Wednesday, March 14, 2007

THE Wedding, July 29, 1981

During the morning hours of July 29, 1981, 600,000 people lined the streets of London between Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral to witness the marriage of a 20 year-old nursery school teacher to the future King of England. Lady Diana was the queen of the day, lavishly presented in highest royal fashion and horse-drawn carriages. The global interest in the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana peaked on television that morning with 750,000,000 viewers! It was the most popular broadcast ever at the time, an audience unsurpassed until 1997.

Lady Diana, wearing a 25 ft train and sumptuous, romantic gown, appeared angelic. The event even ended like a fairy tale. The Prince and Princes acesended a balcony; at last, overlooking hundreds of thousands of cheering subjects, they blew kisses and waved.

The cultural shift after this event is part of the fabric of the 1980's. Suddenly, books, movies, and television shows were featuring weddings and royalty. Childrens toys shifted toward princes and princesses and elaborately adorned fairytale horses. Even Barbie joined the royal resurgence with a collection of Princess Diana releases. The decade of the 80s perhaps, in deed, is aptly defined as being on "A Fairy Tale High." Only four months after THE Wedding, television viewers were engrossed in Luke and Laura's wedding from General Hospital.

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