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But let us return to less vexing topics than economics. What did people think of Pippa Middleton's dress for the wedding?

It wasn't very bridesmaidy, but a lovely dress nevertheless. (I suspect Pippa's derriere got the credit deserved by a well cut, well made gown, which can hide almost any figure 'fault'.)

Re the bride's gown: what bothered me most about Diana's bridal gown so long ago was picturing the inevitable knockoffs of that huge, ungainly dress being worn by a 5'2", 195 pound bride; the mind reels. When Kate's dress is remade for the popular market (assuming they're halfway decently made copies), I suspect that dress will look good on a much wider variety of body types than Diana's ever could have.

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And further the goodwill engendered by such events as the Royal Wedding shows up in the form of increased revenue to the nation from overseas, not only from investment, but also from tourism and other travel outlays by other than British subjects.

Uh, I think many people prefer the term “citizens,” these days. :) I’ve read differing estimates on how much financial benefit the nation actually receives and a lot seems to depend on how those doing the estimating deploy their math. I suppose it’s possible to view the royals simply as expensively maintained national mascots intended to prop up the tourist industry and sell tea towels. Mashinka has a point about the "bread and circuses" aspect of last weekend's happy event. It’s really up to the British public, of course, and as long as a majority of them are apparently happy with the arrangement then that’s that, I guess. However, I don’t know what would happen to my local PBS station, which seems to devote half its airtime to documentaries about various Windsors.

Mercifully the demise of the gent in the turban has cut short the saturation coverage of the RW in the UK media.

It wasn’t very different on this side of the water, I think. The networks returned to normality reasonably quickly but the cable news channels went bananas, with the exception of MSNBC which after a point returned to their regular weekend broadcasting involving life in maximum security prisons and disappearances of pretty white girls. I benefited from the saturation coverage because I wasn’t about to get up in the wee hours to watch the wedding live, but it was all a bit much.

But let us return to less vexing topics than economics. What did people think of Pippa Middleton's dress for the wedding?

The Dress.

See:- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-wedding/8484342/Royal-wedding-Pippa-Middleton-shines-as-maid-of-honour.html

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But let us return to less vexing topics than economics. What did people think of Pippa Middleton's dress for the wedding?

It wasn't very bridesmaidy, but a lovely dress nevertheless. (I suspect Pippa's derriere got the credit deserved by a well cut, well made gown, which can hide almost any figure 'fault'.)

Re the bride's gown: what bothered me most about Diana's bridal gown so long ago was picturing the inevitable knockoffs of that huge, ungainly dress being worn by a 5'2", 195 pound bride; the mind reels. When Kate's dress is remade for the popular market (assuming they're halfway decently made copies), I suspect that dress will look good on a much wider variety of body types than Diana's ever could have.

Agreed on all counts. I thought Pippa's frock was a trifle showy since after all the bridesmaid is not supposed to draw eyes away from the star of the occasion, but if Kate was cool with it then it's fine.

If this latest wedding gown does nothing but steer brides away from the currently ubiquitous strapless numbers, the new duchess will have performed a genuine public service.

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Thanks for linking to a photo, leonid, I should have thought of that.

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It wasn’t very different on this side of the water, I think. The networks returned to normality reasonably quickly but the cable news channels went bananas, with the exception of MSNBC which after a point returned to their regular weekend broadcasting involving life in maximum security prisons and disappearances of pretty white girls. I benefited from the saturation coverage because I wasn’t about to get up in the wee hours to watch the wedding live, but it was all a bit much.

But let us return to less vexing topics than economics. What did people think of Pippa Middleton's dress for the wedding?

excellent points about American cable news. I kept changing channels to avoid the commentary by the announcers, finally settling on CBC (Canadian). It was maddening to try to listen to that glorious version of Jerusalem as Kate walked down the aisle, underneath the jabbering american accented commentator no-nothings.

Regarding the wedding dress, I have read that 90% of the dress design was Kate Middleton's preferences, and 10% was Sarah Burton. It was obvious that it would be appropriate for a cathedral (sleeves, train, veil, etc), but I felt the dress fit Kate's esthetic, based on other things she has worn to special occasions. I felt she went her own way on the dress, rather than trying to compete with Princess Diana on length of train, etc. I especially liked the unfolding of the pleats as she walked in the dress down the aisle and the simplicity of her veil. Apparently she and her sister (who is an event planner) were heavily involved in the details of the event.

Kate has dropped a dramatic amount of weight, and there are pix of her on the internet to compare. She was always slim, but now I think looks gaunt (though perhaps not gaunt enough for ballet - at least the Alastair Macaulay esthetic). I thought her make up was fine, but give it 10 years and we'll look back and think she wore too much kohl eye liner and mascara (all the girls do now!).

There is a 2008 McQueen dress in red worn by Cameron Diaz that is a near match to the dress Pippa Middleton wore, except Pippa's had more lace at the bodice. It would not have done well to dress her like a 13 year old junior bridesmaid.

