The Royal Wedding and the transformation of urban space

4 05 2011
By Sarah Muscat

Cheering along with thousands of people from all over the world, the atmosphere in Hyde Park was a celebration of a joyous unity, as the newly wed Will and Kate shared a kiss or two in the Buckingham Palace‘s balcony.

It might have been Prince William’s charm, or the bride’s dress, but for many, the transformation of urban spaces in London to celebrate the Royal Wedding was one good reason to visit the city.

The Union Jack featured wherever one looked, the shop windows decorated for the occasion increasing footfall and lingering even in streets outside the main tourist areas, green spaces were enhanced and events organized everywhere, making every part of the global community involved. The sense of inclusivity, of belonging and sharing; gave rise to various positively activated spaces, binding the local communities.

With all the girls competing to marry Harry, the next wedding might take some time! Maybe we could instead continue to celebrate our own communities more often within urban spaces, cherishing every accomplishment towards a better living for everyone.

Kensington Palace Gardens


Shop window decorated for the Royal Wedding


Hyde Park during Royal Wedding




2 responses

28 05 2011
Harvé Dhillon

I am glad to hear that I was not the only one who was in London to witness these once in a lifetime celebrations in the capital! The general aura of the city was amazing, and to add to that the weather was great too! You are right it does not seem so obvious to how the urban spaces can be used in such various ways. It took the Royal Wedding to show a vast urban transformation of spaces. What was interesting to see particularly were streets that were usually dominated by taxis and buses were now filled with people dancing in the street. As long as urban environments are flexible enough to be able to adapt to different uses then it definitely can contribute to a positive change for the public realm when such events take place.

1 06 2011

Sarah and Harve, I would like to share more information about the Royal wedding with you: the costs of the wedding was about 80 million pounds, which gave rise to a lot of questions concerning the effect of these costs on the British economy especially in times of the global economic crisis.
However, later on it became public that the entire costs were covered by Buckingham palace, and that the wedding attracted a huge number of tourists which generated revenues for the British economy in the current year.
One billion people worldwide were watching the wedding ceremony of Prince William and Kate via television screens, while huge crowds gathered along the roads of the capital where the couple passed after the completion of the marriage ceremony.
Also what I really found interesting is that according to tradition, the British Royal audience is supposed to give gifts to the newlyweds, but Prince “William” and his wife, “Kate” (Why do you use inverted comas for the names?? I guess you can leave them out as well) asked the audience to donate the money to some charities instead.
Finally, this event refreshed the air of London and of all the United Kingdom, which was badly needed during these economic conditions.

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