The prince has chosen a bride. A commoner will become a princess. The future king of England has chosen his future queen. Movie stars, athletes, musicians and would-be-celebrities shrink into the shadows compared to the blinding light focused on William and Kate.
All the world takes notice, including the descendents of the rebellious Colonials and the offspring of prisoners consigned to the Outback. We are dazzled by royalty and the age-old Cinderella story lived out in true life. (Well, maybe it isn’t exactly Cinderella. After all, her parents are self-made millionaires.)
Prince William and Kate Middleton were on a holiday with friends in Kenya when he proposed. Choosing “somewhere nice” according to William, a “very romantic” place according to Kate. William slipped the engagement ring on her finger, the same ring worn by his mother, Princess Diana, a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds. On Tuesday they announced the wedding would take place at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011.
The media is giddy with the story. So is my wife. She loves Cinderella stories of any kind, especially true ones. She has carted me off to “Princess Diaries,” “Runaway Bride,” “The Proposal,” “Pride and Prejudice” and others. I take her to these shows because she loves them and I love her. I have spent hours sitting in darkened theaters, the only male in a room full of women. I usually wear my cap and keep it low over my eyes so I won’t be recognized. I excuse myself in the middle of the movie to find refills of popcorn and Coke. I remain seated till all the rest of the moviegoers file out so I won’t be recognized then walk by the entrance to movies like “The Dark Knight” to hide my trail.
Why are we attracted to this English melodrama? Maybe it is the holdover from the age of Victorian Romance. Maybe it is in our blood somewhere, this obsession with royalty, the stuff that made Shakespeare famous. I suspect it has something to do with our own dreams to be lifted out of anonymous obscurity, to have our life suddenly elevated to international and historic importance, like Kate Middleton.
Of course, the Bible indicates that none of us is obscure or anonymous. We are all known. In fact, God has made a proposal to us, to elevate us to royalty and significance. The King of Heaven has offered to place His ring upon our finger if we will accept it. Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” (John 15:16). Peter described followers of Jesus in this way: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9.) In some way, every one of us lives a “Cinderella” story.