On a day like today, there’s only one possible subject for a blog about children’s literature, and that’s the fairytale about the handsome prince who sweeps an ordinary girl off her feet and takes her to the palace . On the day of their marriage, he’s in a swashbuckling uniform, she’s in a long white dress, and they ride a carriage through the city’s street, cheered by the crowds.
It was a very well-managed fairytale, of course, with security guards and armed police and protocol and seating plans and a carefully choreographed procession carrying the happy couple and their guests through London, and full of thoroughly modern details too, with the Beckhams and Elton John in the congregation, but the basic elements of the fairytale could have been written centuries ago.
That, I think, must be the pleasure of it for all of us, the rapt audience, sitting at our TV sets, waiting for our first glimpse of the dress or watching the Queen nod off during the sermon. The details are fun, but the basic shape of the storyline is what grips us, the narrative of the handsome prince and the girl plucked from nothing to be turned into a princess.