In the months leading up to Friday’s royal nuptials, media in the United States dedicated the largest share of its online coverage to Prince William and Kate’s wedding, according to data from the Nielsen Company. The media frenzy hit a fever pitch on the day Kate became Her Royal Highness Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, with wall-to-wall coverage on several TV news stations and the internet buzzing with news and opinions about every aspect of the modern fairy tale: The Dress, the maid of honour, the carriage, the kiss. [Vote now: Are you sick of hearing about the royal wedding?]
Some, like U.S. News blogger Robert Schlesinger, found the hype obnoxious. “Would someone please explain to me why this wedding is getting historic event-level news coverage? Please?” he wrote. “There is little in the modern world as anachronistic and weirdly useless as ‘royalty.’”
But others, like U.S. News blogger Mary Kate Cary, suggest this was a great moment for Britain in light of the recent uprisings against in the Middle East. “You can say a lot of things about the British monarchy, but ‘unstable tyranny’ isn’t one of them,” she writes. “The new era that today’s events symbolizes—a moment in time when a young happy couple can live a life of service to others in a nation that, although it faces its share of economic challenges, is prosperous and free—is what so many around the world are seeking.”
The chart below tracks the online media coverage of the royal pair in Britain, Australia, and the United States from just prior to their engagement through April 10.