Ah, but the music was just glorious, wasn't it?

Has anyone noticed how the british and american media differ in their portrayal of the Middleton family business? In the US, they would be glorified for being successful entrepreneurs, Mother Middleton would likely be interviewed on MSNBC, etc. In the British press, it's almost as if the money is resented, as if they are resented for rising above their grandparents' professions. I've noticed insinuations that the family business is taking advantage of the royal connection, as evidenced by the increase in hits to the company's website. However, searches for the website do not necessarily indicate an uptick in business transactions, most are probably lookyloos who don't buy anything.

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It wasn’t very different on this side of the water, I think. The networks returned to normality reasonably quickly but the cable news channels went bananas, with the exception of MSNBC which after a point returned to their regular weekend broadcasting involving life in maximum security prisons and disappearances of pretty white girls. I benefited from the saturation coverage because I wasn’t about to get up in the wee hours to watch the wedding live, but it was all a bit much.

But let us return to less vexing topics than economics. What did people think of Pippa Middleton's dress for the wedding?

excellent points about American cable news. I kept changing channels to avoid the commentary by the announcers, finally settling on CBC (Canadian). It was maddening to try to listen to that glorious version of Jerusalem as Kate walked down the aisle, underneath the jabbering american accented commentator no-nothings.

Regarding the wedding dress, I have read that 90% of the dress design was Kate Middleton's preferences, and 10% was Sarah Burton. It was obvious that it would be appropriate for a cathedral (sleeves, train, veil, etc), but I felt the dress fit Kate's esthetic, based on other things she has worn to special occasions. I felt she went her own way on the dress, rather than trying to compete with Princess Diana on length of train, etc. I especially liked the unfolding of the pleats as she walked in the dress down the aisle and the simplicity of her veil. Apparently she and her sister (who is an event planner) were heavily involved in the details of the event.

Kate has dropped a dramatic amount of weight, and there are pix of her on the internet to compare. She was always slim, but now I think looks gaunt (though perhaps not gaunt enough for ballet - at least the Alastair Macaulay esthetic). I thought her make up was fine, but give it 10 years and we'll look back and think she wore too much kohl eye liner and mascara (all the girls do now!).

There is a 2008 McQueen dress in red worn by Cameron Diaz that is a near match to the dress Pippa Middleton wore, except Pippa's had more lace at the bodice. It would not have done well to dress her like a 13 year old junior bridesmaid.

Ah, but the music was just glorious, wasn't it?

Has anyone noticed how the british and american media differ in their portrayal of the Middleton family business? In the US, they would be glorified for being successful entrepreneurs, Mother Middleton would likely be interviewed on MSNBC, etc. In the British press, it's almost as if the money is resented, as if they are resented for rising above their grandparents' professions. I've noticed insinuations that the family business is taking advantage of the royal connection, as evidenced by the increase in hits to the company's website. However, searches for the website do not necessarily indicate an uptick in business transactions, most are probably lookyloos who don't buy anything.

I thought this was an interesting article in respect of your last paragraph.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/30/royal-wedding-monarchy

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I would say that the very existence of an hereditary monarchy and an hereditary titled aristocracy at the top of the social heap implies that coming from a family of tradesmen like the aptly named Mr. Middleton is undesirable. It’s natural that he and the missus should be treated with a considerable degree of condescension. As the article leonid linked to notes, the Middletons give a whole new meaning to the term “commoner” as applied to marriage into the royal family.

It’s true that Elizabeth I was able to boast, “If I were turned out of my realm in my petticoat, I would prosper anywhere in Christendom,” and I haven’t the slightest doubt of it. However, that was a long time ago and the sayings and conduct of many of the Windsors suggest that stripped of their privileges they’d be unemployable except possibly as ski instructors, a skill learned on their frequent vacations.

Because we don’t have such a system in the US, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is considered admirable and our class distinctions take different forms. Which is not to say similar treatment doesn't take place over here, although our few remaining tabloids are not nearly as vigorous as those in the UK. For example, I remember some unkind things said and written about President Clinton’s late mother and the President himself, that were blatantly or covertly class-based.

On the other hand, recent studies seem to suggest there is nowadays more social mobility in Britain than the United States, a scary thought, and there’s also that nice National Health thingy. We don’t have titles over here, but we do have what appears to be a nascent oligarchy and medical bankruptcies. So there you are.:)

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well, I rather wish our tabloids would focus more on the Jeffrey Epsteins of the world. I'm not opposed to criticizing the rich when they use their funds for paedophilia.

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The particular sourness of your comments makes me ask if you are unlucky enough to have a very small number of acquaintances and are they all po faced about the Royal Family when the rest of the UK respects them and their status.

I ask this because I come from a large family all of whose members have a large circle of friends like me and there were many British town and county gardens full of celebrants welcoming the Royal wedding.

Your comments give me an insight to your character Leonid, but I’ll leave that aside.

