It's low key, but many Irish people will watch the royal wedding

I was in England the past few days, which means I saw and heard a little bit (actually tons) about the impending nuptials between Prince William and Catherine Middleton (aka Will & Kate). Every store is selling Will & Kate stuff and patriotic paraphernalia, such as flag bunting, etc. Every news bulletin is dominated by Will & Kate.

I can't say I got caught up in the excitement, but nor can I say that it annoyed me in any way. What I can tell you is that it didn't come up in any exchange I had with any English people. I didn't raise the topic and nobody I spoke to raised it with me.

So all I can say is that my sense is that English people are pleased by tomorrow's big event, but not generally insanely wild about it no matter what you might see of people camping out near Westminster Abbey or read in USA Today or whatever. I think for a lot of people in England it's a day off {photo: tee shirt that can be seen in England) and the start of a four day weekend, which is always welcome.

What of Ireland and the royal wedding? I don't have a great feel for how much interest there is here. I saw a poll that claimed that four out of every five people here will not tune in to the wedding. At first I thought that sounded reasonable as it's a work day here (south of the border, anyway) and I can't imagine many workers making a big effort to watch the wedding. I'm sure many will steal a few glances if they get a chance.

However, schools are still closed for Easter and I suspect the number of teenage girls who'll watch tomorrow's festivities will be pretty high. The political issues of royalty and monarchy hardly feature in their thinking, but let's face it Kate Middleton is living out the young girl's fantasy: marrying the handsome prince. It's a fairytale wedding and the two are massive celebrities, which only adds to the appeal.

I bet if the polling company had polled teenage girls they'd have found that a lot more than 20% of them will be tuning in tomorrow. Teenage girls aside, I figure the viewing audience here will be higher than the 20% that the poll indicated. I'm not alone in that thinking either. Two of our four national television stations are showing the wedding live, which tells me that the television bosses suspect Irish interest is higher than that poll suggests.

And me? Well, I won't be watching. No, I'm not just saying that. A few weeks back I made an appointment for tomorrow morning to go to the US Embassy to renew my son's passport. I will be in the United States Embassy in Dublin right as the wedding kicks off. I will also be with my wife, who doesn't mind missing the proceedings, because United States law requires both parents sign the passport application in front of the consular officer.

Of course, there is always the possibility that the embassy will be providing live television coverage of the wedding. Given what I've read of American interest in the royal wedding, it's probably not that long a shot.

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