Crowns and Crumpets: Staples Students Attuned to Upcoming Royal Wedding

Crowns and Crumpets: Staples Students Attuned to Upcoming Royal Wedding

This is one of two official portrait photographs Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton have chosen to release to mark their engagement, taken on November 25, 2010, in the Council Chamber in the State Apartment in St James's Palace. (Copyright 2010 Mario Testino) | Photo courtesy of MCT Campus

Ben Reiser ’13 & Bryan Schiavone ’13
News Editors

On April 29, thousands will congregate in London’s Westminster Abbey to witness the marriage of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton. This will be the first Royal Wedding since that of Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales, almost 30 years ago.

The Prince, 28, first met Middleton, 29, while studying at the University of St. Andrews in 2001. Last October, the Prince proposed to Middleton, giving her the same engagement ring that his father, Charles, gave to his late mother, Diana, 16 years before her 1997 death in a car accident at the age of 36.

Since then, the media has been buzzing about what many have been calling the “wedding of the century.” According to British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt during a briefing at a cabinet meeting, an estimated one to two billion viewers around the world will watch live coverage of the event. Native Brit and “America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan says the run-up and live broadcast of the nuptials will be worth “two Super Bowls and an ‘American Idol’ finale all in one.”

Even in Westport, 3,500 miles from London, Staples students plan to tune in to the Royal Wedding.

“It’s a spectacle. It’s a time during which we can forget about all the bad things that are going on. Frankly, I think anything that makes people happy right now benefits the world,” Zoë Ginsberg ’13 said.

For the past few weeks, the Royal Wedding has become a part of daily life for many Staples students. TLC, a television network, has been airing a week-long lineup of Royal Wedding-themed original programming, ranging from documentaries on the history of the Royal Family to special editions of reality series that regularly air on the network, such as “Say Yes to the Dress,” and “What the Sell?!”

Even the “Today Show” on NBC has been in high royal gear — anchors Meredith Viera and Natalie Morales have been in London for the past week reporting on the Royal Wedding, and Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, and Al Roker join coverage there on April 28.

It is also hard for Staples students to avoid the Royal Wedding on the Internet — over the past week, the phrase “William & Kate” has been a trending topic on the social networking website Twitter.

At Staples, for differing reasons, some students plan to come to school late or even skip school entirely to watch the couple wed.

Sarah Cooperman ’13 and her friend Katie Hickson ’13 plan to have a sleepover together the night before the event and wake up at 3 a.m. to drink tea, eat crumpets, and watch it. According to Cooperman, the two may be missing part of first period as a result.

“I figure that an event of this magnitude and general popularity isn’t going to happen very often, so I should take advantage of the opportunity,” Cooperman said. “And don’t get me wrong, Algebra class is very important, but I don’t know how many other future kings will be getting married any time soon.”

Hickson, who moved to America from England in 2002 at the age of seven, finds that Americans are actually more excited for the wedding than people in her home country.

“There’s probably just a Hallmark card for the occasion over there,” Hickson said. “Nevertheless, it is an important day in British history, and I’m looking forward to getting up early and watching the televised event.”

In an April 27 Inklings survey of 50 students during all three lunch waves, it was shown that 36 percent of students plan to watch the Royal Wedding, with such reasons as it being a milestone in British history, and curiosity to see what all the hype is about.

Ginsberg is one of the students that plans to watch the event in its entirety, and is expecting to completely skip school that day.

“It will give me insight into the workings of a monarchy, and there’ll be pretty dresses,” Ginsberg said. “Considering all of the other reasons people use to skip school, this one isn’t really a bad one.”

Conversely, Francisco Delgado ’11 thinks that the fact that many students are skipping school to watch the Royal Wedding is “a little ridiculous,” and that the wedding itself is an “excuse for the media to make news.”

Cara McNiff ’14 says that although she personally would not miss school for such an occasion, students have the right to “do what they want, depending on how important it is to them.”

McNiff also stresses that the public nature of the Royal Wedding is unnecessary.

“I mean, it’s just a wedding, and weddings are for families, not the whole world,” she said.

Daniel Fishkind ’14 adds that students can easily watch the event on the Internet after the school day.

However, Cooperman emphasizes that watching the Royal Wedding live is part of the appeal of the whole event, and watching it afterward would detract from the magic.

“Really, I just don’t think that watching it on YouTube would be nearly as exciting or fun as getting together with friends and celebrating during the moment itself,” Cooperman said.

Principal John Dodig affirms that school policy technically allows students to stay home for the Royal Wedding if a parent calls in and says that their child would not be in school.

“If the parent thinks it’s that important to keep the child home to watch the Royal Wedding, that’s a family matter. Personally, I think it’s ridiculous,” Dodig said. “Anyone in danger of losing credit should be careful.”

Some students that will attending school the day of the Royal Wedding plan to celebrate in school. The girls’ water polo team, for example, will be wearing princess dresses all day to commemorate the event and to generate team spirit for a game that day against Suffield Academy.

“We think it’s what the Queen would have wanted,” Danni McGovern ’11, a captain of the girls’ water polo team, said.

Cooperman, a member of the girls’ water polo team, added that “dressing up as princesses in honor of Kate and William will be a spirited way to celebrate a happy day.”

The Royal Wedding will air on several networks at 4 a.m. with live coverage from Westminster Abbey in London.