As the Royal Wedding draws near--said to be the biggest royal wedding since Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981--seniors in assisted living facilities across the United States plan to celebrate right along with the newlyweds. For many seniors, the event brings memories of decades past as the world watched Lady Diana Spencer become the beloved Diana, Princess of Wales. Prince William of Wales is set to marry his longtime love, Kate Middleton, this Friday, April 29th.
Although her formal title at that time was Her Royal Highness, The Princess Charles, Princess of Wales, she became known around the world simply as Princess Diana. Upon her divorce from Prince Charles, she was stripped of the styling, "Her Royal Highness," and became, officially, Diana, Princess of Wales. The Queen, Queen Elizabeth II, herself sets an example for seniors, having served as the country's monarch for more than six decades. While other members of the royal family undertake official duties, Queen Elizabeth II remains extraordinarily active at the age of 85 by traveling, hosting events, meeting with the Parliament and political leaders worldwide.
Queen Elizabeth II became the oldest-reigning British monarch in 2007. On December 9, 2015, if she is still reigning at that time, will surpass her grandmother, Queen Victoria, to become the longest-reigning British monarch in history.
The Royal Wedding holds special significance to many seniors in assisted living facilities, independent living communities and nursing homes across our nation, as many Americans have British ancestry. In fact, nearly one-third of Americans actually reported British ancestry in the 1980 U.S. Census, and although this figure has dropped significantly in recent years, this is primarily due to the fact that most Americans aren't as aware of their heritage as in years past. Even for those who remain unaware of their own heritage, many are looking forward to the marriage of Prince William of Wales and Miss Kate Middleton simply as a chance to witness a major cultural event and an important piece of history.
Coverage of the royal wedding begins at 5:00am on the East Coast of the United States, while those in the Pacific time zone will have to be awake at 2:00am to watch live coverage. That doesn't dissuade the more than 2 billion viewers predicted to be watching the live event worldwide, according to an article in The Seattle Times. Assisted living homes across the U.S. are planning activities with wedding cakes, afternoon teas and more to share in the couple's celebration.
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