EDITORIAL: Why are Americans so obsessed with British royalty?


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In 1776, the United States of America declared its independence from British rule, but hundreds of years later, Americans are enamored by Britain royalty, as news of weddings and births circulate throughout the world.

In 2011, close to 23 million Americans tuned in early in the morning to watch the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, according to Nielsen. While the histories of our nations have moved past the revolution, and especially gaining a more special bond after being allies in World War II, it is curious to see the awe that news of the royal family brings to so many Americans.

“It has been alive pretty much since 1776,” said Arianne Chernock, an associate professor of history at Boston University.  “Pretty much as soon as we severed ties, we were back to being fascinated— captivated really— by the royal family.”

In so many ways, the royal family ignites something hopeful in us, something other worldly and fairy-tale-like.

“We are fascinated and obsessed with fairy tales,” Dr. Sudeepta Varma, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, told HuffPost. “They have been a part of our society’s fabric since childhood. They help us escape from the everyday mundane.”

In a world filled with bad news, it’s nice to see that fairytales are real, that there are princesses and queens, marriages and births.

“The superficial romantic escapist aspect is often the first reason people cite for their interest in the British royal family,” Chernock said.

The royal family offers good news and, quite frankly, a bit of magic to the tragic news cycle.

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