Shame and the royal wedding
I have a confession to make. A really dirty one too.
I’m into the royal wedding.
I know, I know. The shame. The horror on my colleagues’ faces. The furtive Google searches.
I only realised how disgraceful my interest was when a respected author told me she had blocked all tweets that made mention of the abomination from their feed. From there I was rapidly acquainted with the sheer volume of royal wedding hateration out there. My attempts to get members of the M&G online team to put together a special report for the big day was met with groaning more suitable to the poor sod who misprinted thousands of mugs in anticipation of the big day—with Prince Harry’s face instead of his brother’s alongside that of Kate Middleton.
Not that such a niggling detail would affect the uninterested hordes out there. A Zimbabwean friend tried to show some interest in my lone passion by volunteering that he was disappointed that William had dumped Zimbabwean Chelsy Davy for Kate. I was speechless at my fellow former Commonwealther’s appalling lack of royal relationship knowledge.
My team even made sure, to my continuing dismay, that the royal visages featured nowhere on the banner for said special report. I was reduced to surreptitiously checking British tabloid site the Daily Mail to get my fix on all the trashy goodness of the wedding—from Kate’s sassy little sister’s precocious management of the post-wedding party in the face of stuffy royal minders, to sneak previews of how Kate—sorry, make that Catherine, as she’s now rebranded—will wear her glossy locks on the big day.
You’d think I’d be convinced by the many, good reasons that the wedding is really bad news. And it’s not just ravings by the ultra conservative US Tea Party that the big bad feudal English monarchy is coming to get them. As revered a person as Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has warned how minutely detailed coverage of the event is decimating resources for already strained foreign reportage. The newspaper even launched a spoof live blog of the event for April Fool’s Day, complete with “forensic journalism” investigations into leaked copies of Prince Harry’s best man speech.
It’s all really quite ridiculous.
Which makes my indefensible interest in the matter all the more so. Perhaps it’s because I was one of many little girls growing up who saw Prince William as their prince. Forget how stupid that thought was, it was our thought. A version of the then handsome teen—he’s become rather horsy-looking of late—even appeared in the popular local film There’s a Zulu on my Stoep, hooking up with a young South African girl on their madcap adventures. Leon Schuster captured the mood of screaming teens everywhere. As Princess Diana’s death put her sons firmly on the world stage, and into our hearts, we watched them grow up. And as we grew up we were shocked to note that against all tradition, William had chosen a commoner! One Kate Middleton, as our middle-class heroine is so obligingly named.
Now Kate will never be Princess Di, no matter how many cheesy slideshows the Daily Beast may put together of her and Diana in matching outfits. The prevailing images I have of Kate are her emerging from the latest night club or priciest fashion outlets. Beautiful she may be, but deep she is not. (My favourite picture in the Daily Beast outfit slideshow is one captioned: “Diana visits land-mine victims in Bosnia in August 1997; Kate Middleton in Chapel Row”.)
But I’ll still be compelled to watch just a little bit of the royal wedding come Friday, just to see an old royal pin-up marry his commoner princess.
So yes, the wedding will cost the British economy billions according to some estimates. And the trivial celebrations will take centre stage over far more important global news events. And yes, I’ll still hang my head in shame—and sneak a peak as Will and Kate tie the knot. But take heart, come the weekend we would have all forgotten the sorry saga and moved on.
Until Harry makes Chelsy an honest woman. Enjoy the break while it lasts.