a velvet hand in an iron glove (missfrost) wrote,
a velvet hand in an iron glove
missfrost

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have you organised your street party yet?

There's a Royal wedding coming up, you might have heard, and this is going to impact on my life quite massively. For part of my job, seven days out of fourteen, i.e. week on/week off, is to read every single newspaper story about the Royal Family, and summarise the gist of the article, in three-four lines of my own words. Also I (and my opposite week equivalent) have to take note of every cartoon printed, and every randomly used picture of a member of the Family - for example, last week an article about unseasonal weather was illustrated for no reason at all with a photo of 'The Queen in April 1981's unexpected snow.'
Therefore, when it comes to the actual wedding of Prince William and Kate 'Catherine' Middleton, I am going to be somewhat busy, especially with all the inevitable souvenir pullouts. That's me, writing three to four lines, about every single article in every paper, except the Daily Star  (the company I work for considers the Daily Star to be a valid national daily newspaper, but The Queen clearly has no interest in what it has to say.) The engagement was announced on my week off, which was nice, but the date of the wedding wasn't, and the wedding itself is during my watch. I could very, very, easily have gone into work then and nonchalantly booked that week, or weekend, as a holiday. No one would have noticed at that point, however some part of me that's either suicidal or seeking martyrdom decided that really wasn't fair on anyone who'd have to cover for me, and besides, I've been doing Buck Pal for nearly three and a half years, so without hammering even harder on the self-martyrdom, I am actually the best person for the job. I am paying for this already, of course. Every single travel article slaps a picture of Wills'n'Kate alongside, and headlines it 'possible honeymoon destination?' House price articles focus on Anglesey (where they live), St Andrews (where they met), and Berkshire (Kate's parents' manor). Business articles hint of increased profits for Sky, Eurostar, and tea towel makers across the land. London and New York Fashion Weeks are full of the 'Kate Middleton' influence. Irish dissidents are joyously reforming to bomb the fuck out of the wedding, and global anarchists are planning to disrupt it. Yes, anarchists, planning. Check your dictionaries, anarchists. Vivienne Westwood even made front-page news by saying she's not designing Kate's dress. Well so what Vivienne? Adrian Chiles probably isn't designing it either, but he's not felt the need to make a public statement about it.
It's a lot of work, for me, but it's also very interesting to see other people's attitudes to this. (For the record, John Lydon is very pleased for them. Good old Johnny - he will never be a traditional rent-a-quote, my guess is that the journalist there was after some bile and hatred, so he 'rebelled' and gave them what they least expected.) You, or at least I, have to look at newspaper letters pages to see anyone who's actually happy about this wedding, but the general consensus is either that of ennui or actual hatred. The worst thing I have heard said was 'hey, maybe Prince Philip will die on the morning of the wedding!' So what you're saying here is that you want the grandfather of a complete stranger to die the day he gets married? Nice. This is no 'our heir must marry a virgin, get one, stat!' - they've been together for eight years, pretty much avoiding being seen together in public even so much as holding hands, and they want to get married now. Eight years is more than a lot of relationships I've seen recently, so fair play to them, let them enjoy their day. Yes, William is Very Rich, he's Royalty, he will be King one day, 'living off our taxpayers' money' etc etc, but funnily enough, that's not his fault. That's just the way it goes. (And most 'rich' people are that way because of your money anyway, money you've spent, on their products and/or services.) So what can he, or any other members of the Royal Family, do about that, that would please all those of us not born Royal, or who are actively anti-Royal? If any one of them said, oh, you're right, it's not fair that I'm Royal, I'm going to get a Proper Job and live in a nice little semi - or even if the Monarchy collapsed entirely - do you really think that the paparazzi and the red-tops would just say, oh, ok then, and leave them alone? And if you were bloody rich and privileged, would you give it all up because it's 'not fair' on poor(er) people? I'm certainly not that noble. Give me tons of cash and family homes anyday, thanks.
So on April the 29th, a fairly ordinary (in terms of being a 'couple') couple are to get married. You will get a day off. You can have a lie in, you can ignore it, you can go to a street party, you can 'rise up' and storm the Palace if you feel like it (good luck with that), or you could go to some anti Royal Wedding event. I, personally, will probably watch the wedding (because I have to) having just got in from a night shift, and then go straight back to a night shift and summarise every single detail of the day. I just hope the police don't kill any of the anarchists/Irish dissidents, because the Home Office is my other main client, so I'd have to write about all that too.
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