Thirty years ago, Charles, Prince of Wales, married Lady Diana Spencer in a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The ceremony captured the collective eyes and imaginations of billions of people worldwide.
For an entire generation of people, it was the revitalization of the romantic and mythical nature of the monarchy.
The feelings were fueled by the compassionate nature and charisma of Diana, who became the face of the royal family in the mind of the public.
Her high-profile charity work made her extraordinarily popular even after her divorce from Charles in 1996. Her untimely death in 1997 made her iconic.
In the years since Diana’s death, the monarchy began to take a hit in public opinion, mostly due to distaste for Charles, his second marriage and the way the royal family shunned Diana after her divorce.
Fortunately for the royal family, another marriage has thrown them back into the limelight.
Last Saturday, Prince William and Kate Middleton were married at Westminster Abbey in London, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Much like the wedding of his parents, William’s nuptials were estimated to attract the attention of nearly two billion people worldwide, including quite a few of John Carroll’s own students.
Freshmen Alexandria Flynn, Catie Kirsch, and Katie Mulholland woke up at 4 a.m. to watch the wedding live. Why? To be part of history, the group said. “I was interested in seeing that big part of history,” Mulholland said. “I also wanted to see the dress and especially the royal kiss.”
“It was also nice to see that Kate did her own makeup and hair.” Mulholland added.
The group added that while they weren’t able to stay up for the entire event, they made sure to watch the full recap again in the morning.
Freshmen Anna Winberg and her friend Erica Ruszczyk, also chose to stay up in the Pacelli lounge because of the history of the moment.
“It wouldn’t have been the same to watch the wedding on recap,” said Winberg. “It’s special because it only happens every few decades.”
After the wedding, William and Catherine chose to return to Buckingham Palace and forego a honeymoon for the immediate future.
The duke is expected to return to his duties as a search and rescue pilot, while the duchess will spend time with her new family and become better acquainted with her new role. The couple is expected to privately honeymoon somewhere in Scotland.
Despite William not being the direct heir to the throne, the wedding drew widespread speculation and attention from the media.
Some believe William should pass over Charles and become king.
“It’s possible that William could be the one to be king,” said Flynn.
Mulholland agreed. “I think William is more up to date with issues and easier to identify with.”
William has expressed his disinterest in the monarchy as this point in his life and he has made it clear his father needed to be king first. He seems completely content with his service to the armed forces and doesn’t appear to want more than that on his mind right now.
Whatever he chooses, it is clear that the story of William and Kate has captured the attention of millions worldwide.