I suppose I should be grateful for some light relief. For months the headlines have been full of natural disasters (tsunamis, floods, cyclones, hurricanes, and mudslides) not to mention the instability in the Middle East, Afghanistan and so forth. But I can’t help thinking the gravity of those things only goes to highlight the trivialness of the social event making the news this weekend.
Don’t get me wrong I am not against marriage. It is sometimes called a wonderful institution and I know a lot of you think I should be in one! But the world making a fuss of a union of one of the inconsequential Windsors, is just as much an anathema to me as the press pandering to Paris Hilton. (I think it’s my Scottish blood that get’s me going about the monarchy!)
I’ve enjoyed many weddings and I am grateful that most of those whose marriages I’ve celebrated are still together – which just goes to show the conservative circles I move in. And I bear no ill-will to the couple – seemingly pleasant young lady and a young fellow that except for an accident of birth could have been a normal upright young man. I guess my sentiments were well-captured in Friday’s cartoon in the Australian by Kudelka. He has the priest saying to the couple, “We are gathered here today to join these two relics of an anachronistic monarchy in the holy anachronism of marriage.”
And this is not the most acerbic comment by a long shot. The London correspondent of German newspaper Der Spiegel, Marco Evers, wrote of his frustration at all the hype.
“But is it really worth all the fuss? More than 10,000 journalists are descending on London. … Everyone is pretending that this spectacle is the most important and beautiful event on earth – but it is not,” he wrote.
“It is wrong to address the Windsors and, from next Friday the delightful Kate Middleton as well, as Your Royal Highness or even Your Majesty. It is wrong to see them as anything other than people made of flesh and blood, like you and I.”
Now that seems to me a more Australian outlook!
And of course I laughed at the headlines of the Philadelphia Daily News – “Bugger Off – Why we are already sick of the royal wedding.”
Before you get married you always get gratuitous advice. Before I was married a well-meaning traditionalist took me aside and said, “If you want your marriage to last the husband must assert himself. Always have the last word.”
It has turned out to be good advice and I follow it religiously. I always complete any discussion with my wife with “yes, dear”.
I wonder what gratuitous advice William will get from Charles. Maybe he’ll say, “This will be good for your career in the services, son. I’ll expect to see some bravery medals in the future.”
“Well although the statistics show that married men live longer, they are also more prepared to die!”
Or maybe he’ll say something simple like, “Behind every good man stands a good woman. Mine made me a millionaire.” (Mutters under his breath, “Before I met her I was billionaire!”)
Or perhaps he’ll say, “Be careful about your communications skills. My first wife always said my communications style was a bit wooden.” (What do you expect from someone who talks to trees?)
Did you hear that one morning, just after the death of William’s mother, (whatever her name was) Charles was out walking his dog. A polite passer-by said, “Morning, Charles.” “No,” came the reply, “Just walking the dog.”
And Charles is the wealthy hypocrite with palaces and estates reported by the press as bemoaning the fact that the world has become too materialistic! It’s a bit like Imelda Marcos complaining that women these days horded too many shoes!
The only good thing I can say about Charles is that he appreciated Spike Milligan. He has always admired “the Goons” but unfortunately he has morphed into a decrepit Eccles and he is not even acting!
And another anachronism! There seems to be much made of the fact that Bill is marrying a “commoner”. How demeaning is that! What are the characteristics of those of royal blood that seem to make them superior to ordinary people? I can’t think of any. From what I can understand “What’s Her Name’s” parents are reasonably wealthy, successful business people. There is more merits in their achievements than Bill’s parents who earned fame by inheritance only.
Recent polls have indicated that the support for a republic in Australia has diminished in the last decade. This disappoints me because I always felt that one of the best attributes of Australians (and I am not a nationalist) is that we have championed egalitarianism. Idolising people because of their lineage does not seem congruent with that Australian trait to me.
But I suppose the greatest indignity of Friday’s trivial distraction, was the televised football match on Friday night was delayed because of the accursed thing. To a rugby league fan, a match between the Broncos and the Bulldogs is more holy than any match between William and Kate. It just goes to show how sycophantic we are. I’ll bet if Manchester United was playing Arsenal in the UK, they would have shifted the marriage ceremony!
But if this event was not already sufficient insult to our intelligence, guess what came next – the bloody Logies!