Let’s concentrate not on my friends and family (not your business) but what I do for a living; I work for an organization that brings me into contact with the UK, and occasionally international, media on a pretty continuous basis. My job is to pass on information about the UK economy and I read and absorb the information I distribute, therefore I know rather more about the state of the UK economy than most. Though not strictly a workaholic, more a news junkie, when I’m at home I listen to news TV and radio, political debate programmes etc. often listening to interviews I’ve helped set up and during the day I also read all the non tabloids and a wide range of news web sites. I therefore consider myself fairly well informed on economic, social and political matters. News of the wedding obliterated everything else on the day and in political terms it may have been a day to ‘bury bad news’ always a fear on these occasions. That was my primary concern.

Public opinion towards the monarchy is a hot topic right now and the media has rightly recorded the fact that support is largely waning for that institution with most importantly little or no support from the young with their belief that the monarchy enforces the class system that is endemic and much resented in British life. Those that are in support in the main consider a royal head of state preferable to some loathed politician in charge. Street parties, the activities we are supposed to indulge in to celebrate royal occasions, were in fact tiny in number and in the city of Glasgow there were no applications for any at all. The most worrying aspect of RW day was the ban on political demonstrations that had been planned by those outraged by the millions spent (or wasted) at a time when thousands are losing their jobs due to government cut backs. Try calling someone that has just lost their job and objects to displays of wealth and privilege a “sour puss” and see what reaction you get. It isn’t just Britain that is in a parlous state economically I know, Greece and Ireland are in a far worse place, but spending cuts being made here are draconian and will have serious consequences. The wedding, which was not a state occasion by the way, could have been conducted more appropriately at Windsor at far less expense.

You probably have to go back to the 1950’s pre the ‘Angry Young Men’ to find the kind of cap doffing, forelock tugging “subjects” of Leonid’s imaginings. Modern Brits have changed a lot since then.

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This is a report from someone who has lived in the UK for 65 years, who has had a university education*, having had experience of working for the UK's Trade Union Congress and I am often on the left of centre politically. I have also worked as a Civil Servant and for more than ten years helping the unemployed into work and on an occasion sat on a panel where government legislation for the unemployed was decided. I live in South London working class area of the capital a hundred yards from where I was born. I am fully aware of the working class experience, the middle class experience and have had contact with the upper class experience on the UK. I think I know what I am talking about in respect to the response by the UK population to the Royal Wedding and the Royal Family in general.

From where I am sitting it seems to my mind somewhat disingenuous to suggest that the Royal Family is not popular, or, that the Royal wedding was not celebrated the length and breadth of the UK.

*As to insightfulness into character, I read Pscychology.

SEE BELOW

Celebrations in Liverpool

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/views/our-view/2011/04/29/the-royal-family-s-enduring-popularity-100252-28603185/

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-540X.2011.00626.x/pdf

I do not believe the Royal Family’s status needed reviving, but Media Week says the Royal Wedding has just done that.

http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/1067157/Wedding-fever-helps-restore-royal-brand-says-survey/

Birmingham a city with the highest unemployment in the UK celebrates

http://www.birminghammail.net/news/worcestershire-news/2011/04/30/how-birmingham-solihull-and-the-black-country-celebrated-the-royal-wedding-91466-28611100/

Glasgow city with second highest unemployment in UK 10,000 attended an unofficial street party.

http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/In-pictures-Glasgow-celebrates-the.6760014.jp

Manchester third highest unemployment in Uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-13238437

http://www.messengernewspapers.co.uk/news/9004415.Thousands_enjoy_a_right_Royal_knees_up_/

Manchester Muslims to celebrate Royal Wedding

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/s/1419181_north-west-muslims-get-ready-to-celebrate-royal-wedding

http://www.manchesterbars.com/royalwedding.htm

Peterborough equal third with highest unemployment in UK

http://www.heart.co.uk/cambridge/news/local/royal-wedding-parties-pictures/

http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/news/latest_news/2011/april/licensed_premises_opening_hour.aspx

http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/features/royal_wedding_events_planned_across_peterborough_1_2563633

Plymouth with 4.1% unemployment

http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/people-s-party-royals/article-3506383-detail/article.html

Northern Ireland celebrates

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-13243558

http://www.u.tv/News/Carrick-thrilled-by-royal-appointment/3d67e42b-380e-4846-90c0-55c9f9cde9ab

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That's called propoganda.

No!

It is a true reflection of what happened.

Our Royal Family is admired and loved because they are above politics.

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The debate here seems to reflect similar differences in the UK as whole.

The Economist reported noticeable differences in attitude about the wedding (and the monarchy in general) based on political affiliation (obviously) but also on regions. The North-South divide was very obvious in the number of applications the Government received to have one of those outdoor celebrations on the wedding day. Northerners, on the whole, claimed to be much less interested in the wedding than those in the South, especially the Home Counties.

