The Great Debate UK
Sarah Gristwood is one of the authors of The Ring and the Crown: A History of Royal Weddings 1066-2011 (Hutchison) by Alison Weir, Kate Williams, Sarah Gristwood and Tracy Borman. The opinions expressed are her own. Thomson Reuters will host a follow-the-sun live blog on March 8, 2011, the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
More than a hundred years ago the great Victorian Walter Bagehot claimed that the women of Britain cared more about the marriage of a Prince of Wales than they did about a ministry.
Looking at the frenzied curiosity regarding the April 29, 2011, wedding date of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton, there’s not much doubt that his lament still rings true. One question, of course, is whether it is only the women – and why the advent of feminism hasn’t damped our hunger to any real degree.
Another is to what degree our interest has been consciously fostered, by a monarchy anxious to ensure it is still welcome in the 21st century. But the third and largest must be whether there’s anything new under the sun, in the world of royal wedding festivities.