In Democracy in America, French social historian Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that America’s greatest strength was the total absence of nobility here. That was in the 19th century, when Americans were busy not caring about the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Now, of course, Americans are busy not caring about Prince William and his middle-class fiance Kate Middleton, though given the media coverage in this country, the extent to which Americans don’t care may surprise you.
According to the Atlantic Wire, a New York Times/CBS poll found that only six percent of Americans are following the wedding “very closely,” while 22% are following “somewhat closely.” This came as rather a surprise given the large amount of press the wedding is getting in America– just last night, Anderson Cooper received a crash course in royal etiquette and Greta van Susteren dedicated her hour to the young royal romance. Not surprisingly, the Times found that the majority within this minority that care are older women, and women in general were far more likely to say they are planning on watching the nuptials:
A third of women under 40 are following news of the wedding at least somewhat closely, as are more than 4 in 10 women who are 40 or older. In comparison, half of men are not following news of the wedding at all. “It’s their British thing; it’s their custom,” Edward Rakas, 57, of Colchester, Conn., said in a follow-up interview after the poll was completed. “I guess they enjoy it, but it’s just not something I’m interested in.”
While this dismissive apathy did not extend to any personal dislike of the royals statistically (well, except for Prince Charles), the Times gathered several comically apt quotes from respondents refusing to care, and especially not understanding why England is wasting it’s time. Among the best of those quotes was that from one Eric Zeff, who noted, “I think it’s a lot of hoopla, all that pomp and stuff… They did that for Charles and Diana, and see how their marriage turned out.”
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