Here in the U.S., I was surprised at the number of people I've heard who mentioned that this kind of event was a nice break from all the bad, acrimonious, sensational news stories that flood us every day. (I wonder whether the US govt , when scheduling the raid on Ben Laden's HQ, delayed things a day or so that they would NOT complete with the William/Kate story.)

Another discussion point seems to have been admiration for the decorum, stateliness, taste, and good-heartedness of the ceremony and other events. These are qualities which may feel are in decline in the United States. So, we may find it attractive to escape for a while into marvelously produced (even "flawless") events like this Royal Wedding.

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And let's face it: regardless of Royalist/anti-Royalist sentiments, everybody loves dishing about the clothes :D

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(I wonder whether the US govt , when scheduling the raid on Ben Laden's HQ, delayed things a day or so that they would NOT complete with the William/Kate story.)

A London royalist who rang LBC (a UK radio station with a right wing agenda) would not have agreed with that. She actually complained that the US had intentionally timed the raid to spoil the RW coverage because Americans are jealous of the British monarchy!

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(I wonder whether the US govt , when scheduling the raid on Ben Laden's HQ, delayed things a day or so that they would NOT complete with the William/Kate story.)

I am sure they did not. Not only would they not want to indulge in propoganda, but Obama's timeline was unbelievable, with 8:20 a.m. sign-on to the CIA operation, then flying to Tuscaloosa to comfort the tornado victims (there was only minor damage in the 4 households in my own immediate family there, so we were able to enjoy the Royal Wedding in the cases where power was still extant), did the White House Correspondents' Dinner the following evening (Sat.) and played but 9 holes of golf on Sunday before huddling up with Hillary and the rest of the War Control room people as they took their chance.

However, they couldn't have chosen a better way to continue the Royal Wedding festivities, as the CIA operation was just as flawless (even with some helicopter malfunction) as the British Celebration, and has allowed me to return to reality and enjoy the Royal Wedding in a very special way that I hadn't quite before Bin Laden was processed. In this way, not only the monarchy benefited, but all the citizens of all classes in the world. So I'm sure that that's not why the Obamas weren't invited (neither were Blair or Grant), but I guess the Kents had to be anyway--although since Fergie wasn't, it wasn't at all a foregone conclusion.

Therefore, the Special Relationship between the UK and the US continued in a most beautiful dovetailing. I'd even buy a T-Shirt celebrating both events if I wouldn't have to argue with those so upset by this 'brutal murder.'

The celebration can go still further when the photos inevitably are shown. As former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani--who spent a substantial amount of time with the QUEEN when she honoured him in 2001--said Monday night 'who cares what he looks like?'

So frankly, the U.S. isn't jealous of the British monarchy (although it used to be more), but wants to help it continue to celebrate.

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The debate here seems to reflect similar differences in the UK as whole.

The Economist reported noticeable differences in attitude about the wedding (and the monarchy in general) based on political affiliation (obviously) but also on regions. The North-South divide was very obvious in the number of applications the Government received to have one of those outdoor celebrations on the wedding day. Northerners, on the whole, claimed to be much less interested in the wedding than those in the South, especially the Home Counties.

Here in the U.S., I was surprised at the number of people I've heard who mentioned that this kind of event was a nice break from all the bad, acrimonious, sensational news stories that flood us every day. (I wonder whether the US govt , when scheduling the raid on Ben Laden's HQ, delayed things a day or so that they would NOT complete with the William/Kate story.)

Another discussion point seems to have been admiration for the decorum, stateliness, taste, and good-heartedness of the ceremony and other events. These are qualities which may feel are in decline in the United States. So, we may find it attractive to escape for a while into marvelously produced (even "flawless") events like this Royal Wedding.

Living with the experience of terrorism and its possiblities with crowds getting together, UK authorities imposed regulations regarding organised celebrations. This robbed the kind of spontaneity of a 'peoples event' and celebrations took place at home, in clubs and pubs rather than having to be subjected to what was in effect legal restrictions.

The North/South divide in respect of the celebrations is a myth. Check my earlier post which concentrated on our most economically challenged cities of the Midlands,the North, Scotland and Northern Ireland celebrating the wedding, which Mashinka liked to call "propaganda" as it did not fit her anti-royalist thesis

The suggestion that the raid on Bin Laden was delayed because of the wedding, is of the stuff of trashy tabloid newspapers looking for a sensational story for gullible readers.

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Another discussion point seems to have been admiration for the decorum, stateliness, taste, and good-heartedness of the ceremony and other events. These are qualities which may feel are in decline in the United States. So, we may find it attractive to escape for a while into marvelously produced (even "flawless") events like this Royal Wedding.

Which would prove Mashinka's point about bread and circuses. The populace can forget its bad fortune for one day watching the privileged enjoying their privileges. Still works, I guess.

A general request: I ask that we all refrain from getting personal about the views of others, and I also note while my moderator beanie is on that opinions on how the bin Laden operation was carried out, and any comments on it, "celebratory" or otherwise, are not within the scope of this discussion or this board.

