Culture

Wedding of the Century

Are you a little tired of the blanket coverage of the forthcoming wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William? Yes? BFF! I hear tell there’s some kind of political unrest occurring in Libya and Syria, but apparently repeating the story of Kate’s see-through dress is of greater news worthiness. The last Royal Wedding I recall is the Big One – Charles and Diana 1981. I know that since then, Fergie and Prince Andrew tied and untied the knot and Sophie and Prince Edward were hitched, but possessing anything but a superficial knowledge of these events is like knowing the names of the N’Sync guys who aren’t Justin, Lance or Joey.  Even trivia has a hierarchy.

The occasion of the wedding of Charles and Diana is etched upon my memory because our Irish relatives were staying with us. The Uncle and Aunt had moved into my brother’s room and the cousins had moved into my room and so my brother and I were housed in a caravan in the backyard. Which was a pretty cool idea as far as we were concerned. We viewed what seemed like the 9 hours of the ceremony on a portable telly. I remember eating toast and strawberry jam while we watched. Mum was there. She loves the Royals. Dad, being the black sheep of his Protestant clan finds the Windsors redundant and was definitely not watching. The streets of London were choked with flag-waving well-wishers. An estimated 750 million others were also watching the telecast. It was a fabulous occasion, Gen Y, trust me.

But I’m sitting this one out . I’m not feeling it.  I’m tired of the idea that Kate has experienced a storybook romance and will be a “fairytale princess”. This is egregious bullshit.  She is entering into the sort of marriage that none of us can appreciate. She is marrying a man who has been the subject of media coverage from the day he was born. He comes from a family who live on the public purse and wield a great deal of influence if not actual political power. There is nothing in her life previous to meeting William that will have prepared her for her new life. There is the example of Sarah Ferguson and Diana to suggest that becoming a Windsor might be a rather difficult gig.  And when Kate has children there will be no real latitude about the type of education they will receive, the sort of job they will have and the kind of scrutinised life they will live.

Your child might discover a cure for cancer, find a way to increase food production ten fold, invent a new source of energy, become leader of the country or write a great novel. Kate and William’s children are extremely unlikely to do anything more than perpetuate the family business – keep the old firm going. Her job is to produce the heir and a spare. Her kids will have everything that yours don’t, but they won’t be free to make their own way.

Sure, it’s no tragedy. I guess becoming part of the British Royal Family might seem like winning the lotto to some, but to me it looks like a rather circumscribed life of great privilege but not much creativity.

That’s not my definition of “happily ever after”.

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2 thoughts on “Wedding of the Century

  1. I fell for the Royal wedding in 1981, hook, line and sinker. I was 10. It was magical.
    I have not been watching the coverage of this wedding, but I will watch it. I’m a sucker for a wedding. But what you say is true, and it’s not a life I think I would want, nor want for my children.
    I commented yesterday that it seemed perhaps William was marrying his mother, as he appeared on more magazine covers with her than Kate… what a way to begin married life, with the weight of a long dead mother hanging on you.

  2. You were 10 – and it was magic! And yep, the memory of Diana is a ton of weight for him to carry. There’s even the notion that he will be rather progressive and forward looking in the style of his mother – but who knows?

    What amazes me is that any woman who is a “commoner” and marries into the British Royal family is agreeing to be part of a very hide-bound system. It seems like quite a patriarchal set up. Although Princess Mary has it worse if there is any truth to those stories about her not having a legal right to custody of her children in the event of a divorce.

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