This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.
Electronic Highways

Keeping up with the ‘Royals’

Published: April 7, 2011

On April 29, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s much anticipated nuptials at Westminster Abbey will be celebrated around the world. Thanks to the variety of media reports, regal followers are discovering fun facts and details about wedding rituals, wedding etiquette and even fashion dos and don’ts!

The first royal wedding to be televised live came when Princess Margaret married Lord Snowdon in 1960. However, television audiences did not witness the actual exchange of vows until 21 years later, when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. With today’s plethora of online social media and digital technology, one easily can participate in this latest royal event in real-time.

Fans don’t have to wait for the actual event to take place to participate in the festivities. Even iTunes offers an app for insider info and “breaking news” about Prince William and Kate’s fairy-tale romance. If this isn’t enough, one iPhone app—“Alarm Royale”— lets people set their phone alarm clock to a wedding march or royal-themed music like “God Save the Queen” and “Rule Britannia.” “Once a person wakes up, the app also shows them a new fact about the royal couple every day,” says developer Mark Riley.

While this will be the first royal wedding to be digitally released in its entirety within hours of the service, Decca Records will release a physical album—in CD, vinyl and even cassette format to appease audiences of all ages. A special collector’s booklet will featuring the complete order of service, the readings, vows, hymns and blessings, and all the music from the event.

After the novelty of following the royals in real-time fades, why not delve into some serious research? Search the Bison Catolog for scholarly accounts, as well as pictorial representations of royal weddings. Historical accounts of the matches or matrimonial alliances that kings of England have made as far back as the 15th century can be retrieved from the online databases Early English Books Online and Eighteenth Century Collections Online.

Access a detailed timeline of the British monarchy and download images from portrait shots of members of the Royal Family to photographs from ceremonial events. British Pathé Film Archive presents newsreels and historic video recordings of British royal weddings. Viewers can catch clips of past processions and even view elaborate cakes served to guests.

After you’ve explored the past, come back to the present and twitter to your heart’s content.

—Laura Taddeo, University Libraries