A fairytale story comes true
These days, hobbits, dragons and wizards are all the rage. It’s a sign that humanity’s love for fantasy stories is stronger than ever— even if we live in a global community driven by the latest technological advances.
Yet no matter how attached we are to our iPhones and Xbox’s, the human race still sits, waiting patiently for something magical to happen, something to stir us out of our own monotonous lives.
Fairytales about princes and their beautiful, but unlikely, princesses have been popular for as long as there have been children to listen to them.
Hollywood has capitalized on this. Look at the success of movies like The Princess Bride and Tangled, examples of just how passionate we are for these kinds of stories.
But not all fairytales have to be make believe.
In fact, one of them came to life just last week, enveloping much of the world’s population on a dry (if a bit overcast) Friday morning.
The date: April 29.
The occasion: a wedding that was about as magical as they come.
The wedding ceremony of Prince William and Catherine “Kate” Middleton (now, officially, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge) began at 11 a.m. GMT sharp, to the chagrin of the Americans — of which I, admittedly, was one —who were forced to get up at 6 a.m. EST to watch the event unfold live.
You may be wondering why a 21-year-old college guy would want to watch the British royal wedding, something that many would argue has no real effect on my life.
As a 90s baby, I grew up during the Disney Renaissance. It goes without saying that I’m a sucker for stories like William and Kate’s, having grown up watching movies like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast.
Well, this wedding was as close to any of those stories as can be possible in reality.
To understand the “magical” nature of the wedding, it is important to understand that Kate is a commoner by birth.
In fact, her extremely close-knit, well-to-do family has had very normal jobs, from flight attendants to coal miners, according to Guardian.co.uk.
As a result, all of the major news outlets dubbed her “Commoner Kate,” some even referring to her relationship with William as a move “From pit to palace,” according to a WashingtonPost.com article.
Sure, Kate didn’t have a fairy godmother or a glass slipper, but the story is strangely Disney princess-like–but that’s not even the most fascinating part.
William and Kate’s wedding was, historically, the most popular wedding ever.
While the official tally has not been confirmed, the current number of viewers is well over 2 billion via live broadcast in over 100 countries. A few circulating rumors even hint that, including the online viewers, this number could be closer to 3 billion. If that were true, that would mean that almost half of Earth’s population witnessed the wedding.
Statistically, it is the most-watched television event ever.
It demolished the numbers put up by Super Bowl XLV (111 million), last year’s World Cup Final (700 million), the wedding of Wills’ parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana (750 million) and even the previous record-holder: the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics (around 2 billion).
But it wasn’t all about a magical story or the vast popularity of the event. It also has some political significance.
Prince William is destined to be the King of England.
That’s a pretty big role, and while it may have little political power, the royal family is still the “face” of the British people. The last king, George VI — central character of the Academy Award-winning The King’s Speech — was a key figure in keeping the United Kingdom together during World War II.
After Buckingham Palace was bombed during the Battle of Britain, George and his queen walked the streets of London, giving hope to their people in a time when the city should have been a battlefield.
It is stories like this that define true leaders. They produce the men and women who inspire generations, whose identity is inseparable from their country and people.
This is the kind of story that legends are made of.
With Britain going through something of an economic crisis, Prince William’s opportunity may come sooner than expected.
It’s the kind of potential in a man like William, mixed with the magic of a story like Kate’s, that has turned this royal wedding into an planet-wide celebration.
So while I may not be British, I would be lying if I said that there isn’t a part of me that, like all humans, sits and waits for something magical to happen — in this case, to bring the world together in a celebration of a real-life fairytale.