Bear with me! A week after the Royal Wedding, I know we’re all feeling a bit like that little frowning flower girl. Especially when major world events like SEAL Team 6 showing Osama who’s boss remind us that there’s really (really, really, really) more to life (and the world) than whether lace sleeves are the greatest thing ever and which ugly stepsister had the most awesome hat.
BUT. I think there is a lot we Millennials should appreciate – and hold on to – from that literally-spectacular, star-making and generation-defining (yep) Event…
#1 – We can’t believe (everything) we read in the press when it comes to love, romance and relationships in our time.
Press coverage of the Royal Wedding by and large played on the same “fairy tale” themes that defined Charles & Diana’s wedding in 1982. Jess and I joked that – from what we could see – the newspaper copy from the two events was basically interchangeable. The eerie sense of deja vu was of course abetted by Will & Kate’s choice (if it was a choice) to marry in a traditional royal fashion, greet the city in a horse-drawn carriage and kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
But these superficial similarities were tacked on an entirely different reality from what Charles & Diana were all about in the early 80s. Popeater has some sad historical details: Diana confessed misgivings about going through with the marriage beforehand and on the honeymoon, pictures of Camilla fell out of Charles diary. By contrast, Will & Kate have been a serious couple for 8 years (including one ‘finding yourself’ break up in the middle). Will and Kate are 28 and 29 to Diana and Charles’s 20 and 32. There’s a lot more water under the bridge this time – for Will & Kate as individuals and also for them as a couple.
#2 – Will & Kate’s “Fairy Tale” reflects our current, modern, post-dating reality.
Will & Kate lived in a flat together with other friends (endless group-non-date!). They bonded over cooking and spending time together as friends (aka – they were in each other’s dahs). According to Will, “things just blossomed” between them…which kind of sounds like code for he didn’t ask her on a date. Then, they were a couple for 8 years – with a break-up in the middle during which they focused on finding themselves. In their official engagement interview, Kate said she is grateful now for having had that time. Will proposed in Kenya, where they were backpacking with friends, but not until after they “had been talking about marriage for a while.“
What Fairy Tale?! Sounds like wonderful, f*cked up modern romance to me!
#3 – This young couple is taking on tremendous responsibility.
Will & Kate may or may not save the British Monarchy. But who cares about that? More importantly, Will & Kate are a young couple, building on 8 years together, who are now committing to a life in which they will support each other, serve their country and stand as an example to other young people and future generations. They’ve broken with some traditions; they are honoring some traditions. They cultivate a media presence, but they conduct themselves with seriousness and dignity. Still, they tease each other. They laugh. They are respectful. They connect. As Millennials who are striving to forge our own way in love, we are all invested in Will & Kate doing this marriage thing well – and better than it’s been done in the past.
If Will & Kate can pull off a happily-ever-after (and you know the world is gonna be briefed each step of the way!), then they will show that our generation can learn from the mistakes of the past and create better, more enduring relationships on into the future. And so it came to pass? I hope so.
Rebecca Coale - aka Becky - is a writer, musician and producer. She and childhood best friend Jessica Donalds created Dating & Hookup and founded J&R Creative Media. Becky blogs about love poetry and modern life & womanhood. She lives with her husband, Howard Coale, and their family in Manhattan and Philadelphia.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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