Like millions of other Americans, I awoke in the wee hours of the morning and watched the royal wedding, of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I liked it.
The ceremony and its attendant pageantry was well-organized and ran smoothly, in accordance with the traditions of the royal family. The vows themselves were essentially the same as that of a typical American wedding.
Why do so many Americans follow the British royal family? There are other royal houses in the Western world, including the Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and Danish royal families, any of which would be interesting to follow.
Yet the British royal family is by far the best-known to Americans. Is it not because of the longstanding links of history, culture and blood that still connect our country with Britain? Our political separation from Britain over two centuries ago did not sever those links.
As John Adams pointed out, the War of Independence was not a war against the English character. English culture was the bedrock upon which our nation was founded.
In fact, the historical relationship between the English Monarch and the Parliament contributed to some of the constitutional principle and customs governing the relationship between the U.S. President and Congress.
Certainly, The contemporary United Kingdom is beset with problems. Yet the day of the wedding was one of rejoicing.
I liked the flyover (or as the British call it, the ”flypast”) that took place when the royal family was on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. There were two groups of planes. There were four contemporary Royal Air Force planes, and then there were 3 World War II planes — a Spitfire, a Hurricane and a Lancaster bomber. These old planes are actually part of an RAF unit composed of WWII aircraft, known as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Click here for a video of the flypast.
Barack Obama, by the way, is related to the royal family, on the maternal side. Prince William is Obama’s 17th cousin, once removed.
There was some interesting headgear among some of the ladies present. Victoria Beckham's hat reminds me of a miner's light. William's cousin Beatrice wore a rather goofy looking - well, IÂ´m not sure what you call it, but here it is. And Prime Minister David Cameron's wife Samantha chose to break tradition and attend without any hat.
The wedding is over and I wish William and Kate the best.