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... Public opinion towards the monarchy is a hot topic right now and the media has rightly recorded the fact that support is largely waning for that institution with most importantly little or no support from the young with their belief that the monarchy enforces the class system that is endemic and much resented in British life. Those that are in support in the main consider a royal head of state preferable to some loathed politician in charge. Street parties, the activities we are supposed to indulge in to celebrate royal occasions, were in fact tiny in number and in the city of Glasgow there were no applications for any at all. The most worrying aspect of RW day was the ban on political demonstrations that had been planned by those outraged by the millions spent (or wasted) at a time when thousands are losing their jobs due to government cut backs....

I'm glad I'm not the only one to have picked up on these issues. See my earlier comment (no. 7 I think).

I'm not sure it is technically possible for any of us to judge the level of support for the wedding (or the royal family itself) given that (1) the mainstream media was 'heroically' biased in favour of the event and (2) many dissenters or even 'questioners' and 'free thought provokers' were silenced in pre crime (thought crime) arrests the day before.

Had the royal wedding been given about the same amount of build up and coverage as, say, the London marathon I doubt very much there would have many complaints about the media underplaying it. Just my personal opinion of course. But the more the media builds up an event, the more of a sense of occasion they generate and the more people are likely to believe it must be a special occasion (and vice versa). Yet despite all the hype, and as Mashinka points out, there was still a distinct lack of interest, beyond the isolated pockets and all the TV coverage of them.

I also think you can't start to make sense of people's attitudes towards the royal wedding unless you start deconstructing the spectacle itself. I mean, what were most ordinary people actually celebrating last Friday? A day off work? A friendly gathering and mingling of fellow strangers from around the world with a carnival type atmosphere? A good nosh up? A break from the breakneck speed of economic and technological 'progress' (and imminent collapse!) which just leaves us all so stressed out and with even less time on our hands?! A breathtaking display of bright colours, beautiful horses, gorgeous clothes, and overall magnificence? And of course a wonderfully overblown ceremony dedicated essentially to the power of love?

I only mention all of that because, strictly speaking, none of those things actually have very much to do with either the institution of monarchy or the current royal family at all. They are all examples of theatre, showmanship, costume, scenery, setting and of course an overwhelming sense of occasion.

The fact that the royal family have the necessary wealth and clout to be able to close down half of London, 'give' everyone in the UK the day off work and take command of the nations' media and police forces etc in order to create such a palpable sense of occasion does not mean it could not theoretically be created some other way (minus any royal involvement) .... and it doesn't mean the crowds would feel any less enthralled to be attending such an event, whatever it might be (provided politicians were kept well away from any decision making processes!).

And so was it actually a 'royal occasion' or was it 'an occasion' which happened to have been organized for us by the royals? OK so granted the happy royal couple were at the centre of it, but who paid for it? (we did) and would it have been the same without the cheering crowds? (I suggest not). So we paid for it and we created the atmosphere. The royal family provided the excuse. I guess the question is whether that excuse is interchangeable!

Also, as a balletomane, I couldn't help thinking that as far as the theatrical side of it was concerned an equal (or greater?!) amount of pleasure could have been had from a particularly electrifying night at Covent Garden (or equivalent)..... perhaps after a day spent strolling in one of the royal parks and a wondering round some of London's wonderful buildings.

And so it could be suggested that a large proportion of the good will and support the royal family apparently received on Friday (and in general) was really due to a whole bunch of reasons only circumstantially connected to the royal family itself. Driving the point even further it could be suggested that without putting themselves slap bang in the middle of such extravagant, colourful and theatrical ceremonies they might not actually have anything like the support they currently do, which is already far less than the media lets on and dwindling fast.

The wedding, which was not a state occasion by the way, could have been conducted more appropriately at Windsor at far less expense.

Yes that sounds more sensible and maybe the various street theatre groups and 'royal challengers' ('anti royal' is rather a negative and loaded term) etc could have been allowed to play 'having free speech' out in the sunshine instead of being 'disappeared' and spending 24 hours behind bars.

Having said all that I think there is another issue which affects our view of the monarchy and its role which is that we are desperately lacking big happy, meaningful, frivolous, intelligent, colourful, ceremonies and occasions in the western world. Beyond royal occasions we have sports or pop concerts or the Red Bull challenge ... that's about it!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have some big cultural events that weren't corporate sponsored or competitive in nature!?

This raises the question: how much might some people's apparent support for the institution of the monarchy be simply a reaction to otherwise being starved of the opportunity to experience and participate in meaningful 'cultural' occasions? I mean we are social animals. Beyond providing food and shelter for ourselves this is what we generally like to do!

And so the follow up question would be: if there were more alternative ways to celebrate and express 'British culture' (or a sense of community or whatever you want to call it), or simply more opportunities to have some great big, colourful, overblown ceremonies and occasions, would our feelings towards the privileged position enjoyed by the royal family be altered?

