The royal wedding countdown has begun, and the media frenzy is raging. I remember the royal frenzy for Prince Charles and Diana, But I can’t remember whether I actually watched it (either because I was too young then, or because I’m too old now). Let’s just say I’m not really feeling the excitement this time around. Sitting down to watch a royal wedding seems royally unappealing. Maybe I’ll tune in briefly for fashion observation purposes. But I don’t think I’ll be encouraging my children to join me. Here’s why:
1. My kids seem completely oblivious about the Royal Wedding, and I can’t think of any good reason to tell them about it.
2. My daughter, in a predictably age appropriate manner, is mildly obsessed with princesses. Which actually makes me significantly less inclined to sit her down to watch a woman become one.
I have embraced her love of girly royalty in the abstract. After reading the NYTimes article that preceded Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter, I was intrigued by her theory that to young girls, princess is a symbolic idea rather than a real one. The idea that anti-princess sentiment could be read as flat out anti-girl disturbed me enough to quiet my negatory muttering. I support the Princess As Archetype. But that doesn’t mean I’m eager to demonstrate the possibility of Princess as a viable real-life vocation.
The royal wedding has exactly the same theme as all those movies I’ve been complaining about: A girl’s way to glory is by finding the right man. Do I really want to reinforce this with a modern-day fairy tale?
3. Who are these people to us, aside from celebrities of a different stripe? I think the culture’s obsession with celebrity for its own sake sends a really questionable message to kids. Have William and Kate done anything I’d like my kids to learn about, or admire? Why do I want my children to celebrate the idea that some people are important simply for being born to the right family? I guess the idea of royalty is interesting in a historical and anthropological sense. But my kids know this vestigial tail of the monarchy is primarily for the U.K.’s morale at this point. They had a lot more questions about Queen Victoria.
4. We have better things to do—and to watch. If I’m going to give my kids a video-based anthropology lesson, I’d rather watch Human Planet, the amazing BBC show that gives us a glimpse of indigenous cultures around the world. Though, come to think of it, that would make a pretty interesting juxtaposition with royal wedding footage.
5. Weddings are boring. Especially on television.