"The guys in the office are pretty stoked about the Aston Martin the Royal couple just drove around in," twittered CNN Showbiz Tonight reporter Brittany Kaplan a couple of minutes ago as the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Cambridge motored off from the first royal wedding reception to Clarence house with Prince William at the wheel, the getaway car bedecked with ribbons and trailing balloons. "He's making one of the points they wanted to make," added another CNN commentor on the scene near Buckingham Palace: Amidst all the glamor, "he wants to feel freer, in charge, trying to create a sense of normalcy." A "People's Princess" kind of thing, but with decorum. (AP Photo)
"Most Worthless Breaking News Alert Ever?' headlined Steve L. Taylor at Outside the Beltway, signaling fellow members of the Fuddy-Duddy community that for discerning fellows like himself, the pageantry and romance of Wills's and Kate's royal wedding that had filled the airwaves and swelled hearts and tear ducts around the world — an estimated two billion watched — early morning (ET) were a trivial distraction from more important matters. Like Stacy McCain's little Princess, we ourselves were enraptured, but Taylor and a lot of opinionators out there in the twittersphere, blogosphere and on TV — yes you, Shepard Smith — missed the story: It's the optics, stupid. "It was just so lovely to watch," said one CNN commenter. Swept up in the overwhelming sense of community and good humor amongst well wishers outside Buckingham Palace following the Westminster Abbey ceremony, she got the scoop:
The couple is being seen by so many as England's future.
And despite a sluggish economy and the indignities of socialized medicine, that future's looking up. We're reminded of the Duke of Cambridge's great grandmother, the Queen Mother Elizabeth, who "helped the House of Windsor survive the abdication crisis and cheered Britons on through the horrors of World War II." They say young William has learned from the experience of his parents, tragically exploited throughout their ill-fated marriage by a predatory media. We liked Monica Crowley's take:
The fact that the marriage of Diana and Charles collapsed most spectacularly has a lot of us rooting for his son and his new bride. Kate is adorable, and the two of them look like they really are marrying for love and not for some palace-directed purpose.
There is a lot of hate flying around these days. It's nice to see some true love once in a while. It exists. It was on our televisions (very) early this morning. President Obama once talked of "hope and change." I think William and Kate represent it more truly: hope that their union survives and thrives, and a generational change to a hopelessly stuffy monarchy.
Update: Astute observations from our dear friend Miss Kelly in the comments:
As a good Catholic, I enjoy and respect pageantry, and this event had it in spades. The beautiful music, the architecture of the cathedral, the happy and orderly crowds, the attire and varied uniforms all signifying order, hierarchy, symmetry, beauty - it's the sort of event that says there is order in the world and the adults are in charge again.
Update II: Couldn't resist our British twitterfriend The Aged P's "Reflections":
The sheer enthusiasm and goodwill of the people who came to watch disarmed my pessimism … They came as individuals, families, neighbours and friends of their own free will to celebrate a joyous event. They came with banners, flags and placards that proclaimed a patriotic pride and messages of affection and goodwill for two young people who were about to make a public pledge of love and commitment … It augurs well for the future, I fancy … This is a woman who comes from a loving family and therefore knows how to love.
They sound kinda like Tea Party folks on this side of the pond.
Update III: CNN's Brit corrrespondent Richard Quest has the last word:
This was the restoration of the House of Windsor!
Update IV: Instalanche:
Is it all about the optics?