Melania Trump Club

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Royal wedding tour

Royal wedding? As soon as the phrase was uttered, everyone was chattering. Everyone had something to say.

People spoke of relatives with plans to get up early in the morning to see it on television. Great consternation arose over when it actually would be. Was that Eastern time or Atlantic? Would it actually start at that time, or is that when the guests start arriving? When is the actual wedding.

Royal Wedding Walk" starts on an unremarkable London side street around the corner from the Ritz Hotel with a bit of history: Queen Elizabeth was born by caesarean section here, at 17 Bruton St.

The slightly odd, if harmless, details of the 85-year-old monarch's birth signal what this 15-pound ($25), 90-minute tour is going to be all about.

Like many of the wedding-themed tours (not to mention books, documentaries and other souvenirs) sweeping the United Kingdom ahead of Prince William and Kate Middleton's April 29 nuptials, this guided walk past some of London's iconic scenery offers enthusiasts a mix of tabloid gossip, urban myth and fact-based trivia.

But on this tour, the pomp and gravity of the fairy tale fall away, replaced by mundane and relatable human embarrassments and conjectures made by people who share nothing but a British accent with Middleton and William's inner circle.

Stopping outside a women's clothing store, part of the Jigsaw chain Middleton worked for briefly, tour guide Hana Umezawa notes: "She's had trouble holding onto a job, much to the displeasure of the Queen."

She follows this with a story of Middleton and William's 2007 breakup: The future princess was at work when the prince phoned to break it off. Middleton reportedly cried in front of her co-workers.

William, meanwhile, is said to have hung out in London nightclubs the week after making the call. Standing outside Mahiki, a "popular haunt" at the corner of Dover and Piccadilly streets, Umezawa says: "It's said Prince William managed to rack up a bill of 11,000 pounds (about $18,000) in just over a week.
Upcoming royal wedding will be an interesting spectacle, but I don't feel a personal connection to, or deep interest in, the event.

I wish them all the best, but I'm a lot more excited about weddings I will actually be invited to.

My only curiosity is about The Dress.

Kate has impeccable taste and access to the world's best designers, so she's sure to look spectacular. My blasé attitude might fall apart on the big day, though right now I don't see myself hunkering down with the hardcore royal watchers.

Pressure could be overwhelming, yet we can be optimistic for them. Kate's reaffirmation of faith may open the way to a reawakening of values vital to the future of the monarchy: public honouring of the national religion; respect for the royal tradition of uncomplaining service; and an easy familiarity with the truth.
When in need of guidance, William and Kate can look to the Queen, whose life of sacrifice and duty has earned enduring affection. Yet what the Americans call "the greatest generation" – of which Elizabeth II is a shining example – need have no monopoly of these virtues. It seems to be William and Kate's generation who more easily see past the wedding theatrics outside the Abbey to the enduring certainties within. Given the chance, those certainties will liberate our future king and queen from the mistakes of the past and from fear of what lies ahead.

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