I’m sorry to rain on peoples’ parade (though the royals have been reigning on mine for as long as I can remember) but I’ve no interest in the royal wedding. In fact, not only am I not interested, I positively don’t want to hear about it.
Every time I switch on radio, TV, or internet and hear another royal correspondent fawning sickeningly over ‘the royal couple’, it makes me more irritated. And it reminds me just how out of tune with society I am. Sometimes I just don’t understand people. Actually, scratch that – I don’t understand people most of the time. And I’m sure people don’t understand me, so let me explain myself. If two people that I don’t know, and are not known to anyone else that I know, are getting married, I don’t see why I should be expected to show any interest in their wedding. Any more than I would be interested in any of the other weddings, between people I don’t know, that take place up and down the country every day. Oh, but this couple are special. What, because they’re privileged and wealthy? Sorry, that doesn’t endear them to me. But it’s the royal family, isn’t it!
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m not that keen on the royal family. In celebrating the monarchy we are celebrating a tradition whereby the ordinary people were subjugated and oppressed by a tiny, privileged minority. Oh, but it’s not the same now, they don’t have the power they used to. No, but they still draw down huge quantities of our hard earned cash from the exchequer. Surfs [1.] like me are still expected to bow and to scrape, to use the prescribed sycophantic descriptors such as ‘your royal majesty’; to speak only when spoken to, and don’t whatever you do touch the royal person. And they still have some powers, even if they are only nominal ones. Above all, again I would cite the argument that we are celebrating the cruel and unjust way this country was governed.
People say ‘so you’re a republican then’, using the word as a pejorative, as if we all agree that wouldn’t do. But what does it actually mean? Would we really need a president if we lose the royal family? It’s only the queen who has any necessary parliamentary duties, and these barely take up any of her time. Give them to the character known as Black Rod (and make his job subject to equal opportunities and appointment through a standard recruitment procedure). And then we can give queenie a modest pension and a small house in the country, and let all the little royal hangers-on support themselves.
So I won’t be watching the royal wedding today. Nothing could make me. I did get a bit interested when I heard Harry’s father might be giving the bride away. If the bride’s mother was doing it, I still wouldn’t watch. Maybe if it was a humanist wedding, with the ceremony conducted to a soundtrack of dub reggae (plus Handel’s coronation anthem, of course) with readings by Benjamin Zephaniah, I might be more interested. I do think it’s a good thing that the royal family is becoming more diverse (it’s great that they felt able to welcome a ginger person into the family).
At least you can wish them well, can’t you? No. Why should I? Any more than I should for any other couple I don’t know. I’m willing to believe they’re both very nice people, but I don’t know them. I don’t wish them ill. That’s the most I’ll concede…
- That’s ‘Surf’ not ‘Smurf’ – although thinking about the royals does make me blue.
Text copyright Graham Wright 2018