A long time ago, when one Royal wife gave birth to a Royal child, and everybody was overdosed on cute photos and exaggerated adulation, Britain’s satirical magazine “Private Eye” ran the headline “Woman Has Baby!”
I’ve always treasured that as very sane way to deal with Royal fever.
Now we are being buried in avalanches of more Royal nonsense — for a wedding this time. We are being given much too much irrelevant information on every possible aspect of the marriage of young Harry and his girl, and I can’t help wondering what it’s all for? Is somebody trying to make us believe that kings and queens and princes and princesses are important, or interesting, or worth what we pay them to live in luxury? Or is somebody (it could be the same somebody or a different one) trying to awaken in us a feeling of loyalty to a long outmoded monarchical system?
I remember when the young Princess Elizabeth was crowned. I was going to be 10 a couple of weeks later, and lived in the dirty English industrial city of Birmingham. There was a great uproar about it: there she was riding in a horse-drawn “golden coach” on the black and white TV, and we commoners were having a party in the street, long tables stretching from one end of the road to the other and everybody trying to cheer up from the long post-war depression, which wasn’t even half over. Most 10-year-olds enjoy a party, but looking back on it now it seems a bit silly.
Is somebody trying to make us believe that kings and queens and princes and princesses are important, or interesting, or worth what we pay them to live in luxury?
OK, Elizabeth Regina had been driving an ambulance in London during the war, but that was her only claim to usefulness.
Harry has been in the army, so they say, but I don’t think he was a natural warrior. I hope he wasn’t anyway. His now-wife is apparently an actress, but I don’t know what she’s acted in. Anyway, they got married, and people seem to be delighted. I expect it will lead to more “Woman Has Baby” headlines sooner or later, and more rejoicing.
Loyalists will no doubt proudly celebrate another milestone in the long history of the Battenberg-Mountbatten-Windsor dynasty, but what on Earth is it all for, long after the adoption of democratic government in Britain and the Commonwealth?
Some say the Royals are good for tourism, a bit like Stonehenge and the Loch Ness monster, but why do they still own such large areas of British territory? Why don’t they do the noble thing and fade away into the mists of history like Louis XIV or Ferdinand and Isabella?