Reporting Jason DeRusha
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It may be the most watched television event in the history of the world. Perhaps 2 billion people will watch Prince William and Kate Middelton get married. So, why do so many Americans care about the royal wedding?
“People around here are fascinated by the monarchy: its history, its politics, its significance,” said professor John Watkins, from the University of Minnesota.
Watkins lived in England and teaches classes on the monarchy.
“Those stories run very deep. Our folklore is all about monarchy,” he said.
In Minneapolis, Brit’s Pub will open at 4 a.m., and is expecting hundreds of people to come to watch the royal wedding together.
“In fact, more requests about the royal wedding than the world cup, and that was quite busy,” said Shane Higgins, general manager of Brit’s, and a native of the Manchester-area of England.
“We’re so desperate for good news. This fairy tale wedding … the world’s gotten into it,” he said.
However, a recent CBS News/NY Times poll found just 6 percent of Americans admit following the wedding “very closely.” Another 22 percent say they’re following “somewhat closely.”
“Who’s going to identify as someone obsessed with the royals,” argued Watkins. “It’s embarrassing, but books on the royal family sell.”
“Our whole foundational myth is how those great New England patriots cast off the shackles of monarchy. At the same time, every time you turn around you see a little girl buying a princess dress,” he said.
On the DeBlog, Alexandra complained that this wedding “isn’t a cinderella story; it is a huge use of resources that could be better spent.”
However, others argued that the wedding was a welcome break, and a reminder of the Prince Charles –Princess Diana wedding.
“They are so in love and it’s nice to see after what Prince William has been thru.,” wrote Zann. “I still remember watching him walk behind his mother’s casket. That had to be SO hard. He’s grown into a wonderful man that Diana can be proud of!”
“I do not think this marriage can fail,” said Watkins. “I think it would be hard after the philandering, after a marriage that became a scandal, I think the pressure is high for William and Kate to make a go of it,” he said.