But we all know politicians (and I would add the majority of arts councils) can be trusted to make the worst possible decisions regarding any such events or occasions. Royalty do seem to be a little better at it. But I guess I have just made the case that their popularity depends very much on them being able to put on a good show (with our money!).

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To Go Coyote's last post

I'm not sure it is technically possible for any of us to judge the level of support for the wedding (or the royal family itself) given that (1) the mainstream media was 'heroically' biased in favour of the event and (2) many dissenters or even 'questioners' and 'free thought provokers' were silenced in pre crime (thought crime) arrests the day before. (quote)

There was no media bias towards the event it was in terms of the UK an absolutely major event embracing people from all classes, many different racial background and numerous religions. Children and adults across the country dressed up for it and 16 million people were glued to the TV plus large screens were available at numerous sites.

Had the royal wedding been given about the same amount of build up and coverage as, say, the London marathon I doubt very much there would have many complaints about the media underplaying it. (quote)

The London Marathon had several weeks of promotion on the BBC prior top the event and newspapers profiled all sorts of competitors who were running for charity prior to the event.

Just my personal opinion of course. But the more the media builds up an event, the more of a sense of occasion they generate and the more people are likely to believe it must be a special occasion (and vice versa).(quote)

Citizens of the UK in their millions are interested in the Royal Family and even more so when a Prince is getting married, They know it is a special occasion.

Yet despite all the hype, and as Mashinka points out, there was still a distinct lack of interest, beyond the isolated pockets and all the TV coverage of them.(quote)

Absolutely untrue, I published enough examples and I could publish many more to show this.

I also think you can't start to make sense of people's attitudes towards the royal wedding unless you start deconstructing the spectacle itself. I mean, what were most ordinary people actually celebrating last Friday? A day off work? A friendly gathering and mingling of fellow strangers from around the world with a carnival type atmosphere? A good nosh up? A break from the breakneck speed of economic and technological 'progress' (and imminent collapse!) which just leaves us all so stressed out and with even less time on our hands?! A breathtaking display of bright colours, beautiful horses, gorgeous clothes, and overall magnificence? And of course a wonderfully overblown ceremony dedicated essentially to the power of love?(quote)

You have very little idea of the actual experience otherwise you would not have made that statement. People in their millions care about the Royals and a Royal romance with all its glamour bring people together in support and to discuss the occasion.

I only mention all of that because, strictly speaking, none of those things actually have very much to do with either the institution of monarchy or the current royal family at all. They are all examples of theatre, showmanship, costume, scenery, setting and of course an overwhelming sense of occasion.(quote)

Wrong! It is the panoply of the occasion that is fully identified with the Royal Family for more than a century and its grand expression is entirely peculiar to Royal events especially as so many of the Royal Family were in attendance.

The fact that the royal family have the necessary wealth and clout to be able to close down half of London, 'give' everyone in the UK the day off work and take command of the nations' media and police forces etc in order to create such a palpable sense of occasion does not mean it could not theoretically be created some other way (minus any royal involvement) .... and it doesn't mean the crowds would feel any less enthralled to be attending such an event, whatever it might be (provided politicians were kept well away from any decision making processes!).(quote)

You quite mistake the relationship the British public has with the Royal Family. There is a symbolism of status, relationship and essentially a personal belonging as a citizen of a country that has a Royal Family.

And so was it actually a 'royal occasion' or was it 'an occasion' which happened to have been organized for us by the royals? OK so granted the happy royal couple were at the centre of it, but who paid for it? (we did) and would it have been the same without the cheering crowds? (I suggest not). So we paid for it and we created the atmosphere. The royal family provided the excuse. I guess the question is whether that excuse is interchangeable! (quote)

If you had read the earlier posts, you would have seen that the Royal Family costs each British citizwn, less than 70 pence per person per year and the Royal Family attracts income benefit for the every UK citizens at the rate of £2.60 per person.

Also, as a balletomane, I couldn't help thinking that as far as the theatrical side of it was concerned an equal (or greater?!) amount of pleasure could have been had from a particularly electrifying night at Covent Garden (or equivalent)..... perhaps after a day spent strolling in one of the royal parks and a wondering round some of London's wonderful buildings.(quote)

There was no “theatrical side of it” it is a formal process familiar to anyone who has attended a church wedding and a couple that wants a full service. As a balletomane you should know that the prefix Royal adds status to a good number of ballet companies in Europe. As to comparing ballet with a wedding you are not comparing like with like and may be offensive to those who have taken solemn vows in a church.

And so it could be suggested that a large proportion of the good will and support the royal family apparently received on Friday (and in general) was really due to a whole bunch of reasons only circumstantially connected to the royal family itself. Driving the point even further it could be suggested that without putting themselves slap bang in the middle of such extravagant, colourful and theatrical ceremonies they might not actually have anything like the support they currently do, which is already far less than the media lets on and dwindling fast.(quote)

Whilst the media reported a decline in support for the Royals a decade ago, the support has been growing consistently over recent years.

