The biggest wedding of our times looks set to make a break with tradition. Prince William and Kate Middleton are making their own voices heard as the next generation royal wedding nears. Already, British officials from the royal palace have confirmed reports that Prince William will not be exchanging a wedding ring, neither at the ceremony, nor afterwards. The royal groom’s rejection of the traditional wedding ring is because of his personal preferences. A St. James Palace aide was reported to have said that the prince was not one for jewelry.
The couple’s rejection of the tradition of exchanging wedding rings has to be a first for the British royal family. Traditionalists would disapprove of the step. However, many are lauding the high-profile couple’s break with the past. Prince William’s private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton told Vanity Fair magazine that the couple was “very much in charge” of their 29 April wedding. This was hardly an option back in 1981 when Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana walked down the aisle. Back then, the royal couple had little choice. Thirty years later, things have changed and William and Kate have the freedom to do things their own way. Whether they want wedding rings and eternity rings or nothing of the sort, they can have their say in the matter.
William and Kate have also made other changes to the traditional royal wedding. For starters, the couple will not be taking the traditional chariot ride to the church on the wedding day. Instead, they will be driving there in private limousines. Also, they have rejected the idea of a sit-down wedding meal. The wedding itinerary for this royal couple involves a finger food buffet instead. Add to that the fact that William and Kate lived together and waited until 29 to take their vows, and you realize that this couple is as post-modern as it gets. Plus, the couple actually sent emails wedding invites to their guests and have asked that they desist from bringing extravagant wedding gifts. Donations to charity will be the order of the day.
But it is Prince William’s rejection of the wedding rings exchange that is fuelling the most discussion. Already, Kate’s engagement ring has got so much publicity and created so much business that jewelry companies will be ruing the prince’s decision. Kate’s sapphire engagement ring (the same ring that Lady Diana once wore) encouraged jewelry makers to create replicas, and these have been selling like hot cakes. The craze is such that it encouraged sterling silver jeweler Emitations.com to launch a fan website called KateMiddletonRing.com. Au-Co Mai, CEO and founder of Emitations.com found that after selling hundreds of Kate Middleton engagement ring replicas, the wedding craze continued. So the firm decided to cash in on the interest and has even launched a line of jewelry inspired by Kate Middleton.
The couple’s break with tradition is being praised in many circles. However, the missing ring on Prince William’s finger will certainly symbolize a missed opportunity for jewelry makers to cash in on the royal wedding frenzy.