What was it that was happening on the 29th of April again? Ah yes, my daughter’s birthday. No, that’s not it – I seem to remember it being something a trifle less important.
I jest, of course. It is, depending on who you speak to, the most important event to take place in Britain for the last 20 years, or a complete waste of time and taxpayer money, providing an offering of bread and circuses to the plebeian hordes who have nothing better to do than dote over the offspring of a tired old hag whose time in the sun should have ended decades ago.
Either way, there’s enough hooha being strewn hither and thither to carpet bomb a small continent (Australia would have done nicely, thanks, if India hadn’t got there first), and a sufficient supply of trinkety memorabilia to kick-start the Great British Economic Recovery. From books to mugs to plates, you can have it all. And while the kitchen sink is probably not on the list, you can keep your Royal Wedding Cheese nice and fresh in your Royal Wedding Fridge.
Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal of the Royal family. Sure, Diana was a pretty little thing, who came, saw, and gave a sincere wave. But she had more troubles than her old kitbag could cope with and once the seams split, it all started going south a little while later. At about 105 km/h, apparently. (Hmmm… did that cross a line somewhere?) As for the rest of them, the less said the better.
But try telling that to the tabloid press. The reams of mawkishly devoted tripe that gets published about Mum & Co is thoroughly out of touch. In my mind, it’s distressingly similar to what a dictator would produce if he took control of the Press. Although, to be fair, they do print their fair share of scathing rebukes every time one of the Naughty Ones does something wrong. But who is it that reads this rubbish, or buys this bunk? I have yet to find anyone who is genuinely looking forward to the wedding, or is enthralled by the royals, or is happy about their taxes going to pay for their upkeep. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, talking to the wrong sorts of people, or am too tainted by my own preconceptions to see the stars in their eyes.
But about 70% of the population want to keep the monarchy (even if 70% of those think the queen needs to get with the programme a bit), so there must be a substantial market for this stuff. And so we get bombarded with it. Every newspaper and magazine, every shop, every infomercial. There’s even a competition at my office – design a commemorative plate and win a prize! (The prize being that they’ll print your design on a plate for you to keep…. at least they had the decency to add ‘cynical’ to the list of possible design approaches you could take.)
I’m just thankful that I’ve managed to survive the period from the engagement to the wedding. The fuss about the ring, about the blue dress, about the location, about every little detail of what the day will potentially be like. And it’s only intensifying as the date draws near. So wish me luck while I try keep my eyes and ears closed for the next 5 and a half weeks until the wonderful day when the wedding is over, and we can start being told about the honeymoon, and then the first few weeks, and then the puppy they’ll no doubt procure, and then the numerous Royal Engagements they’ll go to, and…
If only they had the sheer entertainment value of politicians, it might just be a little bit more bearable.