Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Royal Review: Royal Wedding Commemorative Issues

What is it about significant occasions that inspires commemorative issues? A genuine desire to share good news? Making money off of our interest in good news? Who knows? Unsurprisingly, the engagement of William and Kate has led to competition to release a commemorative issue marking the occasion. But there is a misnomer in each of these 'royal wedding' commemorative; their wedding has yet to take place. It would then be more accurate to say that these book-a-zines (neither book nor magazine) mark the couple's engagement instead. Though each of them use the same photography and cover all of the bases in documenting their courtship, some of them are better than others. Which one(s) do you add to your collection? Which one(s) are worthy of your hard earned dollars? Let's take a look.

112 Pages

When it comes to putting together commemorative issues, LIFE does them rather well. There is a certain quality inherent in the brand and this one is no exception. At 112 pages, it is the longest of the issues and the most beautifully done. There is no sensationalism and minimal comparisons of Diana and Kate. The focus is on the couple. As it should be. It delves into the history of the Windsor's, touching on the scandals and Prince William's life without becoming maudlin or going overboard. In Kate's biography, it does not elevate her to Cinderella status in the Middleton family history. This issue includes some charming and rare photographs of Kate as a child and a nice section on royal weddings of the past.

USA Today a Royal Wedding Special Commemorative Edition (Catherine Middleton and Prince William)
 97 pages 

From the moment I read the sentence 'William gave Kate his mother's ruby and diamond encrusted engagement ring' my opinion of this magazine went downhill. A compilation of USA Today articles by various journalists, this may explain the discrepancy in one article referring to the ring as a ruby and others correctly as a sapphire. Unlike the others, on the cover it correctly refers to Kate as Catherine.This was obviously compiled right after the engagement announcement because they had no details about the location of the wedding or the date. Because of this it feels incomplete.

From the Editors of Us - Will & Kate - The Royal wedding
84 pages

Similar to LIFE, the editors of Us have put together a quality issue that is meant to last, right down to using the same cover photograph. That is where the comparisons end. The focus here is on the trappings of royalty and the glamour: fabulous vacations, nights on the town, polo, Kate's fashions, royal residences, wedding secrets and wedding dress sketches from designers who don't have a shot at it. Also included a 12 page obligatory nod to Charles and Diana's wedding. Including a pull-out of Diana arriving at St Paul's as her train is unfurled. Maybe Part 2 - set to be released on May 6 - will be more interesting.

Daily Mirror Magazine (Will And Kate -A Royal love Story)
83 pages

One of the appeals of this issue is that it charts the couple from their earliest public appearances through Mirror headlines. If anything, the sensational headlines give an idea of the interest and frenzy surrounding their courtship, which is something the other issues don't do. This issue is mainly comprised of photographs, with facts about Kate and a 2003 interview from William to mark his 21st birthday. Otherwise there is little substance.

© Marilyn Braun 2011


Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Thanks Marilyn. I get dizzy when I go into Barnes and Noble, and I see the plethora of Royal Wedding Magazines. I will probably end up buying the Life Magazine one and the US one because I can't resist.

Marilyn Braun said...

Yes, me too! Can barely keep up with all of them. Life and Us are the better ones. The other two are a waste of money.