Someone hand me a commemorative sickbag
Spare us the carnival of naffness that is the marriage of Wills and Kate and let’s cut the royal line instead.
There are few things more thrilling than the prospect of a Royal Wedding. Watching rust form might be one. Getting through Christmas sober might be another.
Personally, I’d put even sock buying a distant second in the spine-shiver stakes to the prospect of Prince William and Kate Middleton getting married. If only they would elope, it would better preserve us from national orgasm.
The news broke on Tuesday morning. The makers of Kate Middleton thimbles were beside themselves, the press scarcely less so. Even the Guardian (which is surely staffed with republicans) put up a live blog to keep abreast of matters: ‘He reportedly calls her “Babykins”, while he is apparently her “Big Willie”.’ How foul.
The coalition was overjoyed. David Cameron claimed to have slept rough to wave a flag at Chaz and Di’s nuptials and worrying rumours began to spread that Dave is now trying to re-model himself as ‘Father of the Nation’ in order to guide us through the labyrinthine preparations for making Middleton an honest woman. Nick Clegg claimed that ‘everyone will be united in delight and joy’ – no doubt propping up the new plebs’ public happiness rating which we have all been promised. WillnKate memorabilia should resuscitate the British economy, too. Apparently the Germans are mad for our wedding tat. ‘It’s very significant because it’s something that will make people buy’, Royal Crown Derby’s sales and marketing director Simon Willis told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The only person who seemed to be taking it calmly was the Prince of Wales, who muttered something about the couple having practiced long enough. Many took this to be an attempt at a joke. Others, knowing that the Duke of Edinburgh is the only member of the Windsor clan who has ever tried to crack a funny, suggested it was just Charles working himself into a huff at all the attention moving away from him, again.
Meanwhile, the day was rolling on fast, and Will and Kate had taken to the airwaves to be interviewed by ITV’s Tom Bradby. Asked how love blossomed, things got scintillating. ‘It’s a long time ago now, Tom, I’m trying to wrack my brain’, said the Prince. ‘We just spent more time with each other, had a good giggle, had lots of fun and realised we shared the same interests and had a really good time.’
In fact everyone was having giggles, so many giggles you start to worry if it’s a royal metaphor for something. ‘She’s got a really naughty sense of humour’, Will added of Kate, who looks like she’s got nothing of the sort. ‘I think at first [our friends] were a bit surprised that it had happened, then they realised it was really nice and it was good fun and we got on really well, they were good friends of ours as well so we had a good giggle with them as well.’
I’m not sure the nation can take another six or seven months of this. Surely it is time to throw over the Windsors and transform Buckingham Palace into a theme park for Chinese tourists? Surely, in a modern democratic country, we shouldn’t have a queen, let alone two generations of successors and – the pair darkly hint – a third in the offing?
As if to make things worse, the future Princess Catherine looks like she’s going to add about as much fun to public life as a manic depressive at a birthday party. Whatever you think of Diana, at least she didn’t completely efface her entire personality in order to fit in with the Firm. Kate may have started out as a strutting university student intent on a career in fashion, but the moment that it threatened her relationship with William she appeared to give up all her worldly ambitions to make herself available to shoot grouse and stalk deer at a moment’s notice. Kate won’t put a foot wrong and we’ll all have to put up with them far longer as a result. There appears to be no hope that she’s going to start wailing, flailing, and falling downstairs, making panda eyes at Martin Bashir and playing footsie with Andrew Morton.
No, it’ll all be odes from Carol-Ann Duffy, and dress speculation and venue speculation, and commemorative tea towels, and special confetti, and passed sickbags. In the words of Colonel Kurtz: ‘The horror… the horror.’
Emily Hill is a reporter on the Londoner’s Diary at the Evening Standard. Visit her personal website here.
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