24 May 2010

On royal weddings

Do you know what I was doing on 29 July 1981? I was sitting on the sofa with my sister, eyes as big as saucers, clutching our joint Lady Diana scrapbook, drinking in every moment and wearing plastic Union Jack bowler hats. We must have looked like Toddlers for Ukip. (I was seven at the time, but the years of emotional abuse and a diet consisting solely of burned fish fingers and fear had stunted my growth considerably.)

Oh, she was so beeyootiful! The doe eyes! The hair! My mother and her friend noted with satisfaction that it had been specially brushed back from her face for the day, but even this intrusion of maternal practicalities into magic could not entirely break the spell. Nor could the fact that the bride's dress, as she descended on to terra firma, had obviously been crushed to buggery in the landau. A landau! Be still my beating heart. It was a pity the man she was marrying was so ugly, but at least, as my paternal grandmother pointed out, he'd bought her a decent ring - good for pawning if the going ever got tough. I thought this was very considerate of him.

And, of course, we had the day off school. And every child in - what? The borough? The south-east? The country? - got a silver(ish) spoon with the happy couple on the handle (he still looked ugly, she still looked beeyootiful) to mark the day.


If and when Prince William ever decides to make an honest woman of Kate Middleton, rather than simply ennoble her for services to the royal penis and the A-line skirt, I doubt whether today's seven-year-olds, never mind the rest of the country, will be able to muster the requisite enthusiasm for the endeavour. A free spoon won't elicit much pro-monarchical fever these days. "Come back to us with a gold-plated Wii and we'll talk, mofo," they will say to the market researchers beating a hasty retreat under a hail of Ritalin bottles and knives. A day off school will just cause them to fail their Sats and doom them to a lifetime of burger-flipping and fomentation of rebellion against King Wills and his queen. They will be baffled that the shimmering figure under the Westminster Abbey transept towards whom the bride glides is not Simon Cowell but the Archbishop of Canterbury.

- Lucy Mangan, Guardian, 22 May 2010

[Alternate post title: 'Services to the royal penis']

No comments: