Breaking News: Couple Get Engaged

Posted on November 16, 2010

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Not sure if you’ve heard, but William Windsor and Kate Middleton are getting married. Isn’t it exciting, thrilling and, for millions of girls out there who had their heart set on becoming a princess, heartbreaking?

Not so much, actually. This news is so drearily expected that, as I write this, several channels are already running pre-recorded ‘Wills and Kate Royal Love Story’ shows, featuring dour tales of how the couple met, broke up, got back together, did a few other things that aren’t that interesting, and then, lo and behold, decided to tie the knot. The only thing fairly interesting about it is how utterly irrelevant this man, his fiance and their impending wedding are to my life, your life and the lives of the rest of the people of Britain whom William will one day call his “subjects”.

In a nation where people groan about the gap between the rich and the poor, about MPs claiming ridiculous expenses and about the effects of the worst recession in decades, the cash-rich, land-rich Windsors, who do not publish their own expenditure, continue to draw vast amounts of funds from the public purse. Republicanism as a cause has become so muted due to the popularity of the current Queen that people seem unaware of how detached the monarchy has become from the lives of ordinary people in this country.

The rest of the story will no doubt play out as follows: huge press build up of pretty mundane facts about the wedding plans, no doubt neglecting to inform us how much of it is funded by the taxpayer; David Cameron breaking off from official business to congratulate the lucky couple, while allowing Clarence House to use government staff to put together plans; massive public excitement on the day of the wedding itself, with generic shots of proud old ladies and crying young girls; ridiculous commentary on the BBC over how “British” this whole affair is and how it has reawakened the patriotism of the monarchy’s loyal ‘subjects’; and then, when the dust has settled and William and Kate are sunning themselves aboard a yacht in the Carribean, ordinary British people return to their homes, jobs and lives having gained nothing and seen nothing but a dazzling display of that which some people in this country have when they, the vast majority, have not.

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Posted in: Issues, Media