The Royal Wedding is upon us….only 11 days left! Have you received your invitation? Perhaps some of your friends are hosting a viewing party. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even travel to New York to attend TLC’s royal viewing party in Times Square on April 29.
Or, you can watch it on TV like the rest of the world. More than two billion viewers are expected to “attend” on April 29, according to many news reports.
What’s interesting about this royal wedding – compared to the last major splash with Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981 – is the media frenzy surrounding the event and the plethora of ways for people to tune in. From Twitter accounts for Clarence House to iPad apps to sold-out mugs, there are more ways to become a part of this wedding without actually being there.
Back in 1981, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook didn’t exist and the Internet was still in its infancy. People turned on their televisions to watch the wedding. One of our staffers here remembers getting up very, very early in the morning to watch the ceremony with her mother. Highlights were shown throughout the day but to see the ceremony in full, one had to wake up to watch it – or at least record the broadcast on the VCR. An estimated 750 million people worldwide watched the nuptials. And they called their friends (on a rotary dial phone – gasp!) to talk about it.
Fast forward 30 years later, and you have multiple ways to participate and share in Royal Wedding 2.0:
- Follow the news on Twitter: @ClarenceHouse, the official Twitter account for news on the prince and the nuptials, has more than 33,000 followers and announced today a new app from Westminster Abbey, called Abbey 3D, that offers a virtual tour with an internal scaled replica so users can “feel” as if they are vising the church.
- There’s (another) app for that: Advertising Age reported that NBC News introduced a free “Royal Wedding” iPad app with hundreds of photos, more than 40 new and archival news reports, an interactive royal-family tree and a countdown to the wedding.
- More ways to watch: Cable channels like TLC have launched a series of programming on the royal family and MSNBC plans to air more than 20 hours of combined coverage on the day of the event.
- Eat their heart out: Papa John’s launches a Prince William and Kate Middleton pizza
- Watch in high def: DVR the program and watch the wedding at your convenience.
One might ask, why do we care? What’s all the fuss about? Perhaps because there has been a deluge of doom-and-gloom news in the last year, from the economic recession to the BP oil spill to the earthquake in Japan, that people – and media – are really looking forward to an uplifting, joyous event. The British royal family still occupies a special fondness in the eyes of many Americans.
With Facebook, Twitter and YouTube skyrocketing in popularity in the last five years, there are myriad ways to share information about the big day and join in the celebration. There are more than 50 Facebook pages dedicated to Prince William and Kate and numerous unofficial Twitter accounts for the royal couple. Marketers are also cashing in on the frenzy with a T-Mobile video spoofing the royal wedding by spoofing a viral wedding video from 2009, complete with a cast of royal family look-alikes and a punchy dance down the aisle.
Fittingly, the video ends with the statement, “One’s life is for sharing,” as the T-Mobile logo flashes into view.
Do you have plans to celebrate the big day?