Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Thoughts...

Well  here is the  photo.   We waited along the Mall with thousands and thousands of  other people after swearing we wouldn't get anywhere  near Central London today.  Yeah, well...   How often does London throw this big of a party?

First the Wedding.  It went off without a hitch.  The weather forecast said it was going to rain.  It didn't.   Anti-monarchist protesters  said they were going to be out in force.  The weren't.   Pundits  said the crowds would be unmanageable and  unruly, and nothing could have been further from the truth.  

 It's hard  not to get caught up in the hype of an event this big.   The global audience  that watched  these two people get married today  was estimated at over  two billion.  Why?

To be honest?  I really am not sure. There are the obvious reasons.  It's a live history lesson..  The British Monarchy  is living history. To steal the quote from the movie  "The Queen"; it is an unbroken line going back over a thousand years. It's hard not be  fascinated watching  this institution change and adapt  to  the  21rst Century.

You can argue the issue of  how ridiculous  the idea of  hereditary  privilege is  in this day and age, and many here in London are.   London's  biggest talk radio station  LBC 97.3 FM, had no shortage of callers on  both sides of this issue.  With the majority of callers expressing  enthusiastic support, for the  Royals, and  what  today's pomp and pageantry  has done for the morale of the whole nation.    But there were other callers who were just adamant in saying they feel it's crazy to keep paying millions of pounds a year to support a group of people who's only qualification is having been born into the Windsor family.

Yet  if you are going to argue  strictly from the perspective of cost, today pretty much killed that argument.    The cost  to the British taxpayer,  (of which I am now one..)  to maintain the Monarchy is around  70 million pounds a year.    Estimates of  how much money this wedding has  generated for the British economy so far is  low-balled around  six hundred million pounds.  Not a bad  ROI. (Return On Investment.)

If nothing else,  I am totally behind anything that gives British composer John Rutter an excuse to compose new music.  His  new piece  "The Anthem"  commissioned  especially for today's ceremony was amazing.

So at least for today, the debate over the merits and costs of a Constitutional Monarchy was put aside.   Billions of people all around the world,  joined  the over one million people in Central London, (including this new Londoner),  in wishing "Wills and Kate"  all the best.

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