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Why I Didn’t Watch the Royal Wedding

Why I Didn’t Watch the Royal Wedding

Let’s give William and Kate the best gift of all – the gift of privacy.


In case you spent your Passover vacation on another planet – and decided to stay there – you may have missed the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Catherine (Kate) Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday April 29, 2011.

If the fashion police analyzed my every clothing choice, I wouldn’t fare too well either.

As an Englishman in New York, I’m obviously interested in the nuptials of Prince William, who is second in the line of succession to Queen Elizabeth II. Like everybody, I remember where I was when his mother was tragically killed (Jerusalem), and I’ve grown up with him. Yet, I did not watch the royal wedding, and that has nothing to do with the fact that my invitation may have gotten lost somewhere over the pond.

While Prince William and Kate have personally approved a list of memorabilia, including official mugs, plates, biscuit tins and porcelain pill pots, tea-towels and, of course, the official china, I’m not buying into it, literally.

The wedding hysteria and celebrity publicity hoopla surrounding the wedding is at a boiling point, and as the world agonized over the dress, cake and honeymoon, I was serving my own Queen, as we prepared Shabbat Dinner for 50 guests in our Jewish community center.

I vaguely remember the royal wedding of Charles and Diana and not so vaguely remember how Camelot fell in the intervening years. With respect to the House of Windsor, they do have a disastrous record when it comes to nuptials.

Let’s face it—what does one expect in a world of texts and tweets, and celebrity fascination? If the fashion police were to analyze my every clothing choice, I don’t think I would fare too well either.

Interestingly, in a few weeks, Jews around the world will celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. The Talmud describes Shavuot, the day marking the giving of the Torah, as resembling a wedding between the Almighty and the Jewish people. The Almighty as the groom and the Jewish people as the bride; Mount Sinai represents the wedding canopy and the Torah the ring on His bride's finger. Each year on Shavuot we renew our nuptial vows to our Beloved Creator as the word "Shavuot" has the same root as the Hebrew word "shevuah"—an oath.

In a Jewish wedding, after the ceremony, the bride and groom adjourn to a private room called the "yichud" (private) room. The few minutes the couple share alone allude to their new intimate relationship and emphasizes that their absolute privacy be respected.

This is something our dear young royals so badly need.

So if I could give a gift to my dear royals, it would be what Jewish tradition values for young couples in their first year of marriage – privacy. And that’s why I didn’t watch the wedding. While I know it didn’t make much of a difference, I didn’t want another set of prying eyes watching them. Instead, I will just say what my ancestors have been saying for thousands of years at times like this:“Mazal Tov!”

May 1, 2011

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Visitor Comments: 16

(16) veronica martin, June 11, 2011 3:33 PM

I did not watch it either

Here in UK , it is estimated that in Britain 24 million ppeople watched it. But as there are 61 million people in Britain that means that 37 million people IN BRITAIN did NOT watch it . And why would they want to watch a wedding of two people they never met . The sad thing is that people think they do know them. If we assume from this then that 66% of the planet did not watch it ( and dont forget the people in China Africa, South America...who do not have a television ), we can assume that most people did not watch it .

(15) Sarah, May 7, 2011 1:34 AM

This article reminded me of something completely different

I have to say that this article reminded me of something completely different: my experience visiting Holocaust museums - not that I've visited so many, but a handful. Whenever I do so, I avert my eyes from the photographs of unclothed Jews. I don't do so for my own sense of modesty but for theirs. At such a time, when they were treated so horribly and made to do something that was so shameful, I can imagine that they would hope no one would look upon their nakedness. Does my simple act of not looking make a difference? I think it does. I think that G-d is honored when we respect the bodies, clothed or otherwise, of His children. So too perhaps when the author chose not to watch the royal wedding, so it also made a difference. His not watching was a testimony to the sacredness of the marital union, the need for privacy. Sometimes, as they say, "People plan, G-d laughs," but sometimes, just perhaps sometimes, "People plan, and G-d smiles." Just perhaps...

(14) Ben, May 5, 2011 6:11 PM


this just sum's up my opinion on the wedding. way too much hupe and pressure. pls give this young couple some room to chill and sort themselves. enough of the pictures and hype.

(13) J. Poler Fejnman, May 4, 2011 5:42 PM

Very good idea...

interesting article!!

(12) nechama, May 3, 2011 8:32 PM

i gotta agree and disagree

I wholeheartedly agree with the concept of this article, that marriage and anything very special needs to be away from the public eye. At the same, I believe that there was so much good here. Like other people have written here, it certainly was a nice break from all recent sad news headlines. Additionally, like Rabbi Blech said in his article, it gave us a feel for respect of royalty which gives insight into our respect for HaKadosh Baruch Hu.

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