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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Students plan viewing parties for royal nuptials

This Friday, England’s Prince William will marry fiancee Kate Middleton after months of media frenzy. The Westminster Abbey wedding is invitation-only, but some NU students will celebrate from across the pond, watching the royals wed at early-morning television viewing parties.

Medill sophomore Suzee Skwiot is planning a party at her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, at 3 a.m., complete with English Breakfast tea and crumpets. The dress code? Elaborate British-style hats.

“I think it’s a huge social event and here, at least the people I’ve talked to, are just so fascinated by the monarchy,” Skwiot said. “The event itself is big, it’s on so many magazine covers and everywhere I look right now, so I thought we should all get together and do it live.”

About 40 people plan to attend, said Zeta member and Weinberg sophomore Hayley Gleeson. A British citizen, Gleeson said she is looking forward to watching the media spectacle but isn’t “that excited” about the actual wedding.

“I feel like I’ve had more questions about it here than I have at home,” Gleeson said. “The guy who made my sandwich at Hinman was asking me questions about it. He was like, ‘I’m just so excited to see what she’s going to wear.'”

Weinberg freshman Chloe Woodhouse said she is organizing more low-key festivities.

At 5 a.m., she said she and a few friends will gather in her dorm to sip tea and watch the wedding.

“We’re going to have some nice breakfast food, sit together all cozy in our pajamas and just enjoy watching something so interesting happen,” Woodhouse said. “It’s not something I would say I’m necessarily invested in, but I find it interesting just because it is such an extravagant event and it does have some sort of historical repercussions to it.”

Woodhouse said media obsession with details of the ceremony has been somewhat over the top.

“I think I’m interested to see what the dress looks like, but I’m not like, ‘Oh, is it going to be off-white or is it going to be ivory, is it going to have sequins or is it going to look like Princess Di’s,'” she said..

Still, this kind of absorption isn’t necessarily a bad thing, said Communication Prof. James Ettema.

“Maybe people are a little too interested in celebrities for their own good,” Ettema said. “But I think it’s kind of normal, natural, not unhealthy, interesting curiosity.”

The details are just what fascinate Medill freshman Emily Rivest, whose birthday coincides with the royal wedding. Rivest said she will wake up at 5 a.m. to watch the event in her dorm’s television lounge, energized with coffee and – if she can find the ingredients – cucumber sandwiches.

“I love reading all this speculation about the guest list,” Rivest said. “I love reading about how the details of her dress won’t be revealed until she’s walking down the aisle.”

Rivest said she is “obsessed with Kate Middleton,” connecting her love with her family’s interest in Princess Diana during her childhood.

“Both my parents were really into telling me stories about things they did when Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married,” Rivest said. “So it’s exciting that I can experience my own royal wedding.”

For Easter and her birthday, Rivest received a commemorative Kate and Will magazine and Buckingham Palace tote bag.

She said she was even inspired by Kate’s look to dye her hair darker after wanting to for a long time.

Middleton’s allure, Rivest said, comes from her “fairy tale” status as a woman whose college sweetheart happened to be royalty.

“It goes deeper than I really like princesses,” Rivest said. “It’s just cool that this girl who grew up with a normal life – she was privileged, but she had a normal life – and now she’s going to be the next Queen of England. It’s interesting because we don’t have a monarchy.”

However, Woodhouse said the fairytale nature of the wedding “probably reflects something a little bit sad. A lot of girls in our generation grew up watching Disney movies where there’s this whole ideal of the perfect princess marrying the prince, and I think that’s part of the reason that there is so much hype about it.”

Ettema said viewers are probably eager for the “pageantry” and visual interest the telecast promises. Moreover, he said Americans have long kept tabs on British royalty.

“She’s a commoner, and now she will be a princess,” he said. “Who can’t be excited about that?”

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Students plan viewing parties for royal nuptials