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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The Royal Wedding

The good thing about Britain is, whether we know it or not, some things unite us all. I'll give you an example:

Everybody, without a single exception, likes Aleksander the Meerkat better than the Go Compare guy. They advertise almost identical services, and maybe the fact that that bloody fat tenor guy is so irritating means the Go Compare brand is as, if not more, memorable than a meerkat that says "simples", otherwise Go Compare would be bankrupt and Compare the Market would be bigger than Microsoft, the Catholic church and Justin Bieber put together. But black or white, rich or poor (did you just hear Nicholas Lyndhurst in your head then, because I did), Chelsea or Man U, PC or Mac, Eastenders or Corrie, daddy or chips, everybody loves the meerkat and hates, really fucking despises, the Go Compare guy.

Of course, this, like most things the people of this country aren't divided over in some way, is trivial and happened purely by accident. This is because, perhaps unlike in the past, when things happen that we are supposed to be bound together in our love and excitement for, it never works. Yesterday I wrote about one case in point, the 2012 Olympics, and today, because it's been a bit of a slow news day and all my friends are too busy scraping pancakes off of the ceiling like the fucking Chuckle Brothers to give me any inspiration, I am writing about the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

According to polls, the majority of people, 70%, aren't against the monarchy and are happy enough with the current system. I fall into this camp, largely on the basis of not really thinking it's important enough to go to the effort of having a different opinion on. I guess I'm pro monarchy, in that it's kind of nice to have them around, but if they were gone I probably wouldn't miss them. I suppose I could have summed that all up a bit better by just saying "meh".

I could summon up a modicum of interest in their wedding, in the same way as I could summon up a polite enough amount of interest in the wedding of someone from work I didn't really give a fuck about. I am not saying it isn't newsworthy at all, especially in an age where people will buy special editions of Hello because someone called Susan Shaw has gotten married. I am also quite happy with the whole "extra day off work" situation. I have nothing against William and Kate, and I hope it works out for them (although mainly so I never have to read about the fucking divorce wall to wall). The problem is the assumption in the media that we all want to know about Kate's dress (which is all speculation anyway, as she isn't going to reveal the designer or any other details until the wedding itself - though given her generally tasteful and conservative style of dress you know it's going to be perfectly nice but boring as fuck - if you want to see a wedding dress worth talking about you know full well that Big Fat Gypsy Weddings is going to be the best way to scratch that itch), about who has been giving Kate advice on being a princess, about whether the coat Kate wore to an appointment was the same coat she'd worn before a couple of years ago, about whether Kate has invited the guy who runs her parents' local cornershop (she has, apparently)... It's like someone has taken that annoying bitch from your office who is getting married in six months and thinks you give even the tiniest portion of a tiny rat's arse about the figures on the top of her cake or the font on the place settings, and given her columns in every newspaper, every day, and a big fucking megaphone.

The thing I find most weird about it all is the longing in certain parts of the press (you can guess. It rhymes with "press" and "guess", actually. I didn't even do that on purpose.) for Kate Middleton to fill the perceived (but basically non-existent) gap in our collective hearts left by Lady Diana. Does she measure up? Is she anything like her at all? Please, please, please let her show some signs of being like our lady of the twelve sorrows Diana Spencer!

Christ, what do they want to see, Kate Middleton sprouting steering wheel shaped stigmata on her face?

It is weird because Kate Middleton is marrying Prince William. Princess Diana was his mum. Would you want everybody comparing your hot new wife to your mum? I wouldn't be holding out for any little princelets - keep putting that image in the guy's head and he'll never be able to get an erection. Even the royals aren't that incestuous.

Of course, it's got to be weird for Kate too. On the one hand, it has to be difficult everybody comparing you to someone so beloved, and famous, and dead. If she scores "Not Like Diana" in the "Are You Like Diana?" Cosmo Quiz, then she might feel a bit inadequate. On the other hand, if she scores "Just Like Diana", aside from worrying about her husband's potential Oedipus complex, she may also start to think "so, er, we're going to cheat on each other a whole lot and get divorced, and I have to have bulimia?"...

I reckon the whole thing would be a lot more enjoyable for everybody involved, including the royal couple, if the media stopped harking back to an age where a major event for the royal family was a cause for street parties (which sound fucking horrendous - as if anyone you socialise with lives on your street) and bunting (whatever that is), and accepted that in 2011 sure, we might all watch some of it down the pub while enjoying our free day off of work, but that's all you can really hope for. A person who owns an iPad 2.0 isn't going to want a commemorative mug.

Just like no babies that are born in Britain tomorrow will be given the names Mavis, Maud or Archibald, the sun has set on that kind of behaviour.

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