Why We Love a Royal Wedding

Filed under: Opinions, Celeb News & Interviews

Kate Middleton and Prince William pose for the media at St. James's Palace in London on Nov. 16, 2010, after they announced their engagement. The couple are to wed in 2011. Credit: Chris Jackson, AP

I love a good fairy tale.

You know the story. Boy and girl from different sides of the track meet, fall madly in love and somehow figure out how to overcome outlandish obstacles -- be it severe apple poisoning, losing a glass slipper at the stroke of midnight or being cast under some spell that causes one to sleep for, like, a zillion years.

Once upon a time, my mother warned me of princesses and fairy tales. It's not like she forbade me from watching or reading about Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and all the rest, but, from as far back as I can remember, she made sure I understood that a woman didn't need a man to rescue her.

Of course, she was right about that, and I tell my own daughters the same thing as they count the days until the Rapunzel-based "Tangled" hits the theaters, read nearly every princess book in print and play with more Disney princess-themed items than I care to admit.

But, while I freely concede that a grown woman carrying a torch for fairy tale romances isn't exactly cool, there's just something about the romance, the adversity and, of course, the fashion of it all that warrants a special spot for all those stories on our living room bookshelf.

Right next to those books for children sits my own collection of stories of women who have led real-life fairy tales: Diana. Fergie. Elizabeth. Victoria. Mary.

Coming soon?

The world's newest fairy tale follows the dashingly handsome Prince William, a man whose beautiful and much-adored mother was tragically killed when he was just a boy, but who went on to make his nation proud, embarking on a military career and actively representing several charities.

William meets Kate Middleton, a (gasp!) commoner, while attending university, and, for eight long, long, long years, she waits. The British press, in fact, labels her Waity Katie, the young beauty so patiently bides her time.

And even though she has no royal blood line (but let's not get too crazy here -- her parents are millionaire entrepreneurs), the girl who grew up in a small village is accepted into the most royal of royal families. Her parents are invited to the royal family's 50,000-acre estate in Scotland for private pheasant shooting lessons. William proposes on a vacation in Kenya. And the wedding, planned for next year? Well, I, for one, can hardly wait for that chapter to begin.

I was 8 when Diana Spencer married William's father, Prince Charles, but I remember watching that fairy tale unfold on TV like it was yesterday. She in an enormous tafetta and lace dress -- with 25 feet of train! He in a full dress naval commander uniform. That kiss on the balcony. In my young mind, I had just witnessed a fairy tale come to life.

Unfortunately, many will say, there's no such thing as a real-life fairy tale. And, for Charles and Diana, that proved to be true.

But, still, I want to believe it's possible. And that's why the promise of a royal wedding has me spellbound. It's about hope. It's about that ultimate romantic ideal -- you know, the kind that makes women's tummies do flip-flops, their knees quiver and their cheeks burn red. It's about the excitement of the details. Will they wed on the 30th anniversary of William's parents' own exchange of vows? Where will the ceremony take place? How extravagant will it be? Who will Harry bring as his date? And, most importantly, what will Kate wear?

Those big, star-studded Hollywood nuptials we see plastered across the pages of US Weekly? There's nothing regal about those. But the majesty that surrounds a royal wedding? It's different. It's bigger. It's happy. It's exciting.

And, even if the romance surrounding William and Kate lasts but for a fleeting moment, it's fun to wish for the fairy tale. No matter how it ends, it's still a story that's deserving of a spot on my bookshelf, right next to "Cinderella," "The Diana Chronicles" and "Royal Weddings." Because, in the end, don't we all just want to believe in happily ever after?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.