Sunday, May 01, 2011

guillotine some sense into 'em, is what I say

Yeah, all right, last word on this for the moment - here's the Independent's Johann Hari with a cogent summary of the viewpoint of those of us subject to a hot flush of cringing embarrassment every time the royal wedding gets a mention. If you prefer a spoken-word version of the same article, try this.

Just to nip another inane response in the bud, and to re-use a phrase from the last (unrelated) post, I have, in general, no personal animosity towards the individuals who collectively comprise the British royal family, with a couple of exceptions which I'll come to in a minute. In particular, while I suspect that on a personal level they are achingly dull people you wouldn't want to be trapped in a room with, William and Kate seem like a personable enough couple, and from William's past pronouncements it's very possible that they would have preferred a low-key ceremony of their own devising like everyone else gets, rather than the ludicrous Disneyland spectacle they were required to participate in. The point is that they got no choice - heaven forbid they should have decided they didn't want a church wedding at all, or to marry but not have any kids, or not marry but have kids anyway, or rope Kate's sister Pippa into a ménage à trois (come on, you would, wouldn't you?), or any of the other choices they'll never get to even consider. This sort of talk is usually the lead-in to the next monarchist canard, which goes something like: see, they do a difficult and demanding job; you wouldn't want to do it, would you? To which the answer is no, I most certainly would not, so let's abolish the job altogether; that way no-one has to do it. Problem solved.

Some useful resources for those confronted with the usual pro-monarchy nonsense can be found here.

Scrolling back through some of Johann Hari's old Independent articles provides this useful hook from which to hang a paragraph or so about the less benign side of the royals. Even if we leave aside the flirtation with Nazism (whitewashed nicely in The King's Speech) there's still Charles' hare-brained obsession with quackery, religion and some other bullshit too vague to be worthy of a name. Since we're unlikely to see any change to the current system under the current monarch, I think perhaps the best-case scenario is for Charles to succeed to the throne and be unable to resist the temptation to hold forth on various topics in stereotypically blithering and ill-informed fashion and to interfere with government policy-making in exactly the way the current Queen has been scrupulously careful not to do. I think if we suddenly acquire a politically-engaged King, and a massive idiot to boot, public patience could wear thin quite quickly.

More importantly, what the heck was Princess Beatrice wearing on her head (see picture above) for the wedding? Theories I've seen so far include:
  • antlers
  • an octopus
  • a stylised representation of the female reproductive system
I would love it if it were the last one, but it seems unlikely. A strong contender for Scariest Eye Make-Up of the day, as well.

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