No other country in the world can stage a ceremony with the pomp and pageantry of yesterday’s Royal Wedding. The marriage of Prince William to Catherine (Kate) Middleton was a wonderful occasion and if anyone had doubts about the popularity of this young couple, you only had to see the remarkable numbers of people lining the streets, gathered in Hyde Park or outside Buckingham Palace to get a feel for the mood of the country.
I am a staunch monarchist, royalist, call it what you will, but objective enough to realise that the royal family had become an anachronism and the extent to which the Queen had lost touch with her people was never more clearly demonstrated than in the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
Seldom has the nation’s mood been so badly misjudged... and the popularity of Queen Elizabeth and other family members was certainly damaged as a result.
In my opinion, Diana had become more “royal” than the family into which she had married. The esteem and love in which she was held was obvious, but the sheer extent was impossible to fully comprehend... until the fateful events of that August night in Paris...
I don’t believe Prince Charles truly loved Diana (whatever “love” is...) but the pattern of aristocratic royal marriages was long embedded and perhaps the heir to the throne wasn’t willing or able to break with tradition. In truth, the Queen’s children may ultimately be seen as the lost generation... the wider media coverage of the age has allowed minute security of those with royal privilege and character flaws have been regularly (and sometimes cruelly) exposed.
Diana understood that you can still by “royal” without being aloof... and William is most definitely his mother’s son. His feelings for Kate were there for the watching millions to see... he chose to marry the girl he loves, irrespective of background or protocol and even though this wonderful young couple (along with the fantastic Prince Harry) have a huge burden to carry, I truly believe that they will ultimately change the face of the British monarchy forever... and for the better.
That will be William’s legacy... and it will be Diana’s as well.
All my own work... almost.