Julian E. Zelizer: Are We Heading for Royal Weddings in U.S.?

Roundup: Historians' Take

Julian E. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter," published by Times Books, and editor of a book assessing former President George W. Bush's administration, published by Princeton University Press

Princeton, New Jersey (CNN) -- On a recent trip to England, I found that it was impossible to avoid seeing coasters, posters, books and other paraphernalia being sold to mark the royal wedding on April 29.

As you might expect, the wedding is drawing great interest among the British. But some Americans are following this wedding closely, too. Our fascination with royalty is not much different from our national obsession with Hollywood romances and peccadilloes.

The royal wedding also offers Americans an opportunity to revel in the glamour of leaders in a way that has been largely impossible in the post-Watergate era, in which cynicism and distrust have characterized the national outlook toward Washington.

Although there was a moment when Barack and Michelle Obama seemed to bring some of the appeal of Camelot back into the White House, that moment ended quickly as the media and political opponents sank their teeth into this president.

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