If you care to wonder why you should care about the Royal Wedding today, I bet you're not alone. Shirley, (yeah, I did) there are many who either don't care at all, do care and are enchanted, or (like my friend Phil Rice) have no idea who's getting married. It's kind of a big deal: William will be king one day, the monarchy has a long tradition, Kate is passing up on the opportunity to one day be "First Lady Katie" Porter... etcetera, ya know. I get it. Aside from all of that, why should we Americans care about who gets married in that family? Seriously.
Marriage is at the heart (went there too) of a great many discussions and debates in our own country. We talk about gay marriage, tax breaks, immigrant status and green cards, tying the knot, infidelity, rights and roles of spouses, next of kin, and money. Marriage is very much about the people getting married, wouldn't you say? You might even go as far as to say that much of the idea of marriage has become about what two people want, rather than a union that benefits a community.
Yeah, I like to add my own commentary. But, isn't that how it used to be? Families, churches, and tribes would consent to an appropriate match. All of those people in the community were invited to join in that special day not as party guests, but as witnesses and grantors of legitimacy. What we are seeing in London today is exactly that. By many of today's standards, there is little reason for the fairly tale that endures across the pond. Why should a nation of democrats choose to pay for unelected aristocrats to live, uncontested, as kings? They may just be giving their consent to a family that exists to be caretaker of its people. Consider William - I remember him for most of his life - who has known since the concept was first able to be grasped that one day he would be king. His life was never his, but from birth a gift to his country. What a profound concept to rise every morning with the knowledge that each day is preparation for service - duty to his people; indeed duty to the world. Today he joins in holy matrimony with the woman who is the next piece of the puzzle that is British Royalty. As nature often grants, she will be the mother of the proceding monarch... and so it goes. The Royal Wedding is a commemoration of public consent.
Again, why should we care (over here)? Suppose we re-look at marriage as a foundation for society. Suppose we hold our relationships to, not just our own standards, but to higher ones. What if we looked at each day as preparation and at those with whom we picked to spend our lives as pieces to a broader puzzle? Sounds noble.
Congratulations to Prince William and Princess Catherine.