Media Fatigue

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard plenty of people moaning about the Royal Wedding, customers, staff, the teller at the local bank, family – pretty much everyone said they were heartily sick of it and couldn’t wait for it to be over. It dominated every Newspaper, and every TV newscast.

And then today no-one could think of anything else. Our town (and probably every other town across the United Kingdom) was completely dead as everyone gathered around the TV or headed into London, where more than a million people congregated. And later, as people began trickling into the shop, the only topic of the conversation was the Wedding, Will and Kate, and variations thereof.

The fatigue wasn’t with the royals or the wedding itself, but with the media coverage leading up to it.

I think Toby Young sums up why the wedding proved so popular:

The most striking thing about the crowds on occasions like this is the extraordinary bonhomie, the good will – the kind of mood you’d expect to encounter at a family gathering. It’s as if people are celebrating the wedding of one of their own, rather than some distant, aloof figure. My late father, Michael Young, co-authored an essay about the Coronation for Sociology Review with Edward Shils and they were both struck by the intimacy and affection that seemed to begin with the Royal family and then spread from them to encompass the whole nation. “On this occasion one family was knit together with another in one great national family through identification with the monarchy,” they wrote. “A general warmth and congeniality permeated relations even with strangers.”