In the United Kingdom, the excitement over the wedding is likely hardwired into the culture after several centuries of caring about the royals.
Stateside, however, the appeal is slightly more complex. We don't have a good enough celebrity scandal to focus on. And perhaps there is the appeal of a fairy tale wedding, which a few people love. Plus, Princess Diana was always popular with American media, and her funeral did pick up good viewership over here, so there's a good chance a lot of people will tune in - not like there will be much else to watch on TV since every major U.S. network has reporters covering the story in London (CNN has 125 of them there).
Still, since this will be a pop culture event, and this is a pop culture site, we thought we'd add our two cents (pence?) to the big day - especially considering the obvious paranormal link.
cursed engagement ring. The ring, an 18-carat sapphire encircled by 14 diamonds, cost about $60,000 in 1981 when it was originally given by Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer of Wales (for inflation junkies, that's approximately $145K in 2011). History now tells us things were troubled between Charles and Di for a long time due to his ongoing relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. Diana eventually stopped wearing the ring because of Charles' affair with Camilla, and after some very public comments, the couple separated in 1992, with a divorce following in '95.
So was all the nastiness in Charles and Di's enough to stir up bad juju around the ring? Moreover, is there still a powerful energy attached to the ring that may affect William and Kate's marriage?
As part of some research on an unrelated story, we recently consulted with paranormal researcher John Zaffis - known as the "Godfather of the Paranormal" and host of Syfy's upcoming show Haunted Collector - on the matter of curses.
According to Zaffis, a curse can typically be attached to items or people. Some curses can even go back for generations.
"You've got the generational curse," says Zaffis, which is "something that could be done several generations back by somebody cursing them." And in his experience of investigating, he says when you get involved, "you will find that generation after generation seems to follow the same path."
"An each person or anybody that comes in contact with it, the curse actually gets activated, so to speak. Depending on how it was done, and what ritual was used, there's certain things that can never get broken."
But whether a person (or generation) is cursed, or simply an item, Zaffis says a curse must be caused by another party. So that means in order for Kate's engagement ring to cause unnatural occurences for the soon-to-be royal newlyweds, there would have to be an occult interference in the past.
While he says he can't speak to the validity of any curse on Kate's ring, Zaffis points to the Hope Diamond as a perfect example of a cursed item - and suggests that items such as the Smithsonian's famed diamond, or an engagement ring, may be especially prone to holding onto a hex based on a popular paranormal theory.
"When dealing with the items or anything like that - especially precious minerals, golds, silver, diamonds - a lot of these different things can hold onto [cursed] energy."
Still, the researched warns that simply because bad things happen to people, it's not necessarily a curse. Instead, unfortunate events or tragedy, such as Charles and Di's divorce, can simply be a result of bad luck.
Meanwhile, he says, "when you're dealing with a person who may have a legit curse, it's a person doing everything they can to try to move forward."
"They're trying to make changes - and no matter what they do, it just seems that crazy, bizarre things automatically kick in."
So based on what is widely known about the royal ring, it would seem unlikely that it is cursed. But what can be done if it is, and is there any chance of it being broken?
Zaffis says it's "very difficult" to break a curse. He says it's "critical" to track down a source, which may include lineage or origin of people, and folklore attached to the family and object. Then, the researcher says there are several methods tied into various religious perspectives that may be done to break the curse.
But, he warns, it's a "double-edged sword" if an attempt is made to break an already-powerful curse.
"You've got to be careful; it can provoke it to a situation where it could make it worse."
So what does this all mean for the royal couple? Probably not much. Aside from the specter of William's parents' failed marriage lingering around it, the engagement ring won't impact the newlyweds too much. Unfortunately affairs and divorces are very much elements of the normal and not paranormal. But on the upside, that means the fate of the young couple is in their own hands.