News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

May 3, 2011

MS.TAKES: Will and Kate gave reason to feel good

TERRE HAUTE — I am a confirmed Anglophile — history, drama, poetry, novels, royal family, you name it. But no, I did not get up at 4 a.m. to watch William and Kate swear eternal love. I figured I’d catch the highlights as a rerun a bit later in the day, and I was right.

Even if my invitation had not been lost in the mail — and surely that’s what happened? — I probably would not have attended in person. For one thing, I don’t like hats and that seemed to be the costume of the day. For another thing, the crowds were overwhelming. If I had fainted with joy, there would not have been room to fall down. I’d have had to wait to be carried along with the surge of humanity.

My Best Friend and I were talking about it the other day. There were a few malcontents who groused about the expense, but there were so many more who were toasting the royal couple with a pint at their local pub and wishing them well. Judging from the crowds gathered along the route and in front of Buckingham Palace, there were far more British citizens who felt good about the whole thing.

And that was the point my BF made. The majority of Brits were in a decided “feel good” mood about the celebration and were taking pride in their country doing a positive thing. Nothing seemed to dampen the feeling of goodwill and “oneness” of the nation as the Queen’s grandson embarked on married life with one whom the more dedicated royalists referred to as “a commoner.”

But don’t worry about Kate. When she and William were college dates and the press began to haunt her every move, one reporter said, “You are lucky to be dating William.” Without missing a beat, she replied, “He’s lucky to be dating me.”

Although it seemed that the entire population of the British Isles were in London last Friday, celebrations went on in the hinterlands. “‘Ere’s to the kids. God bless ’em,” roared one celebrant as he hoisted his pint.

Maybe the price tag was a bit much in a time of financial austerity, but as my BF noted, “When was the last time OUR country came together to celebrate a joyous occasion?” You know, I couldn’t think of one.

We seem obsessed with observing the anniversaries of tragedy. We can’t let 9/11 pass without a tear. We remember the bombing of Oklahoma City and the tragedy of Katrina. Heck, we are even asked to “Remember the Maine” and “Remember Pearl Harbor.” We just can’t seem to be happy. Maybe that’s why I’m an Anglophile.

William and Kate seem like nice kids.

I hope they do live happily ever after.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star education reporter. Her personal columns have appeared on this page for more than 20 years. Send e-mail to opinion@tribstar.com.

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