No escaping this royal pain

2011-04-22 08:20

Many people know the programme for the wedding of Prince ­William and Kate ­Middleton off by heart.

Come Friday, we will know ­every intimate detail about the wedding – save for the colour of the couple’s underwear.

The whole globe is preparing to be dazzled by the first inter-nationally broadcast royal wedding of an heir apparent in 30 years, since the ill-fated spectacle of Lady Diana Spencer marrying Prince Charles.

Their first son, the heir to the British throne, is tying the knot with his girlfriend; nine years after they met.

Despite the media hype, theirs is not the first international royal wedding in the 21st century.

Only last year, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden married her personal trainer Daniel Westling in an elaborate ceremony.

The wedding was described by some media as Europe’s biggest royal wedding since the Prince of Wales married ­Diana in 1981.

Another royal wedding took place between Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, and Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in 2001 at Oslo ­Cathedral.

Theirs was also a modern-day fairytale: a prince who defied ­convention by marrying a former waitress, with a four-year-old son.

And her previous relationship had been with a man who had a drug conviction.

The wedding had Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark as the best man. Did anyone make a big deal of these two weddings?

Not a single peep.

So why does the British royal wedding merit the media circus, even thousands of kilometres away from the murky little island?

Unlike past royal unions, William and Kate’s comes at a time when people’s awe over ­celebrities is ­decreasing.

The prince and his fiancée are scandal-free, which doesn’t make them particularly exciting.

After many years of juicy royal scandals, this couple is so goody-two-shoed that little children can look up to them as perfect role models.

B for boring. (Or maybe a good thing, given that kids these days have precious few such role ­models!)

But as with any other wedding celebration, people are interested in seeing the wedding gown Kate will wear.

Leilani April, a South African who currently lives in the UK, says most local Brits have caught the wedding fever.

“I know of people who are ­travelling for two or three hours to London to be one of the ­thousands in the crowd on the streets that day.

“When Princess Diana died, the British people became a sort of surrogate mum to Harry and ­William, so they feel very ­protective towards them,” April says.

But locals here don’t think the royal wedding is that big a deal.

Tumi Manamela from Joburg says: “I still wonder why the story is in all our papers.”

Safiya Mangera is more vocal, saying she doesn’t give “a rat’s bum”.

“But that won’t stop me from watching. It’s like those old ­D-grade movies that you forced yourself to sit through to measure your level of endurance and your pain ­threshold.”

Bernice Moodeen from Pretoria says: “The fact that a ‘normal’ ­person is about to become a ­princess is interesting.

Plus it will be a bittersweet moment for all those Diana fans out there. Me ­included!”

Zaza Dube from Durban just wants “to see if Middleton’s wedding dress will top Princess ­Diana’s”.

While it might seem that some people couldn’t care less about the event, the fact is that on Friday morning at 11am, the rest of the globe (and several million of us) will be watching England’s royal couple exchange their vows.

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