|This flawless smile defies you to |
make a British dental joke. Source
It is! About 237 per second just before the service, if you trust the London Telegraph.
But if the royal wedding didn't slake your thirst for all things British, rest easy! Anglophiles will be delighted to hear that the wedding--which attracted about 2 billion viewers, inspired millions of Facebook status updates, and brought an estimated £630 million into the British economy--was little more than an appetizer, a teaser, a "dry run" for 2012.
According to the Bearsden Herald, British Prime Minister David Cameron believes the London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will present "a fantastic opportunity next year to show all faces of Britain both modern and traditional."
Oooooh, modern and traditional? Be still my corn-oil-clogged American heart! Kudos to the PM for recognizing the importance of branding and public diplomacy. And kudos for emphasizing multiple aspects of the nation's appeal. But let's hope Cameron navigates the rocky terrain of public diplomacy more successfully than Tony Blair.
In the 1990s, Great Britain--no doubt tired of its reputation as a dentally-challenged nation of stodgy, old-fashioned corgi-worshipers and cow-maddened, Cure-loving soccer hooligans--embarked on an ill-advised nation-branding campaign. (No, I'm not payed by the hyphen. But after that last sentence, I kind of wish I were.)
From the Public Diplomacy wiki's entry on Nation Branding: "Intended to reinvent the U.K.’s image as an energized and liberalized nation, the campaign attempted to shed the traditionally formal image of Great Britain as well as reflect the shifting political model of the Blair administration... Despite the millions of dollars poured into the initiative, however, the campaign is largely considered a failure because of its limited focus, lackluster results, and the general perception, both within Britain and abroad, that the campaign’s gimmicky approach had actually hurt the nation’s international image."
OK, so they've got some room to grow. But still, by all accounts, the royal wedding was a great success--not just for the happy couple and their families, but for the nation as a whole. With a little bit of coordination, Cameron can keep the anglophilia going. But that's the catch, of course. You can't just rest on your laurels and assume that big events = big publicity = big love. You've got to put some work into it.
Just ask Kevin Costner.