I’ve been talking about this on a private thread, and realised I’m so grumpy about it, I wanted to share more widely. But first a question – why do Americans (NZers, Australians, SPANISH!) even care? Unlike us you don’t get a holiday, why would it matter to you? (I don’t get a holiday either, deadlines don’t care about made-up national holidays and neither do I.)
I’ve been trying to work out why all the fuss is making me so grumpy and it’s about a lot of things :
Yesterday’s Blue Peter full of references to brides and grooms and failing to acknowledge, even though it’s been legal here for more than five years, that there are also same-sex couples getting married in Britain, all over the world, assuring those kids who happen to be gay that they are, as they no doubt already suspect, not included.
The insistence on ‘fairy tale’, the belief that a wedding is an ending rather than a beginning, the idea that a girl ‘getting her man’ is the best a bright young woman can aim for.
There’s also some serious stupidity that shows very clearly the state of modern Britain – the fact that diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and North Korea have been invited and not ex-PMs Blair and Brown underlines exactly that it’s all about protocol, has nothing to do with the ‘life of the nation’, and is as outdated and absurd as it is dangerous.
And of course, inherited titles, by their very nature, are simply silly. A baby is a baby is a baby, the family they’re born into is a matter of luck.
Basically, these are two quite young people getting married. Of course I wish them well, it’s a shame that after weeks of stunning weather, rain is forecast on their wedding day – no-one wants rain on their wedding day, it plays havoc with the photos and Alanis Morrisette thinks it’s ironic. (She’s wrong, but you knew that, right?) But I seriously doubt that anyone’s relationship can be helped by the gawping of millions of strangers and turning what should be a semi-public (for friends and family), essentially private (between the couple), occasion into a sideshow. I find the press interest ghastly and am particularly annoyed that we’re spending an enormous amount on security and a national ‘holiday’ (always bad for the economy) when we’re simultaneously being told cuts are needed everywhere and basic things – like libraries! – can’t be funded.
Sigh. The problem is, one can’t say these things without sounding like a curmudgeon – I’m all for street parties, and neighbours getting on with each other, our local is having a party and if I didn’t have a deadline I’d be there – NOT to celebrate the wedding of strangers, but to share a pleasant morning with my neighbours. With any luck I’ll make it in time for the BBQ and the paella they’re making in the garden. The reflected joy of others is always a nice thing. And I love London and think my city does these things very well, it’s a great backdrop for a good show. But this isn’t a fairytale romance, it’s some real people. And we’re not a nation who care much about this royal family, we certainly don’t believe they are there by divine right (we’ve watched The Tudors too closely to do that!), we’re just a nation who think it’s slightly less offensive than the over-the-top respect accorded whoever happens to be “Mister’ President at the time – ie, we’ve not found a system we like much better.
So, come tomorrow morning, I’ll be working. I’ll also, very likely, have the BBC online in the corner of my screen, not least so I can check out whatever ghastly dress they’ve forced her into – there’s not a great track record of ‘royal’ wedding dresses and unlike the rest of us she doesn’t have the luxury of choosing any design/designer she’d like. It will most certainly be picked over by fashionistas and royal-lovers for decades to come. It’s almost enough to make me feel sorry for her. Almost.