LONDON – Broadcasters around the world breathed a sigh of relief as a dazzling display of pomp and ceremony in a uniquely British tradition as the wedding of the Century went off without a hitch.
Even the sun finally came out to mark the procession of the newly married couple traveling back from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, accompanied by the regiment of First Battalion Royal Guards.
The military procession was just part of a ceremony that combined elements of state, politics, internationalism, technology and religious ceremony, without losing the sense of intimacy of the wedding of a couple who appeared very much in love. PHOTOS: Kate Middleton and Prince William say “I Do”
“The British do pomp and ceremony like no-one else in the world,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper told viewers, as international broadcasters wheeled out their big guns for the coverage of the Royal wedding, with over 300 international networks thought to be covering the ceremony live.
“There must have been a few nerves from more than one of the royal party,” said BBC key wedding anchor Huw Edwards, “But it has all gone extremely well and even the sun has come out. It has been a fantastic day.”
The BBC feed alone was broadcast to 180 countries, in what is thought to be the biggest television event in broadcast history.
Networks from CCTV in China, NDTV in India, France 24, Al Jazeera English tore up their news schedules to carry the ceremony in real time, in addition to all the main U.S. networks.
A few exceptions remained however – on a full trading day on Wall Street, Bloomberg and CNBC preferred to focus on the investigation of Goldman Sachs in the collapse of the credit default swaps market while Russia Today and NHK also kept to their own program schedules. PHOTOS: What Kate Middleton and famous guests wore to the wedding
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the ceremony represented a uniquely British celebration.
“I think people around the world will be watching this great historical moment and see the best of Britain and that we do these things very well.”
But it was left to CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen to explain the international fascination with a ceremony that many see as representing a royal system that is anachronistic to the ideas of meritocracy.
“We Americans love a great show no Americans have had to spend even five cents on,” he told a Sky News debate on the future of the monarchy.
“It’s a lovely show and we really appreciate you putting it on. And we are so glad none of our tax dollars are being spent on it.”