Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Fairy Tale Anti Monarchist Open Thread

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.


  1. jsfox

    And may God forgive me quoting Douthat and for even slightly agreeing with him.

    Whatever their customs and traditions, even the most modern polities often find themselves yearning, like the Israelites of old, for a kinglike authority. And the existence of a largely-powerless royal family can be a useful hedge against the perpetual temptation to invest ordinary politicians with quasi-royal powers, and then (almost inevitably) watch them run amok. (The experience of post-Franco Spain suggests that the restoration of a hereditary monarchy after a long period of dictatorship can play a similar stabilizing role.) Having a monarch as the symbolic head of state keeps elected officials in their place, provides an apolitical outlet for popular hero worship and the cults of celebrity, and satisfies the human hunger for ceremonial authority. If it’s an affront to democratic sensibilities, it’s also a safeguard for democratic institutions. Better a real king, crowned and powerless, than the many pseudo-kings who have strutted (and still strut) so destructively across the modern stage.

    If I have an issue with this wedding, to which I am paying zero attention, it is that in a time when the average Brit is getting slammed by the draconian austerity measures, it is the cost being born by the British taxpayer.

  2. Jjc2008

    ever since I was a little girl.

    Never once wanted to be a princess.

    Was not impressed by Charles and Diana’s wedding….

    and not much interest in this one.

    Wish them well as I would anyone, but seriously what is it about this that turns people into fools?  

    With all that is going on in the world, THIS dominates the news.

    I know, I know, people like to escape. I get it.  But it’s 2011 and I find even the notion of news talking about Kate being a “commoner” an affront.

    Oh well…not much of a romantic when it comes to these things….

  3. Strummerson

    as a teacher of English poetry…Between the Bishop of London’s “message” to the couple that quoted a line of Chaucer and the singing of Blake’s “Jerusalem,” some poets made it onto the world stage today.  Makes me very happy.

  4. DTOzone

    that I’m about to go into a meeting where my publisher and associate publisher will decide whether or not to support or oppose marriage equality on our editorial page.

    We will do it depending on which side loses us less ad revenue.

    Welcome to America.  

  5. DTOzone

    Americans say Republicans in Congress would do a better job than Democrats in dealing with the U.S. budget, according to a poll released on Friday that shows President Barack Obama’s party at a disadvantage as lawmakers near another showdown over federal spending.

    The poll’s findings underscore the challenge facing Obama as he seeks public support for his proposals for tackling a growing U.S. budget deficit — an issue that could play a key role in the president’s efforts to win re-election in 2012.

    The USA Today/Gallup survey of 1,013 U.S. adults looked at whether Americans expressed more confidence in the ability of Republicans or Democrats in Congress to deal with six major issues facing the country.

    The federal budget was the only issue in which respondents clearly preferred one party over the other, with 48 percent favoring Republicans and 36 percent Democrats.

    Oh well, maybe another speech?  

  6. spacemanspiff

    I still remember getting out of the tube in Notting Hill after her death, and smelling the millions of flowers from a mile away.

  7. spacemanspiff

    From his Wiki:

    When the media asked Juan Carlos in 2005 if he would endorse the bill legalizing gay marriage that was then being debated in the Cortes Generales, he answered “Soy el Rey de España y no el de Bélgica” (“I am the King of Spain, not of Belgium”) – a reference to King Baudouin I of Belgium, who refused to sign the Belgian law legalising abortion.[15] The King gave his Royal Assent to Law 13/2005 on 1 July 2005; the law legalizing gay marriage was gazetted in the Boletín Oficial del Estado on 2 July, and came into effect on 3 July.[16]

    Luck of the draw. Prince William seems pretty cool. He was born into this so I can’t fault him for his position in life.

    Hey Brit, I was reading up that the King of Spain is the commander in chief of the armed forces. I’m sure that’s just a title only but he could exercise his power if he wanted. Luckily for Spain they lucked out and got a good one. Belgium? Not so lucky.

    My question is:

    What kind of power and influence can Prince William have? Nobody likes Charles so let’s skip him if we can. Do the monarchs wield any power at all in any form?  Would it matter if Williams was more outspoken on certain issues?

    (sorry for all the stupid q’s. lol!)

  8. HappyinVT

    I discovered the greatest thing EVER.  Netflix!  Seriously!  Y’all tried it?  I watched a documentary Crazy Love at work and now I’m hooked on this thing.  Why’d no one tell me how great this was a long time ago?!

    I’ve got stuff queued up to send to me; I’ve got stuff in mind to watch at work home later.  Jeez!  For $10 a month I get to watch all kinds of great stuff and I don’t have to turn the channel (and pass over really bad stuff).

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