There’s been much criticism of Americans who anticipated the British Royal Wedding and watched it with giddy excitement. “Why would you watch a monarchy’s happy day when we fought to be free from it?”
Well, folks, I’m a Daughter of the American Revolution, my ancestors on both sides of my family fought in that war, and I admit to watching the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton with breathless anticipation. I got up early to watch it live and soaked up every second. (I may or may not have worn a tiara myself on the happy day.) Here’s a list of the reasons why, as a writer of fiction, I watched it with keen interest:
1. It was history in the making. The bride’s dress, tiara, and bouquet will be in history books and textbooks forever and I’ll get to say: “I was ‘there’ to see it.”
2. How often do you get an up-close, real-time opportunity to watch a “commoner” become a princess? How often do you get to watch a wedding in London at Westminster Abbey in real time? And how often do you get to see and hear the Archbishop of Canterbury conduct the ceremony—bushy eyebrows and all?
3. It’s what fairy tales are made of. Small-town girl meets a real prince at college. They fall in love. They break up (conflict) and get back together again. They secretly plot to get married. They hold on to their secret for months—years maybe.
4. They get engaged. Publicly this time.
5. The prince gives the commoner girlfriend his deceased mother’s $600,000 engagement ring.
6. They have a royal wedding complete with tiara, carriages, and balcony kisses.
Tell me that doesn’t ignite your imagination. Tell me that’s not the stuff of award-winning best-selling books. My mind reels with questions. How did Kate feel wearing the queen’s tiara on her wedding day? What was she thinking as she walked down the aisle? Did she get tired of waving at the crowd? What’s her closet look like? What does she eat for breakfast? When she was dating the prince did they play hide and seek in the palace? What was it like for her mom and dad to watch their daughter marry a prince? How would I feel if that were me?
Good writers never waste such moments as a royal wedding. They notice every detail and record each expression and emotion for future reference.
Watching the royal wedding and feeling the excitement of history in the making was important to my job as a freelance writer. I mean, let’s face it. I’m thankful I don’t live under a monarchy, but where in Indiana am I going to see a footman or a royal guard wearing a tall bearskin hat?
As a writer it was my duty to watch the royal wedding. To neglect the opportunity for free research would have been unconscionable.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.