Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Royal Wedding And British Cool

Ok, I admit it, I watched the Royal Wedding, most of it at least, on Friday. Really, how could you not, how often do you get to see historic events unfold live before your eyes? And before you think that the Wedding was just so much fluff and nonsense, it was hard not to be affected by the responses of the British people who seemed genuinely moved by the experience. One British man interviewed by CNN said that with all of the problems with the global economy and the conflicts brewing throughout the North Africa/Middle East region, the British “needed this”: a day to come together as a nation and celebrate a joyous event (the British government even declared Wedding Day a national holiday).

But more than just an excuse for a day off from work and a national party, the Royal Wedding showed that it was cool to be British. While Great Britain is often derided as a land of bad food and even worse dentistry, the Royal Wedding was a chance to show England as a land of high fashion and cool design: from the gorgeous gowns worn by Kate Middleton and her sister Pippa, to outfits worn by guests like the Beckhams (we'll overlook the rather odd headgear of Princesses Beatrix and Eugenia...), to the classic 1969 Aston Martin DB6 Volante MKII roadster that Will and Kate used to leave Buckingham Palace (a car converted to run on E85 ethanol in a nod to today's spirit of Eco-consciousness). The words suave and debonair come to mind. At the same time, this modern display of high fashion was paired with a sense of pomp and history done in a way that only the British seem able to pull off – the wedding party was accompanied by a platoon of mounted cavalry, their polished helmets gleaming in the sun, while the ancient Westminster Abbey had it's interior filled with trees, giving the vaulted room the feeling of a medieval glade.

All in all it was an example of British suave worthy of a Sean Connery-era James Bond flick, and it was enough to make being British seem very cool.
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