Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day
A ROYAL WEDDING is an entirely different affair in the age of the Internet, with even relatively intimate moments, such as when the bride is adjusting her gown in the car, brought to the entire world. If you are one of the small handful of people on the planet who has not watched snippets of the wedding, you can view them on the Royal Channel here.
Kate Middleton was an elegant bride with beautiful warmth though the appearance of virginal purity is theater and nothing more. The Telegraph shows a selection of gowns of the past if you would like some perspective on her dress. The ceremony itself was reverent and restrained, with the traditional reminder that the first purpose of marriage is “the increase of mankind.” The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, made no appeals for social justice in his sermon. He focused on the Christian meaning of marriage, with a bit of twenty-first century psychologizing thrown in for good measure. He said:
As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness, to thrive.
The bishop’s statement that “every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation” is precisely to the point. That’s why royal weddings are important. Virtually anyone can partake of this same ritual and participate in this same exalted institution. Contrary to being a purely aristocratic event, the royal wedding is a highly democratic event too.