Two weddings took place on Friday 29th April, 2011, surrounded by pomp and ceremony. One you probably heard about, the other, you probably didn't.
Prince William and the Dutchess of Cambridge on the balcony
Photo by Magnus D @ Wickipedia
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (and future King of England) married Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. Well-wishers traveled thousands of miles to line the streets to witness the royal wedding. They camped on the streets to secure a good viewing position for those few seconds when the royal couple will pass that very spot during the procession.
Special platforms were erected to allow reporters from all over the world to take photos and to film the crowds and the royal couple. Statesmen and women from all over the Commonwealth and other countries were invited to attend.
Prince Philip, Carole Middleton, the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall
photo by REUTERS
The wedding was watched live by over two billion people all over the world on TV. Over half a million people stood in front of Kate Middleton's in-laws house, Buckingham Palace. The papers and TV studios ran non-stop coverage of this very special occasion.
The press has been buzzing with stories about how the couple met and how their romance blossomed. A film has been made about that. The shops have been busy selling memorabilia of the wedding.
Kate's dress, the wedding cake and the car they travelled in have all been subject of intense scrutiny and animated discussion. The reception held at Buckingham Palace was described as "magical."
A lot of people not invited to the reception, were just happy to be present at such a momentous occasion during the day, or to witness it on TV.
The second wedding was held in Kitwe. There was no press about, just beaming relatives and friends. Two photographers were there to record the big occasion, but the family is still waiting for the photos. They will be ready later on in the week.
The parents of the bride and groom were full of joy and pride. They said how proud they were that their children had decided to settle down with each other and start a family together.
You won't find coverage of this wedding in the local papers or on YouTube.
Although the weddings were thousands of miles apart, they have the essential ingredients in common: young couples, deeply in love with each other, are starting out on an exciting life journey together, escorted by their family, friends and well wishers.
The first marriage will be lived in the glare of public scrutiny of the world-wide media while the other will be a private affair in a small town on the Copperbelt. The joys and pressures they will face will be vastly different, and there may be times when they will wish they could swap places.
The advice and support the young couples receive will help to make or break their marriages.Their success or failure will be the success of failure of their respective communities.
We wish them well.