Saturday, April 30, 2011

love alone

In the countless hours of media coverage devoted to the royal wedding of William and Kate, you would think that absolutely everything has been commented upon: the historic tradition, the dress, the tiara, the ceremony, the simplicity, the grandeur, the remarkable appearance of trees in Westminster Abbey, the adoring crowds and, of course, the outlandish hats.

Oddly, though, I heard almost no references in all those hours of coverage to what is, to me, the most remarkable aspect of this remarkable marriage: the obvious, radiant love between Prince William and his Kate.

British kings, queens, and those in direct line to the throne have traditionally been denied that which we common folk have long taken for granted: the right to marry for love. From the dawn of the nobility, marriage was a strategic political and business arrangement. Noble -- and especially royal -- marriages have been carefully calculated to amass land and wealth, gain control of strategic military positions, and forge political and military alliances. Love never entered the picture.