bride. Is that crazy? Probably. But that's all it took. I think William and Kate are real. I think they love each other. I don't think it was ALL a show. What can I say? I’m a William and Kate fan now.

Check out the Royal Wedding Photos:

Speaking of Royal, there’s a Royal embarrassment taking place on Facebook @ the Cat’s Pajamas

Brian Huba

No comments:

Post a Comment