In case you hadn’t heard, Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton will tie the royal knot on April 29th, and the world’s media is wetting itself in anticipation. Not only is talk of the royal wedding everywhere, but the wedding has it’s own website and the story of William and Kate’s romance has already been immortalized in a made-for-TV movie.
Deadline gives us a great break-down of exactly how crazed the media is over this upcoming spectacle. Yesterday’s wedding rehearsal saw carriages, trumpeters, and 1,000 members of the Armed Forces in full regalia. The first squatter (oops, “spectator”) had set up camp right outside of Westminster Abbey, complete with sleeping back, umbrella, and flags. The walk-through also saw a taste of the enormous media coverage that will be attached to the event. Apparently, the world’s media is amassing in preparation of the possible 2 billion viewers tuning in (140 million in the U.S).
The operational manager at AP Television News Global Media Services commented on the growing interest by the media to cover the event saying, “the volume of broadcasters coming to London, and the number of camera set-ups involved, is unprecedented in terms of interest from overseas broadcasters and the proliferation of news outlets.”
BBC will host live feeds for over 60 networks and be pooling coverage for U.S. networks. Fox News, CNN, ABC, NBC…most of the major U.S. news networks will be there, and there will reportedly be 8,000 TV and radio reporters and staff from around the world descending on London to cover this royal phenomena. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch even wanted to film the wedding in 3-D. Yes, you read that right. And he was only denied due to space concerns over the extra filming equipment it would require.
In this high-tech age, it’s understandable that the media coverage of William and Kate’s wedding would be a different beast than that of Prince Charles and Diana. I’m not surprised at the level of coverage. I’m surprised at how many people give a crap about this wedding. A stranger accosted me in line today, “so the wedding’s this Friday!” And it took me a moment to realize what she was referring to. Then it dawned on me. There’s a huge demographic out there who are frantic for anything William’n’Kate related. And many of them are Stateside.
Didn’t we shed blood, as a country, for the right not to have to care what dress princess-to-be Kate will wear on her wedding day? Or where the royal couple will go on their honeymoon? Or any of the other tedious minutia that has become “news”?
Does anyone else feel that this whole royal wedding has become a phenomena of bloated importance? Not to mention the elitist indifference to the state of the world. The excess and opulence of this whole affair is almost offensive, given the economic depression. How much do you think it cost to march 1,000 uniformed officers out in full ceremonial regalia, just for a walkthrough?
For all the royal decadence and pomp, I say tsk tsk. I hope the grossly excessive media coverage is enough to glut the voracious appetites of all the William and Kate lackees.