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Consider This: The Royal Wedding And The Modern Monarchy

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I'll have to admit that while I'm generally bored by stories about pomp, passion and pageantry, I was caught up in the wedding excitement too. I asked myself why. Was it some sort of enchantment with royalty? No, it couldn't be that. I tend to agree with those who feel that in this age of democracy, the monarchy is somewhat an anachronism.

Was it the personalities of the bride and the groom, the good looks? Well, to a certain extent, yes.

But I finally concluded that the real explanation is that I am an anglophile. I think that my love and respect for the British people go back to my service in World War II. I was in the 8th Air Force based in England. It may have been stupidity on my part, but when I wasn't dropping bombs on Germany, I went to London to sweat off the blitz and buzz bombs.

Who could forget the bravery, the sacrifice, the discipline the Brits had then. The thousands of people, whole families slept on the platforms of the underground – the subway stations, night after night.

Or the times I was in the theater, when the air raid alarm was sounded. Someone would appear on stage with a sign, saying the alert has sounded, the performance will continue. We could hear the bombs exploding, but I never saw anybody leave.

My wife Sandy and I went to Normandy on the 50th anniversary of D-Day. We were on a British Cunard Line cruise ship, and the Royal Yacht Retalia was tied up alongside. I still remember the thrill that we experienced when Queen Elizabeth appeared on deck with President Bill Clinton.

And we all yelled, "Hip, hip hooray!"

Well, those memories go back to 1944. The world has changed a lot since then. And so has England. Millions of immigrants from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa have settled there. The national characters changed somewhat. The stoicism, the discipline that I saw is much less a part of the culture. It was very evident last Friday though that whatever changes may have developed the wedding of William and Kate brought back much of the pride and the patriotism, which has kept Britain a great nation for so many centuries.

That's one of the nice purposes of the monarchy nowadays. And the reason that many people think the Royal wedding may give renewed luster to a crown which was showing some tarnish.

Hip Hip Horray!


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