GJ couple: Wedding is an English family affair

Maggie Cook holds up her diary from 1953 and the June 2 entry about Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. While David and Maggie Cook, who moved to the United States from Britain in 1980, will watch coverage of the Friday, April 29, royal wedding, it will likely be a recorded version.

It may surprise some area residents that, although local artists David and Maggie Cook were born in the London area, they have no special plans to watch the royal wedding live on TV.

“I’m going to record it, but I’m certainly not going to get up in the middle of the night to watch it,” Maggie Cook said.

Her husband agreed.

The reason the British natives, both 72, are only marginally interested in the ceremony is because they think the wedding is more of a pageant than anything else.

“What the wedding is like is immaterial to the British monarchy,” David Cook said.

In other words, the wedding is a family affair between Prince William and the English people, a fact reflected in the scheduled public procession the bride and groom will take through the streets of London after the ceremony.

It is not a formal state event because the monarchy, in its current state, speaks for the people and not the government, so the royal wedding is meant to be a public event filled with fashion and parties, David Cook said.

“It’s an excuse for a holiday, and the Brits are good at taking a day off,” Maggie Cook joked.

The couple remember the similarly joyous wedding between Prince William’s parents, Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles, in 1981.

The Cooks, who moved to the United States in 1980, were visiting family in England at the time of that royal wedding and bought several items to commemorate the event.

If, as expected, 2 billion people from around the world watch Prince William’s wedding Friday, April 29, imagine the fanfare for the coronation of the United Kingdom’s next monarch.

A coronation trumps a royal wedding, David and Maggie Cook said.

The couple were teenagers when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953. That coronation cost about $4 million and took 16 months to plan.

Maggie Cook kept a diary of the days of the event. On the book’s pages, she drew the British flag and wrote “Long Live the Queen.”

“I wrote in my diary that it was the best day of my life,” Maggie Cook said. “We had bought a TV just to watch it.”

England’s centuries-old relationship with the monarchy, which has not always been positive, explains the country’s general excitement for the royal wedding, David Cook said.

Fascination with the gossip and “long-running soap opera” of the royal family explains the world’s excitement for the wedding.

And that’s fine, the British could say. Just don’t expect them to wake early to watch it.


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