My husband is sickened by the excessive media hype over the royal wedding. He is angered by the fact that the cost of one dinner at the wedding would be our grocery budget for a month or maybe two. Heck, $33 million will be spent on security alone. Hubby sees frivolity. He sees money being spent on a wedding that could be spent on starving children. He thinks the concept of royalty is a joke. Why are they any better than the rest of us? He even brought up the fact that in most countries when you have a leader who rules for their entire lifetime and then their child rules after them, we usually call that a dictator and there is a push to get them out of power.
As he said all of this, continuing on his rant about Lifetime's non-stop coverage and the obsession of people who care about it, I felt myself get smaller and smaller. When he was done, he asked me if I understood why this wedding is such a big deal. After all of his very valid points, I felt a little sheepish to admit that to some extent, I do understand.
Let me start with a little background. When I was a little girl the only person on the planet that I wished I could be was Princess Di. I wasn't allowed much t.v. and no magazines so my glimpses of her were not often but every time I did see her, something welled up inside of me that made me feel like I was special. I felt that through the t.v. glass she could see me hiding behind the curtains in our living room and that she liked me, exactly how I was. I know that is ridiculous but it is so true of my child self. I felt warm fuzzys when Prince William was born. He made my childhood hero smile in a way I had not yet seen. He made her happy.
When it came out that Diana struggled with bulimia, I cried for her. It didn't make her less of a hero in my eyes. It meant she was hurt and needed someone to love her. I don't think I even fully understood what the disease was at that time but I knew it didn't mean she needed to be judged. It meant she understood what it was to hurt so deeply and not be able to tell anyone you hurt. I needed that. I wasn't allowed to talk about my hurts. I also had to bottle them up and pretend to be perfect because that was what everyone expected of me.
When she and Charles divorced, I secretly applauded her for having the courage to stand up to the royal family and finally pursue real and true happiness. As I watched her hold starving children and saw her face light up when she helped them, I felt an inexplicable bond with her. When I would be asked, "If you could sit down and have lunch with any person in the world, past or present, who would it be?", my answer always was Princess Diana, though admittedly I sometimes said other things to avoid people realizing what a dork I really was. She was more than a beautiful royal face to me. She was what I wanted to be when I grew up.
When she died, I cried. I tried not to because I felt stupid, but I couldn't help myself. My family totally didn't understand why it was such a big deal to me. I bought every newspaper and magazine that came out with anything Diana. I obsessed. I even felt like a piece of me died as well. I stayed up all night to watch the funeral and even taped it (yes, that was back in the days of VCR's!). My hubby, who then was still just a really good friend not my significant other, even stole a cardboard sign with her picture from a newspaper machine for me.
Yes, I am a dork and have just revealed enough that you may point and laugh at me if you need to. Today on the radio I heard the best statement of why the upcoming wedding of William and Kate is so easy to get into. The woman said, "It is every little girls dream come true. It is the story of a normal girl who gets to be a princess. It is the Cinderella story of this era." Oh so true. It makes the little girl in me who always wanted to grow up to be special and beautiful and, well, Princess Diana, feel like anything can happen. It makes me want to believe in fairy tales. It gives me hope that my true love isn't the only true love story.
Now, all of that said, I will not be waking up at some ungodly hour just to watch Kate walk down the aisle in Westminster Abby. I will not be recording it or buying the "official cupcakes of the royal wedding" or any of the replicas the ring or commenting and obsessing about Kate's weight and dress. I do kinda understand the hype. It is too much hype, but I understand it. If money were no object and I could have a wedding as beautiful as this one promises to be, I can't say that I would actually turn it down. I wouldn't want to live my life in frivolity, but I would love to have lived my wedding in frivolity. I know every bride is the beautiful center of attention. But ladies, have you honestly never daydreamed about having a real life princess wedding?!?
So here's to Kate who is absolutely stunning no matter what her size or her dress style and to the love of her life Prince William. May they be blessed with a long and loving marriage and always find time to still be in love with each other.
And just to prove that every girl really does want to be a princess........