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Royal Wedding Special – Not…

April 26, 2011

I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not to mention the Royal Wedding. And I’ve finally decided that since every Brit who  regularly strings a few words together seems to be launching into print on the subject, I might as well join them.

I’m in England at the moment, and no, I haven’t received an invite. And even if I had, I’m not sure what I would have to say to David Beckham and the King of Swaziland. And I wonder what sort of conversations will ensue between the dignitaries and the celebs. Between Sir Elton John and the President of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe, for example.

I may sound like an old curmudgeon, but there appears to be a disconnect here between public sentiment and the acres of gushing coverage in the British media. It seems that there is an endless capacity to find new angles about dresses, hats, uniforms, guest lists, wedding cakes and fancy hats. Yet most people I speak to seem more enthused that we have two successive double Bank Holiday weekends. So the British public has the opportunity to take eleven days of holiday at the cost of only three days of their annual entitlement.

Add to that the unusually fine weather – Easter weather in the UK is normally foul – and people are deluding themselves that summer has arrived. They are hitting the beaches, taking to the road, guzzling ice cream and wandering around in skimpy clothing as if we were in the middle of August.

Of course, being British, we are incapable of enjoying the moment without spotting a down side. We are being warned by the water companies that the recent long spell of dry weather is likely to lead to summer water shortages. And weather-watchers – which means just about the entire population – are muttering that all this good weather surely means that summer will be over by July, just when we’re getting round to taking our proper holidays. Wedding watchers, of course, are convinced that it’s going to rain on the happy couple’s big day.

The latter eventuality would be a blow for me too, because on wedding day I’m planning a day’s golf competing in a special event referred to by some of the less reverent competitors as the Republican Cup.

I’m not a republican, by the way. But there are times when I would prefer them to ride bicycles rather than gilded carriages, like some of the more egalitarian European monarchies. And while I have a lot of respect for the Queen and her direct line of succession, I can’t help feeling slightly queasy at the deference paid to some of the minor royals whose elevated opinions of themselves do not sit well with their lack of talent and usefulness.

However, my opinion counts for nothing, and come the day, there will be street parties, large ladies in flowery dresses and big hats getting steadily drunk on champagne and collapsing over the cream tea, young men getting into beer-fuelled fisticuffs over girls, little girls prancing around in their princess dresses,  grannies weeping in front of the telly and dogs stealing the sausage rolls.

Meanwhile, as the bells ring out from the churches of England, I shall be somewhere around the  eleventh tee, cursing my cack-handed golf swing and reaching in the bag for yet another ball.

But I do wish our future King and his bride health and happiness. And I remind myself that one of the reasons why I love my country is that a cynical old grump like me can take a gentle dig at our beloved Royal Family without being accused of disloyalty, treason or worse. And that over the past nine hundred years a lot of people died for that right.

From → Social, UK

  1. Steve.

    WIshing you a lucky day at golf!! 🙂

    • The golf was awful, but the wedding made up for it. I saw the highlights later…

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