This week there is a wedding going on. Prince Harry, the sixth in line to the British throne, is marrying Megan Markle, an American television actress. Several television stations in Australia are going to be broadcasting the wedding. Documentaries and other television specials this week will be telling the stories about the royal family this week.
I have a hohum approach to the wedding. One, often I am not a fan of weddings. Some are lovely and meaningful, but often times they are just a big show. Weddings are often more about the big dress, the guest lists, the bouquets, and invitations. Often times the idea of life-long commitment, and the solemnity of the event get forgotten. Two, royal weddings give common brides and grooms unrealistic expectations for their weddings. Statistics show that the average amount spent on a wedding increases dramatically after a royal wedding as people try to emulate the princes and princesses. And with the average wedding in Australia costing over $50,000 now, I wonder how much more common couples can afford? Surely the million plus pounds spend on this one day could be spent on more needy causes. How many hungry people could be fed instead of celebrating one special day for one well known couple? Three, Prince Harry will almost assuredly never be King and I never watched Suits so I don't really know much about Megan Markle either. Four, I am not sure how the traditional monarchy really fits in to life in the the 21st century.
Despite these factors, I will probably watch the wedding. I will want to see the dress. I will watch the wedding liturgy. I will think of the history of past royal weddings. And I have a friend who is an invited guest to the wedding. Maybe the camera might show a glimpse of her.
The royal wedding holds the attention of so many this week. But in so doing, what other events are the world press ignoring. I think of the innocent folks who were killed in Surabaya this week- their crime going to church. I think of the thousands of farmers in our state, struggling to make ends meet as they face the devastation of severe drought. I think of the at least 58 Palestinians killed this week as tensions have mounted in Israel and Palestine with the decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I think of how many women still are sexually harassed despite the publicity of the MeToo movement. I think of the refugees on Manus and Nauru. There are so many things that really need attention that will be pushed aside for this wedding. Maybe that is good. Maybe we need to forget the problems of the world for a bit. But I hope that those who watch the wedding for the fairy tale won't forget that for so many in our world- life is far from a fairy tale.
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