We're invited to (watch) a young British couple's wedding blowout
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It's party time this week in London, and an event there Friday will be something you haven't seen before: A royal bash that turns a 29-year-old woman into a princess. It may sound like a fairy tale, but is the real deal for Kate Middleton and Prince William -- a 28-year-old future king of England, part of the United Kingdom (U.K.) He's the son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who died in a 1997 Paris car crash when William was 15. The couple met as university students in 2001 and got engaged last November. They'll exchange marriage vows Friday at Westminster Abbey, an ancient landmark in Britain's capital where kings and queens have received their crowns and 15 other royal weddings took place. It's one of the world's best-known churches.
This will be far from a small, understated ceremony. The groom's grandmother is Queen Elizabeth, after all, and the global TV audience will reach tens of millions. Take a look at other figures: 1,900 wedding guests, including more than 50 royal family members; reception lunch at Buckingham Palace for 650 people; more than 8,000 broadcast reporters and 140 broadcast trucks. Anchors from all U.S. news networks are among journalists jamming London. Even YouTube will stream live coverage for four hours early Friday on its Royal Channel, and some cruise lines will show the nuptials via huge on-deck screens.
More tidbits: The bride reportedly won't include "obey" in her vows when she promises to "love, comfort, honor and keep" her new husband. The groom, a Royal Air Force helicopter rescue pilot, will wear his military dress uniform -- as his dad did for the 1981 marriage to Princess Diana, attended by 3,500 guests. The couple plan to leave the ceremony in a glass-enclosed carriage, with a limousine as backup if it rains. The church's 10 bells will chime for more than three hours after the event. Celebrity guests include singer Elton John and soccer star David Beckham, who are British.
CNN host says: "It's two Super Bowls and an American Idol finale. For a few hours, people might not be thinking about all the terrible things going on in the world or in their lives. They'll be cheering on this couple. I think we need stuff like that." -- Piers Morgan, talk show host who's British
Professor says: "It's a television event that happens every 30 years. In the United States, we have celebrities, but we don't have royalty or a monarchy. It will be exciting." -- Paul Levinson, communications and media studies specialist, Fordham University in New York
TV executive says: "There will be plenty of options for anyone who wants to watch the wedding. I'm sure it will air on at least half a dozen other stations. We'll be the option for people who are looking for the latest news." -- Dan Batchelor, general manager, WLNS-TV in Lansing, Mich., which will break away from CBS live coverage for local news
Front Page Talking Points is written by
Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
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