November 21, 2010 1:36:00 AM
Prince William of England has finally proposed to his longtime love, Kate Middleton. This is big news all over the world.
"Who cares?" Chris keeps saying. Well, evidently a lot of people, judging from the press.
The poor girl is under microscopic scrutiny. Most of the criticism seems stupid to Americans. That she is a commoner, not of royal blood, is apparently a huge concern to the British.
She does, however, get some praise and approval for her beauty and style. The similarities to her fiancé''s mother, Princess Diana, are inspiring voluminous comparisons and media hype.
Kate is quite pretty, with a regal fashion sense. She has been photographed in outfits similar to some of Diana''s. (And those photos have been published, side by side, on the Internet.) This girl is a fashionista and looks great in hats. Let''s face it, is anything else really important?
(Well, there is that little issue of producing a male heir. Anne Boleyn lost her head over that matter. But, since Kate is not yet "Queen," it is too soon to be concerned.)
Who can forget the big to-do over the nuptials of Charles and Diana? It all seems so recent. Perhaps 1981 is not really "recent." But, a small amount of pomp and posturing goes a very long way.
In the words of Yogi Berra, "It''s déjà vu all over again." This time, the prince looks much like his fragile, blonde mother. But, look closely, it''s the bride-to-be who is wearing Diana''s engagement ring. Kate must like it, since she is obviously color coordinating her clothing to match the deep blue jewel.
I can''t help but think how much that diamond-framed, sapphire reminds me of Diana''s short and tragic life. She was so painfully unhappy, much of her sadness orchestrated by Charles and the royal family.
The ring, with its huge, blue stone will always be associated with the Princess of Wales. (Just as Jackie Kennedy''s blood-splattered, Schiaparelli Pink Chanel suit will forever be connected to our great tragedy.) It is a heartbreaking reminder.
Perhaps Kate and William are far removed from the poignant and miserable marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. They may be so in love that they are blinded to the connection that piece of jewelry has to a troubled relationship. Truly, they were too young to remember much of Diana''s suffering.
I sincerely wish this bride and groom much happiness. Any marriage is a challenge, no matter that theirs will be played out in a fish bowl as big as the globe. My hope is that Prince William genuinely loves his beautiful Kate, and that he is not being pressured into marrying a baby mill for the royal lineage. English nobility has a bad track record for those sorts of choices.
Next spring, cathedral bells will peal for the Prince and his bride. English ladies and gentlemen (and probably a few peasants) will crowd the streets to catch a glimpse of the happy couple. The alluring, and very fashion-forward, bride will be polished and camera-ready.
The English will be proud. Some are probably thinking, "At least she doesn''t look like Camilla."
Chris may not care. But the rest of the world is watching, and we all hope that the skies and her ring will be the only things that are blue.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina. E-mail reaches her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.