Friday 29th April 2011 and the big day is here. Up with the lark, this time though no trip to London for me, today it’s a family affair, like weddings should be. Mum, Dad and Mother in Law are all round our house to watch the royal wedding. Nearly 30 years ago, I went to London with my mates to see Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. We partied all night, got absolutely wasted and soaking wet in the fountains at Trafalgar Square, the next day we stood on the Mall, bleary eyed and ‘watched’ the whole occasion play out. It doesn’t feel this generation have painted London red, white and blue like we did when we were boys. Maybe the kids today are either not interested or simply have too many occasions to get on it?
This is the first time that an major occasion of state has been covered not only by the BBC and ITV in Britain, but by social media. No longer will ‘viewers’ only get the official line. Now swapping between BBC TV, Facebook and Twitter depending on who your friends are or who you follow, the tone can lurch from BBC reverence to Twitter refusenik. For once I have put my natural scepticism aside and am just going to enjoy the day. A royal wedding is just a very big version, some would say bloated, others simply dignified and laced with traditional pomp and circumstance. For today only, Great Britain or the UK as we now refer to ourselves (I think that dates back to Jeux Sans Frontiers or It’s a Knockout as we used to call it 30 years ago) will be the centre of the world’s attention. For today only, Great Britain will be the centre of fun and celebration. I have to admit, I am pretty proud of that fact. And the family are all in the lounge, wearing their hats and getting terribly excited.
After all weddings are for friends and family and occasionally followers, if you are a royal. Having said that, the definition of ‘friends’ is a little different today, so maybe it is apt that this is the first royal wedding of the Facebook and Twitter age. I am enjoying the Ying of the BBC and the Yang of Twitter. Facebook is squeezed in between, almost like a drunken aunt.