EDITORIAL – A Royal occasion indeed
And did those feet in ancient time / Walk upon England’s mountains green? / And was the holy Lamb of GodOn England’s pleasant pastures seen? / And did the countenance divine / Shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem builded here / Among those dark satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold! / Bring me my arrows of desire! / Bring me my spear! O clouds unfold! / Bring me my chariots of fire! / I will not cease from metal fight; / Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand / Till we have built JerusalemIn England’s green and pleasant land.
FOR MORE THAN a fleeting moment yesterday England was both pleasant and green for an estimated two billion viewers in more than 180 countries around the globe who tuned in for the Royal Wedding.
The fairytale story of a British “commoner” turned princess with the likelihood of becoming Queen captured the hearts and minds of people everywhere, including several well-wishers right here in Barbados, who adjusted their body clocks in order to make the 3 a.m. start.
For three hours at least, the myriad of global problems seemed rather small. There was no talk of Britain’s economic deficit, of any war or fighting in North Africa, as love filled the air.
The most touching moments, as reported by British television fans, came when the bride Kate Middleton arrived at Westminister and as she later rode by horse-driven carriage at the side of her husband Prince William to Buckingham Palace, where the nuptials were sealed with a public kiss.
Thousands of Union Jacks fluttered in the breeze, also signalling Britain’s finest hour.
At the height of the Royal Wedding ceremony – the 16th of its kind to be held at the historic Westminster Abbey – global Internet traffic was said to be just less than 5.4-million page views a minute, according to Akamai, an Internet service provider and traffic monitor.
It noted that the wedding, streamed by YouTube and other sites, also surpassed other major video events, like Michael Jackson’s funeral and the inauguration of President Barack Obama, to make for the sixth biggest event in the history of the World Wide Web.
More than 8 500 journalists covered the wedding in London alone also making for the biggest British outside broadcast of recent times.
Then there were close to 2 000 specially invited guests including several local and foreign dignitaries, as well as the famous Elton John and David and Victoria Beckham.
The girl who grew up in Bucklebury also ensured that the village postman and shopkeeper were not left out of the big do.
But what is the future for the British monarchy? And why do we even care
The achievement of our political independence nearly 45 years ago and our more recent abolition of appeals to the British Privy Council should serve as strong reminders yet of efforts taken thus far to remove the remaining vestiges of our colonial past.
At a start of a new era of British monarchy, let there be no misguided notion therefore of us permanently turning back the clock.
So today we join with family, supporters and friends in extending the best of wishes to the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.