Kings should have beards.
I admit it: I’m kind of obsessed with the coverage — the coverage, mind you — of the Royal Wedding (TM). At this point, I’ve been making bad jokes about how I’m going to wake up at 4 a.m. to watch the ceremony for so long that I may have to actually do it. Part of this is genetic. My mom was a bit of a Diana maniac for a time — we have about 18 Royal Family coffee table books in the basement — and I’m pretty sure that my sister is named after the erstwhile Princess of Wales, even though mom won’t admit it.
Funny Hats! A Royal Necessity.
Of course, I’m a staunch small-r republican on this one, and think monarchies are awful institutions (even argued about this on the internet with putative monarchist Matt Yglesias), so it’s sort of disgusting that these terrible people and their wealth can command so much public attention when, you know, the fate of the global political system seems to hang daily in the balance. The fact that I can bet money on what color bikini Kate Middleton is photographed wearing during her honeymoon, however, however, is so totally absurd that I’m left in a sort of awed stupor. Also, definitely betting Prince Charles will cry before the Queen does (which is never).
Anyway, two good articles on this topic:
1) “Welcome to the Firm.”
The people had handheld flags, but these had been given away – as one side proclaimed – by Crown Paints. These loyal subjects saw the couple arrive, wave momentarily, then disappear into the dry. The sensible ones then left. “Was it worth it?” I asked a group of escaping young mums. “Nooooo,” they shouted back in unison.
… And those graced by The Presence came away like medieval peasants brushed by the royal fingers to cure the scrofula. “He shook my hand! He shook my hand!” “Oooh, loovly!” Then the royal party vanished. It could be half a lifetime before they get to Blackburn again… “We are in the happiness business,” as Lord Charteris, a former private secretary to the Queen, once put it.
2) “Last in the line of succession, Ms. Vogel is glad she isn’t Queen:
Descendant of Sophia of Hanover, She Would Rule Britain if 4,972 Die”
Ms. Vogel and her mother have retained a certain fondness for British royalty. They admire the U.K.’s cultural heritage and its eccentricities, like bowler hats and afternoon tea. Ilse calls Elizabeth II “a great woman and a great queen.” As for Prince Charles, Ilse has confidence, having read his treatise on organic farming.
Still,neither would want to be queen. “Too stressful,” Ms. Vogel says.
While I guess congrats are due to the young couple, I can’t help but agree with Hitchens’ advice to Kate: Run!