Though I’m a committed anti-Royalist, and agree with everything Wilf Self says in this week’s Prospect Magazine, Why the Monarchy Must Go – I can’t deny – as a dramatist – I enjoy the pure theatricality of the Royal Wedding (particularly the music, historic costumes, fashion parades, historic architecture) for about 20 minutes. Then I’m bored.
Just a shame it’s the people who already have so much in their lives get more.
But hey – check out the highlights
Will and Kate look good, behave in a relaxed way, but scanning the Abbey itself, I realise that the crowd look NOTHING like contemporary Britain, let alone London. I’m afraid Elton John and his partner don’t quite cut it.
The cheering crowds aren’t representative either: they seem to consist of white elderly folk, or some conscripted school children. They looked pretty thin too on the Mall and Horseguards parade.
None of my friends are celebrating much beyond a holiday and a chance to head down the pub. However, these Royal things catch you unawares. I have no memory of Diana’s wedding to Charles – I was a student who detested those things. But Diana’s death and funeral caught me unawares, mainly because of the tragic elements and the unusual outpouring of grief from the stiff lipped Brits. I still remember getting out of the tube in Notting Hill after her death, and smelling the millions of flowers from a mile away.
Will Self conveys better than I can the insidious and almost ineluctable effect of the spectacle and propaganda in explaining his reluctance to see The King’s Speech (this one’s for you Happy!)
Even watching the trailer, I could feel it wreaking this sinister effect on me: as Colin-cum-George stammered in front of an expectant crowd I could feel tears pricking my eyes; this was, I realised, exactly the sensation Winston Smith must have had as he looked up at the poster of Big Brother and realised he loved him. But at least Orwell’s protagonist had rats applied to his face before giving in. We Britons are conditioned from birth to accept there’s only one form of government being held up for us-constitutional monarchy-no matter how many others we can see.
Ah well. Share some thoughts with this Anti Royalist Brit below. Xenophobia, Anglophobia and national chinless stereotypes welcome.