Dr. Bucholz author of Early Modern England 1485-1714: a Narrative History and has extensive knowledge into the courtship of Kate and Prince William, as well as the history of royal couples in the past. Dr. Bucholz says, "when we see these great royal ceremonies we're meant to believe that they represent centuries of tradition; but, in fact, big, public, royal weddings in Westminster Abbey are a 20th century invention. For most of English history royal couples got married in private."
Bucholz reveals the court tends to "go big" during times of national economic distress or following wars: 1919 (Princess Patricia - the first big royal wedding), 1923 (Bertie and Elizabeth aka George VI and the Queen Mother as in The King's Speech), 1947 (future Queen Elizabeth II and Philip), 1981 (Charles and Di). He says to note that the current party is happening at a time very similar to 1981: economy in trouble; high unemployment; conservative government in its 2nd year has just made unpopular cuts to government services. "The country needs a party" says Bucholz.