I’m pleased to say that my cynicism has been knocked to one side this week and instead of feeling that the world is an evil place with individuals only out for what they can get and never mind the consequences, I can see a united, cohesive, caring community, which promises a brighter future for everyone. What’s brought about this change?
The main reason is that impossible to miss event: the Royal Wedding. When it was announced last November, my cynical nature stepped in. Oh, here we go again, another bank vault of money spent on something that won’t last. After all, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Charles all had marriages that ended at least in divorce, if not in all sorts of messes and scandals. What a waste of time and money. So it was with great weariness and lack of interest that I responded to the mounting anticipation. But I couldn’t keep it up. Slowly little seeds of interest were sprouting in my mind, no matter how hard I refused to water them or even actively trampled on them. What would it be like, what would they look like, how would they react, how would others behave, would it be different to the others? I couldn’t help myself.
Consequently, I found myself settling in my armchair on the morning of 29th April with a cup of tea in one hand and a left-over Easter egg in the other. I was enticed by the crowds waving their Union Jacks having endured a cold night camping along the Mall to ensure that they got a longed-for glimpse of the couple, of the spirit of excitement of witnessing this rare event and being able to tell their children and grandchildren that they had been there. It might seem naive of them to think that fairy tale happy endings could come true but there was no doubt it was infectious. I felt myself wanting to join them, to be part of this momentous occasion, to share their happiness and soak up the atmosphere of camaraderie, people in these depressing, doom-laden times coming together in a united display of hope and optimism. It’s what the British do best.
And so for a few hours on Friday, I chucked my cynicism in the trash and allowed myself to bathe in the communal happiness. I marvelled at the beauty of the Abbey, the elegance and composure of the Royal Couple and their guests, the secretly shared comments, so normal and human between a couple, the happiness, laughter and radiant smiles, the cheer of the crowd perceptible in the solemn silence of the Abbey after they were pronounced man and wife.
The cynic might still suggest that it won’t last. After all, marriage isn’t easy at the best of times, let alone with the spotlight of the world on you. But what does that matter? The most important thing is to believe that it will, to cultivate your sense of hope, to preserve your feeling of optimism. Waking up to Saturday sunshine, I can’t help but feel that today the world is a brighter place.