Cumbrians to enjoy a right royal knees-up
Last updated at 10:27, Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Plans are already underway in Cumbria to celebrate next year’s royal wedding. Proud royalists across the county are thrilled at the news that Prince William and Kate Middleton are finally engaged.
TO ADD TO PANEL: Caroline Baxter of Yates Brewery, Westnewton, Wigton said: “I’m sure there will be a lot of money made commercially from it.“I don’t think we’ll brew a beer to mark the wedding but some breweries do make them for Christmas or other special occasions so I’m sure some will for this”.
And even though the date for the wedding has yet to be set, arrangements are being made to mark the big day.
Jean Weightman, from Newton Reigny near Penrith loves the Royal Family and is delighted at the announcement.
“It’s absolutely marvellous news,” she says. “I thought they’d be heading that way.
“They’ve kept it secret really well.”
Prince William proposed while the couple were on holiday in Kenya last month and gave his fiancée his mother’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
The gift has sparked nationwide debate over whether it was a fitting tribute or an unwise reminder of what happened to Diana.
But Jean is in no doubt and believes the young prince will provide his bride-to-be with all the help and support she will need.
“I’m so pleased that he decided to use his mother’s ring,” she says. “I think he will look after Kate well.
“I didn’t like Princess Diana’s wedding dress much so I’m looking forward to seeing Kate’s dress. She’s very slim so I’m sure she will choose a lovely dress.”
Jean has followed the royal family for as long as she can remember and tries to attend their visits to see them in person.
“I’ve always followed the Queen and went to see her in Preston in 1977 for the Silver Jubilee,” she recalls. “I remember when the Queen got married and I also shook hands with Princess Diana when she came to Carlisle.
“More recently, I saw Prince Charles in Mungrisdale when he opened the village hall.
“I think people do like the royal family.”
For Wendy Campbell from Aspatria the wedding announcement came as a surprise, but she’s already arranging to fly her flags on the couple’s big day.
And she believes the big occasion will improve the recession-hit nation’s mood and give disaster-hit Cumbrians a much-needed lift following the traumas of the floods and the Derrick Bird shootings.
“It’s great news,” says Wendy, who is passionate about the monarchy. “I wasn’t expecting it to happen. I’ll be putting my flags out on their wedding day.”
“It’s something to look forward to. I think it will take our minds off things such as the floods.
“Everybody misses Diana and I think Kate can fill her shoes.
“I think she’ll wear a big dress or have a long train if they get married at Westminster Abbey, but I think they should be left alone now to plan the wedding.”
The world will be watching Kate as she walks down the aisle and already there is huge debate about her dress and the designer she’ll choose.
Carol Roberts, owner of Carol Roberts Couture Bridal, Carlisle, has no doubt that Kate will look stunning whatever dress she chooses.
“She is absolutely beautiful and will look stunning in anything,” she says. “I think she’ll suit a lace dress with a long train and a bit or sparkle.
“It should be quite dramatic but not over the top.
“Times have moved on since Princess Diana’s wedding and I don’t think Kate will suit a meringue style dress.
“There will be lots of speculation about it and I’m sure designers will already be putting sketches together.
“The dress will have a huge influence as a lot of girls will want something similar.
“It’s really exciting. We haven’t had anything this big for a long time.
“Some brides are worried the wedding will be on the same day as their wedding and it will take the shine off their day but I think there should look at the positives.”
Phillip Hodson, fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, thinks that while cynics will say the announcement is well-timed to raise spirits during the recession, the wedding and the lead-up to it will make us all feel more cheerful.
He says: “The royal family are a soap opera: a multi-generational dysfunctional unit, which we all recognise in ourselves – even if we do occasionally feel jealous of their wealth.”
For the same reason that a global television audience of 750 million tuned in to see Charles and Diana get married in 1981, a staggering number will doubtless gather around their TV sets on one as-yet-to-be-named day in spring/summer 2011.
“This announcement makes us think of our children, our friends, and everyone we know who’s in love. The emotion surrounding this event will be like Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor multiplied by 100. It will be a joy – a pageant, party, and show wrapped into one,” explains Hodson. “And since we’re an ageing nation, there’ll be huge sentimentality among older people towards it.”
But how deep do such sentiments go? According to Oliver Burkeman, author of How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done, due to be published early next year, it’s hard to measure the significance of our reactions.
“Most psychology studies have focused on negative news,” he says. “Watching coverage of wars and humanitarian crises unsurprisingly makes people feel more stressed and anxious – but it makes sense that positive news might have the reverse effect.”
Go back three decades and the nation was gripped by royal wedding fever. Throughout her life, the public’s love for Princess Diana seemed limitless. But as the apparently perfect veneer of her marriage began to crack, so did our belief in fairytale happy endings.
Burkeman wonders whether we’ll ever feel that level of joy again.
“Whether a royal wedding can still have that kind of impact depends on attitudes to the monarchy,” he says. “The days of deference are gone so, for most people, the royals are like any other celebrities – they fascinate us, but are quite capable of irritating us too.”
Now that our fairytale princess is gone, he even suggests that a major royal wedding could actually have a negative consequence on the nation’s mood.
He says: “Happiness is largely based on comparing ourselves with other people.
“Among people who aren’t huge fans of the monarchy to start with, a lavish and expensive wedding could quite easily make people feel worse about their own situation.”
Hodson agrees there could be anger.
“There will be resentment towards Kate about her inherited wealth from her family, and her husband,” he says. “It’s fine when we’re all feeling OK about our lives, but when people are choosing between the car and the kids, so to speak, it’s tricky to feel joy for others.”
In order to win over the nation, Hodson suggests Kate begins a charm offensive.
“Whether she can turn into a real princess is a challenge. At the moment, she seems like a classic Sloane Ranger – an attractive west London woman. She needs that touch of magic.
When people met Diana they started to shake. I saw that happen.”
While she may be a commoner, without even a ‘Lady’ to her name, what 28-year-old Kate lacks in blue blood, she seems to make up for in self-assurance and poise.
Perhaps all she needs to know is that a memorable and very public wedding can win people’s hearts and minds.
First published at 11:39, Thursday, 18 November 2010
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk