Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A Royal Engagement

So after goodness knows how many years (the number varies according to which newspaper you read...from 7 to 10 years)...they've finally announced their engagement.

And the newspapers are doing what they do best...whipping everyone up into a frenzy of royal fever, which will reach it's pitch when the wedding takes place in Spring or Summer next year.

Last night, regular programmes were postponed in favour of an interview with the couple, or the story of their romance, etc etc. 

I used to be very patriotic...many years ago...but gradually over time I became quite disillusioned by the whole thing.  When I was younger the royal family were somehow detached from the rest of us mere mortals.   There was a kind of mystery about them, but the subsequent divorces, scandals, and unsavoury antics that were played out in the press for us all to see, showed them to be just the same as the rest of us.  Except of course that they are NOT the same.  They have wealth and privileges that the majority of us will never experience.

Of course the scandals within the royal family have happened for centuries.  We read about them in our history lessons at school.  But because it was "history" it somehow (to me) didn't relate to our current royal family.

I will never to this day understand the outpouring of grief at the death and funeral of Diana.  How is it possible for people to show such distress at the death of someone they didn't know or had never met?  I don't underestimate the good work that she did with the charities she supported.  But that was her job.  The men in the "family" join the services, but are mostly protected from coming to any real harm.  It's what the royals do.  There are no other suitable roles for them are there?  Apart from taking endless holidays..

I do of course hope that William and Kate have a long and happy marriage.  But I wish this for all young couples embarking on a life together.  I feel sad for William that he won't have his mother at his wedding.  It's sad for any young man in that position.

The press and media will continue to do their job over the next few months.   The newspapers will be full of's a distraction from the really important things going on in the world...soldiers dying in pointless wars, acts of terrorism, recession, poverty, etc.   Maybe this is what the public want?  Who knows?

Judging by many comments from readers to online newspaper reports this morning, we no longer want or need a monarchy in Britain.

What do you think?


  1. Personalities apart, the danger of the Crown lies in the use or misuse of its constitutional powers by government to avoid transparency.

    Abolition of the monarchy might concentrate peoples' minds on the replacement system.....might just get people to be concerned about how they are no government will ever bring it about.

    More's the pity.

  2. Fly: You are so good with words...and I think you're right.

  3. I always thought the danger of the monarchy was its indirect support of a system based on privilege by birth alone. But then if Paris Hilton can be notable and always in the public eye then who can't be?

    Still, I am happy for the Prince if only because he seems like a genuinely nice person living a very peculiar life. i suppose the wedding will be a very very big deal- on a scale that will probably dwarf Charles and Diana's wingding. Is that how it's shaping up?

  4. Nomad: The mention of Paris Hilton made me realise of course that the monarchy have become celebrities too, thanks to the press and media..and there is such an obsession with celebrity these days. We think that what we read and hear about people in the public eye means that we actually know them...but we don't of course. Yes Prince William seems a nice guy...but doesn't the press want us to believe that? Isn't it all brainwashing? Or am I just cynical?

    And it's certainly shaping up to be the event of the decade!

  5. I come from the land that thinks Sarah Palin is presidential, and her daughter is considered a star to dance with, so maybe I am the wrong person to ask.

    What DOES qualify one to be a celebrity nowadays? I see people like the Kardasian family and think, so it is about getting a reality show, faking constant drama in your televised life and then complaining about the intrusion in your private life. Right?

  6. I think it would be much better fot the Brits financial to get rid of the monarchy, but my husband states they bring in a lot of tourism dollars. Congrats to Kate and William. I hope their marriage last a life time though not counting on it given the divorce rates these days.

  7. Although I'm not particularly pro Royalist nor am I against.
    I think that they draw in the visitors from abroad & I wouldn't really like to see them go.
    However, they seem to be totally disconnected from the rest of us as regards living normally.

    Many of the past problems have been caused through not allowing Royals to marry who they want and then disaster happens.

    I think I always felt sorry for Princess Margaret who should have been allowed to marry her first love who happened to be divorced.
    I always felt sorry for Diana because she also was deceived by the Royal family & badly let down. Charles should have been allowed to marry Camilla from the start & then none of that would have happened.

    So much of the problem stems from too high expectations in an unrealistic way of living.

    Good luck to the young Royals and I hope they don't follow suit like all the others.

    I also don't want this event to take us over at the expense of real news.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  8. likeschocolate: I guess your husband is right about them bringing in tourists, but they also cost the taxpayers a considerable amount of money in security too. The latest figure for the wedding for example is 20 million pounds.

    Maggie: Interesting points re the former restrictions on marriage..I think you may well be right there, and how they seem disconnected from the rest of society.

    I too hope that this event won't take the place of real news...but I suspect it's happening already.

  9. i ws very little whn princess diana died.. bt she alwayzz looked like a princess.. thts wt ppl really loved abt her

    n yaa alwayz found british royal families a mystery.. a dark one.. hidin many shocking tales n controversies.. v dont hav such a thing in india.. n evry1 loves a controversy

    sry 4 nt commentin on ur earlier posts.. i read dem all bt due2 firefox i culdnt comment 2day i opened up explorer..

    nywayz hav fun n stay well xxx

  10. anki: I'm pleased to see you here again...being able to comment anyway. Thankyou xxx


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