Prince William and Kate Middleton will be married at Westminster Abbey on April 29 – and why exactly should Americans care? After all, you declared your independence in 1776 and rebelled against the rule of King George III, so what makes the nuptials of the second in line to the throne worth getting up at 6 am for?
Here’s what I found out from royal fans in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where you can see Princess Diana‘s wedding dress in a special exhibition at the town’s art museum.
1. Kate Middleton embodies the American dream. Her parents set up their own business, sent Kate to a boarding school, and now she’s marrying a Prince. True, there’s nothing meritocratic about a hereditary monarchy, but marrying into the Windsors as a commoner rather than an aristocrat seems to elicit admiration on this side of the pond.
2. William and Kate appear modern and approachable while also being royal, qualities which endeared William’s mother Diana to millions. As I heard time and time again from Diana fans in Grand Rapids, she made royalty relevant rather than austere, and William and Kate could follow in her footsteps.
3. Americans can enjoy the British royal family and the wedding as outsiders who revolted against the whole idea of monarchy, safe in the knowledge that this isn’t your system and your tax dollars don’t go towards it. Instead, you can revel in the pomp and ceremony.
4. William and Kate represent the future of the British monarchy. For those of you interested in the British royals, this was a big selling point. April 29 is the day at which the story of Diana comes full circle. She turned the traditional idea of monarchy on its head, then became estranged from the very institution she had revived, before dying tragically. The wedding of her son marks a new chapter, and the way in which he and Kate handle the day will set the tone for the next royal generation.
5. Where else will you get to see footmen and landaus and ladies in waiting? Certainly not in Columbus, Ohio or Grand Rapids, Michigan. The elaborate pageantry seems to be a draw. Oh, and let’s not forget the tiara and the dress.
Read all of that, and you still don’t care? Opinion polls in Britain suggest that women are more interested in the wedding than men, and the young are less interested than the old. Is the same true here? Let us know.
BBCAmerica.com’s royal expert Laura Trevelyan is here to answer your most pressing questions about William and Kate’s wedding. Tweet us at @bbcroyalwedding or post at the BBC America’s Royal Wedding Facebook page to submit your inquiries.