Honestly, writing this review makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed for humanity. The public fascination with the British Royal Family is baffling, an obvious byproduct of adults clutching to the fantasy of childhood fairy tales, one could make a case if the Royal Family actually did anything aside from hold glorified figurehead positions and spend massive amounts of money at the same time many of their "subjects" struggle to make ends meet. "The Royal Wedding" captures the April 29th , 2011 marriage of Prince William to Catherine "Kate" Middleton. Essentially famous for being famous, the only thing separating the Royals from America's equivalent, socialites and reality TV stars, is a British accent, a proper education and some admirable charity work. The question remains though, does this justify a DVD release of their wedding? No, it doesn't.
Running a truly insufferable two-hours, "The Royal Wedding" is a laughably over-produced home movie. Stop and think for a moment, when's the last time you ever enjoyed watching someone's the home movies of relatives or the vacation videos of close friends? Chances are, rarely if never, but for some inexplicable reason, likely adult wish fulfillment, watching two hours of excess that makes the pro-wrestling marriage of the late Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth look low-key and tasteful, is deemed perfectly acceptable by society.
There's not much to say about the main program, because after all it's a wedding. It's a wedding that takes 35 minutes for the bride and groom to reach the altar, leaving viewers with sweeping shots of slow moving cars, only Al Cowlings isn't driving a single one. After that, the ceremony gets going and as far as weddings go, it's what one would expect, just 1000x more extravagant, because after all the Royals are better than you. Closing out the ceremony is a lot of singing, an even slower carriage ride and finally nearly ten minutes of the whole motley crew waving to a crowd that had nothing better to do than stand around for a glimpse of people who would likely have their security put them down should they ever try and engage them in conversation. If one positive came from program, is it made me realize that as much as I hate parades, I hate a procession of royalty even more, mostly because the costumes are entirely uninspired.
To end on a high note, I will say in defense of the bride and groom, that in Prince William's case, people could do far worse in picking a celebrity to idolize. He and his brother have both served their counties and most importantly carried on the charity work begun by their late mother, Diana, a woman who selflessly gave of herself and shed light on many issues ignored by the world at large. Following in that tradition, the DVD case does mention that all proceeds from sales of the DVD will be donated to The Foundation of Prince William and Price Harry, which amongst other areas support British veterans in need of assistance. While that still doesn't justify any person buying someone else's home movie, which is all this disc is, at least one can sleep at night, knowing the money spent is doing some good.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is soft on detail, but rich on color. Compression artifacts are minimal, while minor aliasing and some color bleeding are the most noticeable technical hiccups.
The Dolby Digital English stereo audio track is acceptable, keeping BBC narration well balanced with audio from the event. The track manages to nicely capture the depth of Westminster Abbey well, especially during the live musical interludes.
The lone extra, "William and Kate: A Royal Engagement" lends the only shred of credibility to this disc's existence. A puff piece for sure, the "documentary" gives background to the couple's relationship and gives ancillary people a chance to fawn over the fame of the Royals some more.
Ultimately, my review is irrelevant to a fan of the Royals, especially one who already saw the wedding on television. They're going to buy this disc no matter what, so to them I say, "you'll be getting a technically competent disc." To that small subset of the population curious, I say, "stay away, stay far away; there are far better things to waste your time on than this." Skip It.