Oh what a night! A right royal retro revival
It was the night that Australia turned back the pages of history and showed its love affair with royalty is far from dead.
Featuring a handsome prince and a beautiful bride, Friday’s fairytale wedding between William and Catherine captured the hearts of millions of true blue Aussies as they tuned in to televisions in living rooms, pubs and party venues around the nation to watch the regal celebrations unfold in London.
The pomp, ceremony and celebrity of the occasion were enough to give hardened republican supporters a bad case of indigestion, but for once their complaints were swamped by the royal euphoria.
In a rare case of retro royalty, it was almost cool to admit to watching the bride and groom and the passing parade of well-heeled and connected wedding guests make their way to Westminster Abbey and afterwards to catch a glimpse of the royal pair give each other a quick kiss from the palace balcony.
Apart from the 7 million television viewers around the country, many Australians also followed every moment of the nuptials and passed comment on social media and online news forums.
For Dreamer of Sydney, the royal wedding was a conversion experience. The Sydney Morning Herald reader wrote: “What a wonderful display of good old-fashioned romance! I was so happy to see this lovely young couple on their most happiest of days. I never thought I’d be a supporter of the royal family but unlike a lot of party-poopers, I have grown up and got over myself.”
Many, like J of Ringwood in a comment to the Herald Sun, were just grateful to be able to share some good news: “A truly beautiful spectacle! I felt very moved and happy for William and Kate. So nice to see something so special and happy, especially after all the disasters and bad news in the world. We all need a little more positivity.”
But where many saw beauty and joy, Frederick of St Clair in the Sydney Morning Herald, was disgusted and viewed the wedding as an ugly display of class division: “What a perverse and obscene spectacle of masses of humanity showering adulation, adoration and truckloads of taxpayer funds on people who happened to have been born to a lineage of privilege and so-called ‘royalty’. In the 21st century we’re still a bunch of medieval peasants looking for ‘bread and circuses’ to lift us out of the doldrums of meaningless lives. Bring on the republic and equality for all human beings.”
For others, like Jason on Yahoo7, missing out on watching their Friday night football was all that mattered. “I missed the footy because four TV stations had dedicated their time and money to two people getting married. So dignified, so elegant, so royal? So boring, so meaningless.”
While Jason was waiting to see his team’s colours, wedding watchers had their sights set on what the bride would be wearing. And when Kate stepped out, opinion was divided.
Julia posted on The Courier-Mail: “What a beautiful wedding dress. So refreshing to see something different to the strapless style that every woman seems to wear.”
But Lesley on Yahoo7 was disappointed: “The dress suited Kate to a T - totally plain and boring. Most people gasp at the first glimpse of any bride but at the first sight of Kate one yawns. I’m afraid Kate will never outshine Diana. But then who could?”
The obsession with who wore what was all too much for Scrub Nurse of Orange NSW on news.com.au: “Was this a wedding or the Melbourne Cup? It seems there’s been more emphasis placed on who wore what than the actual wedding. Who cares what people wore? Obviously they thought their outfit was nice or they wouldn’t have worn it.”
For some observers, William and Kate’s nuptials brought back memories of Charles and Diana’s wedding and the sadness that followed in their marriage.
Big Pete of Surrey Downs, writing on AdelaideNow, hoped the new royal couple would have a happier future: “Although an anti-monarchist, I wish this young couple a lot more happiness in their marriage than the groom’s parents had. Long may they both represent their country in the same manner as their grandmother and grandmother-in-law has. Their country needs this type of pageantry and a fresh new figurehead to lead it into the uncertainties of the 21st century.”
Hobart Mercury reader, LDP of All Over Tasmania, thought the ghost of Diana was watching over William and Kate: “It was all very nice and I, for one, watched the wedding ceremony from start to finish. Even though I am not a royalist I felt Diana would have been there somewhere. And I think she would have approved of Kate.”
Amid the sparkle of a royal wedding, for one night, Australians showed a renewed passion for the monarchy. But in the cold, hard light of day, will the love last or will it slowly fade into our ghostly past?
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