Unless you've been living under a rock since November, you know that tomorrow is THE day - the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Media coverage has been insane in both the UK and the US, but you might be surprised to hear that the Royal Wedding is also quite the hot topic du jour here in Russia.
It might be surprising because, after all, Russia was fervently communist for over seventy years, and there's not much room for royals when the workers of the world are uniting. Russia's own Royal Family, the Romanovs, were kicked out in February 1917 and brutally and tragically murdered the following year on Bolshevik orders. So you wouldn't be amiss in assuming that there is little love lost for royalty in Russia.
However, there are some ties between Russia and the Windsors. Take a look at this photo:
Aw, look at the early 20th century twins in matching uniforms, you might be thinking. Au contraire, dear readers. This is a picture of Nicholas II of Russia and his cousin George V of England. Their mothers were sisters, so they were actually first cousins. Not only that, but Nicholas' wife Alexandra's grandmother was Queen Victoria herself (there's a good reason that Victoria is often referred to with the sobriquet "Grandmother of Europe"; her many children went on to marry various heads of European royal families).
So the British Royal Family and the Russian one were closely intertwined through blood. Maybe this connection still holds some ground here in Russia, or maybe there's a simpler reason for why the Royal Wedding has captured Russia's attention.
Maybe, just like countries throughout the world right now, Russia is still a bit of a romantic. After all, there's a little part in ALL of us that still believes (or wants to believe) in fairytales, right? That a girl can meet her prince, fall in love, and become a princess and live happily ever after.
I, for one, will definitely be watching Russian coverage of the Royal Wedding tomorrow, which kicks off at 3:15 Moscow time with a documentary on "The Prince and Cinderella" and will continue broadcasting the event (with a repeat on April 30!) throughout the day on Russia's "First Channel," the main channel on Russian television.
Because I am one of those people who still believes in fairytales :)