Friday, April 22, 2011

The royal wedding; a little fantasy for all of us?

For the past several months it has been hard to pick up an entertainment magazine or catch a news broadcast without at least a mention of the upcoming royal wedding extravaganza.

On April 29th at precisely 11 a.m., Prince William of Wales will marry Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey. The question is why has there been such a media blitz of the event in the United States when they're not even our royalty?

"The royal wedding is a true-life manifestation of childhood fantasy. All the kings and queens and princes and princesses come to life and for one day, fantasy and reality get mixed. It grabs our attention," explains Josh Klapow, Ph.D., a UAB psychologist.


"The visual spectacle is important in and of itself. The aesthetics, the beauty - it is an event that simply speaks to the highest levels of luxury. It shows a wedding with no budget restrictions and that in some ways speaks to the materialistic fantasies of Americans," says Klapow.

Ah, yes. A blow-out wedding. That's appealing. Especially if you could crash it. But while most of us will never experience an event of this capacity for ourselves, Klapow points out it is a good distraction from all the bad news in the media.

"In times of crisis, we need a break," he says. We've had plenty of crisis (see Charlie Sheen's crazy train). "The emotional drain of the world's problems has a global taxing effect. The royal wedding is an opportunity to close our eyes, leave the daily grind and the stress of the world, and become engaged in what our childhood dreams are made of."

This unique event will be broadcast worldwide on television, internet (via the "Royal Channel live stream, natch") and radio. Estimates are that two BILLION people will tune in for the coverage, which, in the U.S., will begin as early as 4 a.m. ET. You might want to take your royal wedding with a princely-sized cup o' joe.

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