Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Royal Wedding: Brits rather unenthused

I was doing my daily search on Time magazine's website,, and I found this article about the royal wedding.  Since I've posted a few articles about the wedding, this might be of interest to you.  I have to think there are probably few of us Americans who actually care about some royal wedding that's not even happening in our country.  I am not a royal diehard, but I find their lifestyle interesting.  It's the historical aspect, I suppose.  Anyway, since the royal wedding affects Britain, don't you think the Brits would care a little bit about it?  Well, according to this article, apparently not.  There is a small percentage of Brits that are going all-out for the wedding, including tea parties to watch the television coverage of the wedding-- cakes will be served, a prize for best "fancy hat" awarded and "gossiping will be mandatory," but generally, like Americans, the Brits are just sick of hearing about it.  In fact, Alex Smith, 56, "a gruff, lifelong fisherman and acquaintance of Stewart's, has no such activities in mind. "There's na a thing in the world I'd like to do less than watch that rubbish," he says in a booming Scottish brogue. "This country needs to get a grip.""

Another interesting piece of information is that even though the Brits have different views on "the entertainment value" of the royal wedding, most of them agree on one thing:  the monarchy is nothing to get excited about. Most Brits are indifferent about the monarchy itself; the royal wedding is merely considered an entertaining event or a nuisance, but very rarely considered a serious political event. offers a few statistics:  "In a recent poll of 2,000 British adults, 35% said they planned to watch the wedding on television; the same proportion intends to ignore proceedings, and the rest had no specific plans. A separate poll found that 79% of Brits — including those who will watch the event — were either "largely indifferent" or "couldn't care less" about the royal wedding. And although women were twice as likely as men to have made arrangements to watch the wedding, Stewart says many see it as nothing more than an excuse to throw a party."

Jean Stewart is a 62-year-old retired restaurateur comments in
"It's just a bit of frivolity and fun," Stewart explains. "I don't think anyone takes it seriously."

The article continues,

"Well, some do. Republic, a 12,000-strong lobby group that advocates replacing the Queen with an elected head of state, has been pushing its agenda hard in the run-up to the wedding. The group wishes to see the Queen stripped of her remaining "prerogative powers," such as the need for parliamentary bills to have her formal assent before they become law, and her ability to disband the British Parliament and the legislatures of several Commonwealth countries, which her acting Governor General in Australia did in 1975.

"It's the best time for us because the wedding draws attention to the monarchy, and the truth is that people in Britain aren't in love with the monarchy. A majority don't hold strong feelings either way, and they can be convinced," says Graham Smith, the campaign manager for Republic.

Maybe, but Brits have a habit of hiding their passion behind a facade of indifference; in the buildup to the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebration in 2002, which marked 50 years of her reign, commentators speculated that the monarchy had lost touch with Brits following the death of Princess Diana in 1997, but then 1 million people showed up for the celebration. And whatever the polls say, London officials anticipate that hundreds of thousands will line the royal-wedding route in the capital; thousands of street parties have also been planned around the country."

Read the rest at,8599,2067262-2,00.html.

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