So, we have just enjoyed (or endured) a three-day-weekend-ful of Royale with Cheese. One overly-enthusiastic BBC World Service reporter exclaimed last night that the world (yes, the world) has been “captivated” by the Royal Wedding. If by captivated she meant held hostage then I would agree. Nothing like a Royal Wedding to turn news reporting organizations into fawning spinoffs of Entertainment Tonight.
That said, over our morning coffee we partook in an hour or so of the televised festivities. My favorite moments were the performance of “Stand By Me” by a London gospel choir and the beautiful cello pieces by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, although I felt the song selections were a bit somber for the occasion.
So much had to come together to put on this spectacle. So many talented people, from florists to choir directors to horse handlers to the printers of the large-print programs, gave their best to make this event a superlative one, worthy of a possibly-future king.
And then, like all wedding celebrations, it ended the day it started.
You know what other famous Brit inspired a lot of talented people to get together for an event featuring outstanding musical performances? Hint: the year was 1971 and the Brit was a former Beatle, who would be snubbed for knighthood by this same Royal Family. The Concert for Bangladesh organized and headlined by George Harrison is credited for raising $12 million for Bangladesh relief. (That would be $45 million in 2018 dollars.)
By contrast, the Royal Wedding was estimated to cost $43 million, most of which was paid for security. So George Harrison and his generous musical friends outspent the Royals on something that really mattered, and there was no carriage ride for them afterwards, only the satisfaction of having done something important.