Did you watch the Royal Wedding? I didn’t, but confess I did on occasion read features on the internet regarding royal crowns, dresses, traditions and other thing that aren’t really important for me to know. Quite by accident I watched the British comedy with Hugh Grant Four Weddings and a Funeral this week. More than 1.6 million people watched the wedding on the internet this morning, the biggest real time internet audience ever, surpassing the World Cup and the inauguration of President Obama.
Kate Middleton is now the Duchess of Cambridge, Her Royal Highness and oddly Princess William of Wales. It has been 350 years since a royal, in line for the throne, married a commoner.
Why do we have an interest in the Royal Wedding? You might recall that the US won its independence from Britain in 1776 – rejecting royalty in favor of democracy. I abhor waste, formality, and spending lavish sums of money on such things when children are starving.
Why do we care? I believe that deep within us all is the desire for romance and magic, coupled with the desire to live happily ever after – never having to worry about money or cleaning the house or anything really.
For women, this desire is particularly encouraged in our culture by fairy tales and Disney stories, in which the girl is rescued from a wicked whatever – fill in the blank – stepmother, overbearing father, witch – by the prince who whisks her away on his white horse. No more problems – all is well forever.
All this might explain why we are continually surprised by the need to continue to make a living, deal with problems, work at our relationships. I believe we all unconsciously believe that if we were doing things right, everything would be taken care of and settled by the time we are about 25 years old. When that doesn’t happen, when the striving and problem solving and the need to re-invent ourselves continues, we feel disappointed, short-changed, and angry.
What to do? Even Disney has evolved their princesses to be more brave, independent, and self-sufficient – although not any less thin, certainly. We can evolve too – recognize our desire to be taken care of, to have no worries, to be loved and valued. We can figure out what we want in life and give it to ourselves or look for relationships that fulfill our needs. We can be intentional in our search and let it be ok that everything is not settled by the time we are 25. In fact, we can begin to see that ours is the great adventure – to continue to live and strive and learn, always becoming more of who we are and can be.