I slept on the couch, in front of the TV, on Friday night. Okay, I didn’t really sleep, but I was on the couch. I didn’t want to miss a moment of the THE Royal Wedding of the year across the Atlantic Ocean, and it was easiest to just park myself on the couch all night. I am happy to admit that I love all things royal, no matter which royal family it is, and this event was not one to miss. A few days later, as the streets of Windsor are cleaned up and the journalists and tourists have gone home, we are left to analyze and discuss the latest royal wedding. What do I think? A royal wedding is a complicated baseball game.
You probably won’t find this comparison anywhere else, but please, allow me to explain. This connection came to me on Monday afternoon, during the celebration of Her Majesty, Queen’s Victoria’s, birthday in Canada (also known as Victoria Day). As I sat with family, watching our favourite show, House Hunters, we of course discussed our thoughts on Saturday’s wedding.
From outfits (and hats) we loved and hated to which celebrities were invited to asking why the only member of Meghan Markle’s family in attendance was her mother, the conversation flowed easily from topic to topic. Then we moved on to the new title bestowed upon Prince Harry and his bride – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Is a Duke the highest honour that can be bestowed upon the English aristocracy? What are the other titles? Where do Earls and Barons fit in? If a Duke is invited to dinner, does he get served soup before the lowly Baron? Is it true that Ms. Markle had to wear a specific shade of nail polish because of the rules of a royal wedding? What did the seating plan mean during the ceremony?
The questions go on and on when you dig deep into the intricacies of a royal wedding. Each step, each moment and every word are steeped in a mix of tradition and rules (even though I know Ms. Markle added her own modern twist here and there). It made me think: this is just like a baseball game. There is a seemingly endless list of rules, mixed in with ancient traditions. There are few people who are true experts on all the rules of a royal wedding or a baseball game.
Has a baseball player ever married a member of the British royal family? Now that would be neat! Imagine bringing together the detailed, intricate rules of baseball with those of a royal wedding. I can’t even imagine where to begin.
A baseball game is filled with statistics. How many baseball players have hit a triple, in the bottom of the ninth, left handed? Name which pitchers struck out at least 20 players in one game. How many times has it happened in baseball history that a second baseman hit a homerun during a game then pitched the 12thinning? Think of some crazy statistic, and it happened in a baseball game.
How many royal weddings have happened over the centuries? Too many to count I’m sure. But when you have dozens, if not hundreds, over centuries, rules are created and statistics have been collected. How many royal brides have been pregnant? Do most royal grooms where an army uniform? Have any big name guests died at a royal wedding? What is the most popular chapel used for royal weddings? Like a baseball game, the statistics are endless.
Okay, so a royal wedding is a bit more formal than a baseball game. Baseball players don’t wear a white tie and tails. But at both events there is a prescribed uniform for all participants. The Archbishop of Canterbury does not preside over a baseball game, chanting prayers, but I promise you, many a baseball player is crossing himself and saying a prayer before a key pitch. Loud, cheering fans? Check. Paparazzi photographers? Check. An exclusive group of people who are part of the inner sanctum? Check. Hats? Oh ya, check.
On first thought, a royal wedding and a baseball game may seem worlds apart, with nothing in common. But when you go deeper and do some thoughtful comparisons, they really are so alike. So, the next time you stay up all night to watch a royal wedding, put on your favourite baseball cap and remember to say, let’s play ball.