Royal Wedding Diary
News and views on the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton
Media companies, particularly from Britain and North America, are pouring a lot of resources into covering the April 29 wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton in London. The amount of money they are spending, and the temptation to decide what their millions of viewers want to see, could cloud editorial judgment on the day should things not go according to plan.
One potential problem could be if a small number of protesters turn violent, and attempt to “hijack” an event which the British government believes will be watched in some shape or form by more than a quarter of the Earth’s population. This happened only recently in London when a march by up to half a million people protesting at spending cuts by the government was overshadowed by the violent actions of a few hundred “radicals”. The British broadcasters generally focussed more closely on the few than on the many, but would they do the same later this month?
Certainly the royal press teams and the monarch herself will be keen for media companies to stay “on message”. They will see the wedding of the generally popular young couple as a good opportunity to bolster the royal family, and anything to spoil the big day would irk them no end. So far the press has been generally compliant, giving Middleton and William a relatively easy ride and producing overwhelmingly positive coverage of the marriage. Of course, there may be no violence on the day at all, but were things to turn nasty, would the broadcasters point their cameras away from the pomp and pageantry of the royal occasion to capture smashed windows and police in riot gear?
Another temptation may be to give the impression that there are more people lining the streets than is actually the case. There is no particular reason to doubt the event will be well attended (the wedding between Prince Charles and Diana drew an estimated crowd of 600,000 people to the streets of central London), but should it “flop” in terms of numbers, would this be accurately reflected in coverage? Graham Smith, who heads up the anti-monarchy Republic group, said he would be watching broadcasters like the BBC carefully on the day, ready to make a formal complaint if what he sees on his TV screen does not reflect what is going on on the street.
Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of the royals. From Kate Middleton’s dress to the estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, people are tripping over themselves to get hold of something with an association to the monarchy.
The most extreme example was probably the 65,000 pounds/$105,000 (plus a 13,000-pound commission) paid out by an unidentified buyer from Jersey for a see-through, black mesh slip dress designed by Charlotte Todd and worn by royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton at a charity fashion event in 2002. The significance of the racy item is that it is widely believed to have convinced Prince William, who was in the audience on that day, that Middleton was the one for him. The couple are to marry in Westminster Abbey on April 29.
from Fan Fare:
I may be in Berlin covering the film festival, but I'm keeping half an eye on the press coverage of the royal wedding. Needless to say there is an awful lot of it, and some of the stories appear to be as much fiction as fact, if not more so. The tone is almost entirely positive, with commentators glowing about the young royal couple, her style, his grace, how good it all is for the country, economy, morale, soul -- oh you get the gist.
Now there is not necessarily anything wrong with being positive -- after all, we are talking about a couple of 20-somethings about to embark on a big adventure (marriage) and we should wish them well.