Royal Wedding post

OK, well I’m up London — right now, in the Apple Store in Covent Garden — where I had intented to take some pictures of the scenes surrounding the royal wedding. I wouldn’t have done so otherwise, but my friend Claire Wade, who runs a company organising virtual holidays and other events for the house-bound, asked me to take some pictures and, if possible, send them to their Facebook event page. Sadly, I arrived near Parliament Square about 11:15am and the way was blocked at the junction with the Victoria Embankment. There was a space in between the police cordon and the square itself, and I couldn’t actually see what was going on in the square. Every way into the area was blocked, with a few people being allowed through the cordon (mostly away from the proceedings). Basically, only the dedicated few who got there early could even see what was happening, so you might otherwise have stayed at home and watched it on TV.

Trafalgar Square was even worse — there was a big green wall erected at the Strand end, and I don’t know what was going on there as it wasn’t on the procession route (which turned off Whitehall through an archway into Horse Guards’ Parade). I really regretted not writing to Claire and asking her for some sort of letter adressed “to whom it may concern”, explaining what I was doing. But I didn’t anticipate that I would be kept at such a distance such that I couldn’t take decent pictures of the event.

I’ve never been particularly fond of the monarchy, but I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool republican either; all of the most prominent republics have various myths that they like to repeat again and again, usually about “liberty” that turns out only to apply to some citizens and not others. But the expensive pageantry going on at a time when the most vulnerable people in society are having their much-needed services cut to the bone is pretty incongruous. Ironically, a lot of disabled people were watching the proceedings avidly and I’m not going to give political lectures to them, but if we are going to hold a big party at a time when the public are facing hardship, then it’s better that we can all go to the party rather than having to watch at a distance.

I was also pretty disgusted to hear that they had banned the two recent Labour prime ministers from attending, not because I was any great fan of either of them, but because they did invite Margaret Thatcher and John Major, the Conservative prime ministers from before Blair. I think there were technical reasons for whey they qualified and Blair and Brown didn’t (like membership of some obscure order), but let’s face it, the royals are a big land-owning family and guess which party big land-owning families generally support.

Also, I’m a bit apprehensive about what Kate Middleton’s (or Kate Mountbatten-Windsor, or whatever she is called now as the Duchess of Cambridge) life might be like once she’s actually married into the royal family. Big monarchies like ours tend to chew royal brides and spit them out, much like they did with Diana. I don’t suppose the royals are using her for a baby machine, as they did with Diana, or that it will be as oppressive an environment as the Japanese royal family proved to be when one of the heirs to the “Chrysanthemum throne” married a commoner a while back; the wife developed depression under that regime. But being a proper princess, let alone a queen, is going to be a much harder job, with a lot less personal liberty, than simply being a middle-class young woman from a wealthy family.

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  • Assalamu alaikum, You know I kinda tought the same sorts of things, i.e., all of the expense to put this wedding on while services are being cut and I wondered if Kate Middleton would fair any better than Diana did.

    I just didn’t think it was worth me getting up so early in the morning (here anyway) to watch it, and for me it wasn’t. And btw, they actually had an audio described feed of the wedding proceedings, now I was actually tempted to listen to that lol.

  • Claire

    Thank you so much for the effort involved, I’d no idea it would be so hectic either. It’s amazing that there was such an out pouring of support.

  • It was big in Canada too, so big that it drowned out the federal election, which actually affects peoples’ lives!

  • Tim

    I will support anyone getting married. Consider what it is alleged to have cost me — “the taxpayer” — charity. On another note, I hope the cult of celebrity will lead to many a future bride adopting this bride’s moderately modest approach to the wedding dress.

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  • Fauzia

    Watched it cos I like a good wedding, nice spectacle, but this was all about appeasing the public. Sharma said it right on the the Beeb, this was about a marriage between the monarchy and the British Public, establishing the false aspiration that anyone can become royalty….no they can’t. If Kate hadn’t the elite education and Money behind her, she wouldnt have got a look in. It’s about time the monarchy were given their marching orders. Let them keep their titles but do it on their own money. BBC said they bring in an estimated 500mil into the country. Well they own and take much more than that in the civil list. And anyway, if they bring in trade and that’s their “job” then let them do it with their own money. I mean if a business man came to you and said “I provide employment for people who work in my factory so pay me money to do that” you’d want to get him sectioned. Time to call it a day. Let them keep whatever they have pilfered through the ages from the world if necessary, but the buildings and the civil list need to be returned to the people. Tourists will still come to see these sites. And they will still be multi millionares. And they will still be marrying within their own family and social circles. How much money does one human being need? Even Bill Gates is giving away his wealth and he actually earned it. And about invites, what I thought was most disgusting was the mother of two “princesses” was not invited. Sort puts all the talk of commoner being accepted in more of a hypocritical light. I however wish them well in their marraige and hope Allah guides them to the straight path.