Even before we had global media, royal weddings and the lives of married members of royal families were always extremely popular. Although word didn’t travel quickly, a famous prince wedding a princess was huge news for people in the respective country of the royals in question and well beyond. After all, we’re speaking about future kings and queens and possible changes in religious laws, territorial disputes, wars, et cetera.
With today’s technology and the age of instant and constant media, our fascination with royalty has only increased in no small part due to the global coverage royal weddings receive.
Looking at royal weddings and their role in popular culture is important in a social studies or history class because it shines a different light on royalty in general. Instead of viewing kings as iron-fisted rulers and lawmakers, and instead of viewing queens and princesses as merely important women in the backdrop of history, studying weddings actually humanizes royalty and allows individuals to relate with royals.
The interest created beyond bland historical timeline facts also makes learning history an entertaining proposition.
Asking your class questions about royal weddings is a great way to spark interest and segue into conversation and debate about the role of women in royal culture and how marriage as a concept has changed from culture to culture and from class to class.
Q: Where and when were Princes Charles of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer married?
A: July 29, 1981 in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England.
Q: What political advantage was sought with the marriage of Marie Antoinette and future King Louis XVI of France in 1770?
A: The marriage was to be a show of unity, which would hopefully cement the alliance between Austria and France. However, the French public was against the highhanded rule and the sham marriage and the couple’s reign ultimately resulted in the French Revolution.
Q: Who was Shah Jahan of India’s third wife and what monument was built as a result of her death?
A: Jahan married Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal) on May 10, 1612, in Agra, Rajasthan, India. Shah Jahan undoubtedly loved Begum deeply, and after her untimely death he spent over 20 year erecting the Taj Mahal in her honor.
Q: As the last tsar and tsarina of Russia, when and where were Tsar Nicholas II and Princess Alix of Hesse married?
A: November 26, 1894, at the Grand Church of the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg.
Q: What fate did Queen Min suffer after marrying Korea’s King Gojong in 1866?
A: Empress Myeongseong, affectionately known as Queen Min, was killed by Japanese assassins during a period of extreme political unrest in 1895.
Q: How many wives did King Henry VIII of England have, what were their names, and what fates did they meet individually?
A: Catherine of Aragon: divorced in 1533 and died three years later. Anne Boleyn: executed in 1536. Jane Seymour: died shortly after childbirth in 1537. Anne of Cleves: divorced in 1540 after only five months of marriage. Kathryn Howard: executed in 1542. Katherine Parr: widowed in 1547 when King Henry died.
This guest lesson plan was brought to you by Simon S. Simon is a freelancer editor who works with a very popular dating sites directory. He can usually be found in his local coffee shop sipping on an espresso whilst busily typing away on his laptop.