Mashinka said:

The wedding, which was not a state occasion by the way, could have been conducted more appropriately at Windsor at far less expense.(quote)

For a country that has “Great” in its name I would not expect anything less and it was never designated as a “State Occasion” so why mention it.

Yes that sounds more sensible and maybe the various street theatre groups and 'royal challengers' ('anti royal' is rather a negative and loaded term) etc could have been allowed to play 'having free speech' out in the sunshine instead of being 'disappeared' and spending 24 hours behind bars.(quote)

A trifle over stated don’t you think.

Having said all that I think there is another issue which affects our view of the monarchy and its role which is that we are desperately lacking big happy, meaningful, frivolous, intelligent, colourful, ceremonies and occasions in the western world. Beyond royal occasions we have sports or pop concerts or the Red Bull challenge ... that's about it! (quote)

Well there is of course the Trooping of the Colour.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have some big cultural events that weren't corporate sponsored or competitive in nature!?(quote)

Would we not also like to see pigs fly?

This raises the question: how much might some people's apparent support for the institution of the monarchy be simply a reaction to otherwise being starved of the opportunity to experience and participate in meaningful 'cultural' occasions? I mean we are social animals. Beyond providing food and shelter for ourselves this is what we generally like to do! (Quote)

I have read some specious arguments in my time and that almost takes the proverbial biscuit.

And so the follow up question would be: if there were more alternative ways to celebrate and express 'British culture' (or a sense of community or whatever you want to call it), or simply more opportunities to have some great big, colourful, overblown ceremonies and occasions, would our feelings towards the privileged position enjoyed by the royal family be altered?(quote)

The point being? We have what we have and you have earlier mentioned the thought of sponsorship is anathema to you so where, would the money come from?

But we all know politicians (and I would add the majority of arts councils) can be trusted to make the worst possible decisions regarding any such events or occasions. Royalty do seem to be a little better at it. But I guess I have just made the case that their popularity depends very much on them being able to put on a good show (with our money!). (quote)

I am happy that the Arts Council England, assists both The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet to have the ability to continue to perform.

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Yes that sounds more sensible and maybe the various street theatre groups and 'royal challengers' ('anti royal' is rather a negative and loaded term) etc could have been allowed to play 'having free speech' out in the sunshine instead of being 'disappeared' and spending 24 hours behind bars.

A trifle over stated don’t you think.

"Disappeared" is a bit much but GoCoyote has a point. And yes, it's also worth noting that the wedding wasn't a state occasion.

I don't want to cut off the discussion but it won't be long before this degenerates into pure tit-for-tat. Please say your say and let it go. Thanks. :)

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Well Leonid, it seems we will have to agree to disagree on a few things! :shake:

I just wanted to clarify a couple of things.

I did not mean to imply the wedding was 'theatrical' in any negative sense - quite the opposite. And I was really referring to the event as a whole - as experienced by the vast majority in London - rather than the actual service itself. I just meant the whole event was staged, choreographed, elabourate, people were playing roles, there were fly pasts etc. As I mentioned later in my comment I actually think we could do with more truly 'theatrical' occasions in the cultural calender. Formality and a degree of ritual or ceremony has the capacity to focus the attention and heighten the senses - and bring people together physically, emotionally and consciously in a way that more informal events simply can't. There just is so very little in our western 'culture' for ordinary people to experience or participate in of that nature. And we are worse of for it IMO.

As a balletomane you should know that the prefix Royal adds status to a good number of ballet companies in Europe. As to comparing ballet with a wedding you are not comparing like with like and may be offensive to those who have taken solemn vows in a church.

Personally I have no problem whatsoever comparing the occasion of a royal ballet performance with the occasion of a royal wedding (or any wedding ceremony for that matter) even though they are, as you say, quite different. Both have the potential (certainly not guaranteed!) to be profoundly and spiritually moving occasions. Beyond the obvious differences it just occurred to me that a great ballet company, great ballet partnership or great dancer is an example of lifelong devotion. A wedding on the other hand is an expression of lifelong devotion. So there is one interesting connection, which I rather like.

Having said that I am sure millions just watched the royal wedding for its basic entertainment value and out of sheer curiosity, which is not to say others didn't consider it a far more serious and solemn ceremony. Although I'm not sure how far you can really push the idea of the solemn nature of royal weddings if you meant solemn in terms of a sincere undertaking. One only has to look back 30 years to the previous royal wedding (and much of history) to see a flagrant disregard for the sanctity of royal marriages before, during and after the knot was tied.

And so the follow up question would be: if there were more alternative ways to celebrate and express 'British culture' (or a sense of community or whatever you want to call it), or simply more opportunities to have some great big, colourful, overblown ceremonies and occasions, would our feelings towards the privileged position enjoyed by the royal family be altered?

The point being? We have what we have and you have earlier mentioned the thought of sponsorship is anathema to you so where, would the money come from?

