Royal family charm
Monday, May 09, 2011 AT 12:12 AM (IST)
Tags: Royal wedding, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Diana, Prince Charles
The marriage of British Prince William and Kate Middleton revived memories of the wedding of William's parents -- Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981, when television sets had just began to enter people's homes. Soon after the announcement of the royal wedding, tabloids and other newspapers started filling their columns with details of the private life and romance of the would-be couple and the preparations for the wedding. Even earlier, it was the royal wedding of the present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip. But at that time the media's reach to the people was very limited and the monarch's wedding went unnoticed by a large percentage of the world population. The wedding of Prince Charles and Diana was the first major glamorous event after the boom in the print and electronic news industry. Journalists and specially photographers, now equipped with advanced technology, really tried hard to exploit it to the fullest while covering that event. The Charles-Diana wedding was rightly labelled as the wedding of the century. People across the world had never witnessed such pomp and show for a wedding.
Newspaper in Goa, where I had worked during those days, employed zinc blocks to print photos. This was the technology used by newspapers during those days. Colour printing was unheard of in the newspaper industry. The photographs of prime minister and ministers, supplied by the Press Information Bureau, used to be published by newspapers three or four days after the event. Every bit of news related to the royal wedding was used by newspapers and magazines for weeks prior to the wedding. The editor of the newspaper where I worked had a novel plan to cover the royal wedding. There were no TV towers in Goa then and Mumbai was too far to receive television signals. My editor erected a very tall antennae at his residence in Miramar in Panaji and fitted it with a booster. That enabled him to see black and white images on his television set. On the royal wedding day, the editor asked a photo journalist to set his camera in front of the television sets and capture images of the royal wedding. Next day, ours was the only our newspaper in Goa to have published pictures of the royal wedding!
Thirty years later, the world media covered every moment of another royal wedding live and in minute details. It shows that although the sun over the British empire has set long ago, the royal family's charm continues to hold sway over the world to this day.