The first thing to say is thank God for the extra holiday – and you don’t need to feel obliged for a moment to watch the wedding – they’re paying for it with your money anyway.
Next, what’s the key ‘sub‘ or ‘covert‘ text to look out for? Well here’s my take on that: the BBC in particular will be very keen to stress the links with us ‘common’ people. The key to this connection is the ‘People’s Princess’ with which Blair dubbed Diana, so links back to Diana may be in the commentary. Comparisons of dress, style, comportment will all be made – and I suspect there will be frequent references to ‘that ring‘ – you know the blue sapphire that was Diana’s ring. This object, the ring, has connections to Diana, reinforces her ‘genes’ in Will and touches Kate through enrolling her in the Diana side to the Royals. If the Winsdors are smart they will encourage this, though I don’t expect any ‘touchy feely’ behaviour from them. They will look as well-turned out and wooden as they always do on such occasions.
ITV may focus more on the stuff, the kit, the carriages, the horses, the dresses – and hopefully tell us what is going through Kate’s mind as she goes through the day. ITV will also pick out Kate’s family/relations/ex-boyfriends, playing the Soap card. One channel or another will have invited a friend/relative of Kate’s into the studio or on video link.
The next thing will be the repeated reference to the modernity (i.e. common touch & informality) of the couple. Everyone knows the Windsors are out of touch and driven by protocol, so we will be assured that the incoming king and his ‘commoner’ bride will put all that to rights. Not sure about this myself – he looks more and more like Charles every time I see him! I wish him well in this endeavour.
For these reasons, I don’t think her dress will have a long train. That would suggest too much that she is being ‘entrained’ into the establishment. She will either have no train or a short one if she’s smart.
Next, watch out for the ‘you may kiss the bride’ moment. This will be the first real possibility for informality and to notice how they contact/hold/each other. Will they have such a kiss? Will it be a ‘royal peck’ or the intimacy of two love-birds, happily released into each other for a few seconds? This is a key moment: you may glean a lot about the courage of the couple to be themselves (or not) with the world’s eyes on them from this exchange.
There will be quite a lot of shots and commentary on the audience. BBC will focus more on the formal representatives of states, institutions, charities etc. while ITV will notice the TV stars and celebrities. Let’s hope for at least one comic costume – a jester – to liven things up. Could be Elton, if he’s been invited, though David Beckham often sports a good line in high camp collars or cummerbunds. I think Posh will look demure.