My point was the royal family (for whatever reason) seem to have cornered the market, as it were, in large scale public, formal, ceremonial and theatrical (in the best sense of the word) occasions. I was really just exploring that and questioning the implications of having a higher ratio of special occasions and events which were not linked to the monarchy.

The idea of cost is an interesting one though. After deconstructing the royal wedding I am convinced much (I'm not suggesting all) of the enjoyment and feel good factor derived from such an occasion is actually very low cost indeed. People gathering together costs very little, people cheering costs nothing, people creating a lovely atmosphere costs nothing also. The most expensive part of any occasion of that kind seems to be paying for very important people to come along and then paying police to protect them from being either mobbed by fans or murdered.

Perhaps the issue of paying for meaningful and enjoyable public occasions without resorting to corporate sponsorship can be solved not so much by looking at the fundraising side but by a paradigm shift in relation to what we actually want to experience, as well as how we can contribute to that experience ourselves by being less of the passive consumer/ observer.

Although much of the wedding ceremony certainly was impressive - and it was certainly expensive - I still can't get the image out of my head of people being pressed up against barricades at Trafalgar Square and surrounded by an equal number of security in fluorescent jackets, all waiting to glimpse the image of royals and other famous people displayed on big screens while waving plastic flags with a Union Jack on one side and Tescos on the other...... And thinking about it now it makes me wonder if having a few shoestring budget public celebrations where everyone just assembled all over the country, chatted, hugged and mingled amiably for a while before going for a pleasent walk (perhaps at night with lanterns or something similar) wouldn't actually be a welcome relief from decades of meticulously planned and policed royal/ pop/ charity/ corporate stadium extravaganzas, ceremonies and street processions. But maybe that's just me. Probably! :)

EDITED TO ADD: Just to clarify - in my previous post by 'disappeared' I meant whisked away to a secure location - but not actually killed!

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Thank you, GoCoyote! I didn't think you meant 'disappeared' literally in the Soprano sense of the word. :)

I did not mean to imply the wedding was 'theatrical' in any negative sense - quite the opposite. And I was really referring to the event as a whole - as experienced by the vast majority in London - rather than the actual service itself. I just meant the whole event was staged, choreographed, elabourate, people were playing roles, there were fly pasts etc.

I don't think there is anything wrong with describing a wedding of this nature in theatrical terms. In addition to its formal purpose it is also a form of public theater and ritual and intended as such.

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I actually think we could do with more truly 'theatrical' occasions in the cultural calender. Formality and a degree of ritual or ceremony has the capacity to focus the attention and heighten the senses - and bring people together physically, emotionally and consciously in a way that more informal events simply can't. There just is so very little in our western 'culture' for ordinary people to experience or participate in of that nature. And we are worse of for it IMO.

I agree and I love formality, but of course it has to have a sufficient object, something worthy of our focused attention and heightened senses. And we can't just input formality and get deeply shared experience. Even high art performances, while they may bring us together physically and get most of us to dress up and are worthy of our concentrated attention, aren't powerful enough to get most people to turn off their iPhones and talk to their neighbors about the art.

Personally I have no problem whatsoever comparing the occasion of a royal ballet performance with the occasion of a royal wedding (or any wedding ceremony for that matter) even though they are, as you say, quite different. Both have the potential (certainly not guaranteed!) to be profoundly and spiritually moving occasions. Beyond the obvious differences it just occurred to me that a great ballet company, great ballet partnership or great dancer is an example of lifelong devotion. A wedding on the other hand is an expression of lifelong devotion.

Yes, but of course while individual dancers may devote their lives to ballet, a ballet company, or a choreographer, that devotion isn't solemnized in public ceremony, and neither written law nor moral law nor societal expectations hinder them from changing their minds.

Having said that I am sure millions just watched the royal wedding for its basic entertainment value and out of sheer curiosity, which is not to say others didn't consider it a far more serious and solemn ceremony. Although I'm not sure how far you can really push the idea of the solemn nature of royal weddings if you meant solemn in terms of a sincere undertaking. One only has to look back 30 years to the previous royal wedding (and much of history) to see a flagrant disregard for the sanctity of royal marriages before, during and after the knot was tied.

It was a solemn and serious ceremony, whether individual viewers recognized it as such or not, and would have been so if even the couple had not recognized it as such. Words have meaning. Forms have meaning. Their solemnity isn't lessened by any previous couple's failings.

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Personally I have no problem whatsoever comparing the occasion of a royal ballet performance with the occasion of a royal wedding (or any wedding ceremony for that matter) even though they are, as you say, quite different. Both have the potential (certainly not guaranteed!) to be profoundly and spiritually moving occasions.

Very true, GoCoyote! Great art can move us in a profound and spiritual way. A theater performance is indeed different in kind from a royal wedding(or the funeral of a state figure), which in our day are mass communal experiences and there is the historical aspect, as well.

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