The Royal Wedding: William & Catherine on DVD
by Jef Burnham
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This release, now available from BBC Video, features two hours of the BBC’s coverage of the royal wedding between HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. This DVD includes the entirety of the ceremony itself, as well as highlights of the BBC’s pre- and post-wedding programming. Selecting “Play Feature” from the DVD’s simple menu screen throws you immediately into the coverage, beginning with the Princes’ departure from Clarence House and concluding with the now married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Whereas the prospect of a DVD containing little more than 2 hours of truncated news coverage of a single event may be unappealing to many, this is not your typical, drab news coverage. The BBC was allowed almost everywhere for the event, and thus afforded some magnificent shots in their coverage, including, for example, an incredible bird’s-eye view of the ceremony from a camera stationed on the ceiling of Westminster Abbey. Additionally, this DVD represents a valuable historic record of the event, complete with droll commentary from the television announcers, who keep you informed about what’s happening with regard to the proceedings and yet, amusingly, often have nothing to talk about and simply say what they see.
The only other item available for selection on the disc’s main menu is the documentary, William & Kate - A Royal Engagement. This 48-minute documentary, filmed before the wedding (as evidenced by the title’s referral to the Duchess of Cambridge by the familiar, Kate) is the perfect supplement to the feature program for those unfamiliar with the couple’s history such as myself. The documentary provides profiles of William and Catherine from their births through their engagement as well as a brief history of the Middleton family, all interspersed with commentary from friends, acquaintances, and members of the press. It should be noted, however, that my wife, being well-versed in the affairs of royalty dating back centuries, found the documentary rather dull.
Moreover, The Royal Wedding: William & Catherine is an extremely affordable DVD. As a budget title, you can pick it up on Amazon for a little over $5, making it a relatively guilt-free purchase for those enamored with the royal family.
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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