When Prince William and Kate Middleton walked down the aisle 23 million Americans tuned in to watch. Due to the time differences, this meant that those millions had to get up incredibly early. Every single detail of the wedding was covered. From the appearance of Kate’s tiara to the wedding invitations and royal etiquette. Hotels around the US held watch parties and many held their own.
When Princess Diana died in 1997 33 million Americans tuned in to watch. This was more than who watched Michael Jackson or Ronald Regans funeral, according to Nielsen Media Research.
This American passion and excitement for the British royal family isn’t a new thing. When Queen Victoria was coronated in 1838 the interest in it was so high a political and literary magazine called it “Victoria Fever” and “Queen-mania.”
In Philadelphia, an anonymous writer to the magazine said that they found souvenir hairbrushes, Victoria soap and Victoria riding hats. The letter writer wrote that Victoria had so much influence they may as well rename the city to “Victoria-delphia.”
The interest in the coronation wasn’t just in Philadelphia; it had spread across the nation. The Saturday Evening Post had several articles dedicated to the coronation. One was 2,500 words long and described the even the minutest details such as the quantity, type and cost of the jewels in the crown.
This avid interest spread to the President office. President Andrew Jackson was said to have “perused with intense interest reports about her coronation, her marriage and her children” the historians Fred Leventhal and Roland Quinault say. While he was not president during the coronation he regarded Queen Victoria as “a personal protégée.”
The Americans went to huge lengths to escape the British Monarchy some 230 years ago but now many of them are in love.
This wide spanning interest in the UK’s Royal Family could stem from the fact that the US has nothing to compare it too. The Monarchs job is inherited and provides a sense of calm and order while the American head of state changes every four to eight years in a bitter political election. They must get used to a new President while our Queen has served through 13 US Presidents.