What can you say about a DVD that covers an event flawless in its execution? With the exception of Princess Beatrice's hat and for one brief heart-stopping moment with the wedding ring, everything went according to plan?
Certainly you can discuss the music, the couple's prayer the bride's dress and how handsome Prince Harry looked. But this ultimately has nothing to do with the BBC since they had no control over it. The only unique aspect is that the BBC seems to be the first to have released a DVD of this sort.
So what then is there left to say about BBC's The Royal Wedding: William & Catherine? The ceremony feed inside Westminster Abbey was not exclusive to the BBC, therefore the camera angles are not unique. What's we have is the BBC before and after coverage, which is striking in its simplicity. Beginning with Prince William and Prince Harry's departure from Clarence House, we are spared the interminable waits, the people watching and the banter of the royal commentators. With a few brief exceptions the only voice is that of presenter Huw Edwards.
Although the events before and after the ceremony have been edited, there is still a strong sense of occasion. The cheering excitement of the crowds is not sacrificed for a better view of the Queen in her car. The ceremony itself is not edited so the viewer can enjoy the event in its entirety. Aside from the newlywed's procession to Buckingham Palace, the remaining coverage is condensed. So much so that shortly after William and Catherine's arrival it seems as though they headed directly to the balcony. This appearance includes the flypast, the two kisses, the grimaces and bewildered looks of the tiny bridesmaids and Kate looking back over her shoulder as she leaves the balcony. Charming and personal moments that made the Royal wedding a special family occasion we were privy to and one that we can continue to relive through this DVD.
Also included is a 50 minute documentary about William and Catherine, as it charts their relationship from its earliest days to their engagement. Interspersed with footage of the couple, friends and royal commentators offer their opinions, continuously emphasizing the relative ordinariness of their relationship and royal romance. Were it not for the inclusion of the royal wedding ceremony on this DVD you could pretend those opinions were right.
© Marilyn Braun 2011
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