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The Royal Family and Me by Gary Roedemeier

The Royal Family and Me by Gary Roedemeier

by Gary Roedemeier

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 2, 2011 at 10:12 AM

(WHAS11) - I admit, I'm not a true follower of royalty.
I didn't get up at 4:30 to watch the wedding of William and Kate.
I saw a 45 minute replay about 9 a.m. with Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters battling for air time.
The taped version was probably better. I saw all the best of the pomp and carriages. The British have perfected pomp over the centuries. With scarlet uniforms, mounted cavalry, and the best Rolls Royce has to offer, the royals can roll out a parade at a moment's notice.
Give them a few months and you have Friday April 29, with a readymade background of palaces and gardens, and the ever present adoring masses, who never tire of waving and cheering.
Of course, many new Americans evacuated Great Britain to avoid such homage to a royal family, but still we seem to miss them, even after a couple of centuries on our own.
We have a connection to the royals. Hey, the queen and I go back a long way.
Queen Elizabeth II was the first TV queen. The wedding of William and Kate was just the latest episode in the Windsor's long running reality show.
I saw the Queen's coronation on a black and white screen in 1953. But our first in person meeting would come in the summer of 1963. I was a Midshipman in the U.S. Navy standing on a street corner in Edinburgh, Scotland. A crowd had gathered and a gentleman standing next to meet revealed that the Queen would be passing us very soon to open the Scottish Parliament.
I became one of the adoring masses and soon a tan Rolls Royce passed very close to us carrying the Queen. She looked directly at our group, smiled and waved her white gloved hand. It was a chance meeting, but memorable, at least for me.
Years would pass, and the world watched as Elizabeth's son Charles wed the ill-fated Diana. And with that the television dynasty in Great Britain would get legs as a soap opera. There would be troubled marriages, divorces and death, all under the glare of tabloid journalism.
And yet, the lady I saw on the streets of Scotland would remain very much the Queen. She seemed stolid and unmoved by the events that swirled about her.  It was in some places viewed as a lack of compassion when Diana would die in a car crash. But a speech just before Diana's funeral softened some of that public hostility.
And now approaching sixty years on the throne, the Queen witnessed today a time of hope for the future of the monarchy and her family.
Prince William and Kate Middleton played out the fairy tale marriage of the Prince and the commoner and gave the impression that they are just pretty common young people hopeful of leading a normal, or near normal life.
After the pomp and the ceremony, they beat it out of the palace in a little two seater Astin Martin sports car. And the world was watching, just as they watched his mother and Prince Charles head into the future.
But maybe this time, it will be different. William and Kate do seem more mature. And perhaps this young married couple can be a good example for our time.
Let's hope the love that is in their eyes right now is enduring. Let's hope that they can be an example of loyalty to each other and service to their country and their world.  Let's hope the long running story of the royals turns on a young couple who dispense with pretense and show us what love is all about.
 
     
 

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