Royal Intrigue

Royal Intrigue

Isn’t it fascinating how we’re so captivated by the British royal family? Queen Elizabeth has stolen the hearts of people from around the world, and adoration was Princess Diana’s constant companion. Many of us are as far as obsessed, swooning over the Royals’ every event and activity.

Thirty-seven million people in 180 countries watched a live broadcast of Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton in 2011. Prince Harry and American-born actress Meghan Markle’s wedding this spring promises to garner the same rapt attention. And what about the royal kids? Their cherry-cheeked, cherub faces smile down from shelves in every store that sells magazines.

But why does Buckingham Palace beckon us? Why the royal obsession?

Sure, there are those who have little interest in the “goings on” of Britain’s most famous family, but a significant percentage of society is greatly intrigued. Historically, the antics and accomplishments of the Royal family were shrouded in mystery. It’s only been in recent years, the last hundred or so, that we’ve been allowed a brief peek behind the curtain.

Part of the attraction is the subtle differences between Great Britain’s culture and that of North America. We don’t have royals on this side of the pond, and the very fact that such people exist enthralls us. We’ve read fairytales of kings and queens and princes and princesses, and we’ve watched more Disney flicks than we’d like to admit. And while we know these stories are only make-believe, we catch a bit of that magic nostalgia every time we get a glimpse of the family royal.

And unlike Great Britain, which is steeped in heavy traditions that have been cultivated over centuries of time, we in North America are, comparatively speaking, lacking in olden-day customs. It just comes with the young(ish) territory.

For example, do you remember Kate and William’s wedding nearly seven years ago? The couple tied the knot, but skipped out on what some consider the best part – the kiss. Why? It’s tradition, of course.

Rather than smooching his new wife, grabbing her hand and sauntering down the aisle (as is expected at most North American weddings), the prince and his bride made the immediate trip to the Buckingham Palace balcony and sealed the deal with a conservative kiss… in front of thousands of witnesses. Where outside of the royal family is limited-kissing encouraged on anyone’s wedding day? For the British royal family, however, the less PDA, the better.

But history and culture aren’t the only reasons we find ourselves glued to the living room TV or checkout-line magazines. We’re mad about the fashion. This particular fact isn’t unique to the royals, however, as fashion obsession dates back to nearly the beginning of time. More recently though, we’ve created an entire, world-famous exhibit dedicated to outfits worn by Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy, and we’ve spent a little too much time clicking through “This Year at the Oscars” photo galleries. For most of us, our weekdays don’t involve a scrap more than a white or blue collar, so a shot of a long-sleeved Prada and elegant nude pumps adorning a British royal lady is just a tad bit mesmerizing.

So let’s face it, we’re intrigued. And what’s wrong with that? Even Cinderella stole an evening to ditch the realities of everyday life and take a stroll around a castle.