Some people have expressed their surprise at my lack of interest in the royal engagement. I blogged about it once here but other than that I have kept my pie hole pretty tightly closed.

Why? Well, primarily because everyone else was talking about it & I didn’t have a lot to say that hadn’t already been said. It’s not like I know them or have any inside information.

However, since it was announced a few weeks back, it seems that every time someone hears my accent and confirms that I am British, it is the next question on their lips. Last week I was sat next to a lovely Canadian woman at a taping of the Jay Leno Tonight Show, and she simply asked me ‘and how do you feel about the big news?’ without context – no reference to an engagement, Prince William or the royals. Luckily I had had enough experience in the weeks prior to understand what on earth she was asking me about.

Now I’m going to pipe up & tell you how I feel, as a Brit living in the US, about the Royal engagement.

1. It is a hugely positive thing for the country;

- Kate provides a great role model to the young women of Britain (and the world). It’s not often you see a woman with such class, elegance and a good university degree gracing our screens. I hate to sound like a prude, but I think some of the women on the TV these days need to learn how to speak, put their clothes back on and learn that more is more. Thank you Kate, for staying classy. I am excited to hear more from her and see what she has to offer.

- Britain needs some positive news. The war, the recession, the cold cold weather (record breaking temperatures this year) – it is not a pile of roses on the BBC these days. Anything that gets people excited and not complaining about the weather or seeing yet another pub close down in the town is good news.

2. It’s very positive for the royals.

- There hasn’t been much love for the royals as of late. Possibly two of the most popular royals in my mind (Lady Diana and the Queen’s Mother) are unfortunately no longer with us, and we are left with news of Charles and Camilla and the Queen. Not that I dislike any of them but they are hardly what you would call uplifting, inspiring characters. I can’t get excited about any of them.
William, however, has been thrust into the spotlight after his big news, and he is someone who does make you sit up and listen. He’s a bit dorky (in the most loveable way) but he is smiley, strong-willed and hugely like able. And as I mentioned in point 1 Kate has quite the presence too.
I like them.

3. It’s great for marriage!

2010 saw divorces that we could never have predicted – Kate Winslet & Sam Mendes, Sandra Bullock & Jesse James, Courteney Cox & David Arquette (trial separation), Eva Longoria & Tony Parker. Then there was Al and Tipper Gore who split after 40 years of marriage! It paints a pretty depressing picture for marriage and the happily ever afters we learned from Disney.

Then in November, Times magazine ran the headline ‘Who Needs Marriage?’ and reported that in a survey carried out by the The Pew Research Group, “nearly 40% of us think marriage is obsolete”, and that “44% of Americans under 30 believe marriage is heading for extinction”.

Courtesy of Time Magazine

I don’t believe that there is a right or wrong answer.  I know several couples who have wonderful relationships without marriage. They function much the same as married couples, and the only difference essentially is the legality. But there are also other couples I know who let the fact that they aren’t married prevent them from taking their relationship one step further – perhaps because there is always the fear that is too easy for the other one to walk away, or when times get hard (and they do in all relationships, times can get really really hard) it is much easier to just throw in the towel rather than work at it.

Either way, whether you believe in marriage or not, it is really really nice for those who want to believe in it to see the positive excitement that surrounds Will and Kate’s news. To see in the media a segment on marriage that doesn’t involve divorce, but rather gets a country all loved up and buzzing with excitement.

And that’s my two cents pennies!

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