Friday, 29 April 2011

A Royal Spectacle

I adore the spectacle of weddings.  There's just something about seeing the fruition of all that planning and intricate work that gets me most times.  Few events are more complicated or more brilliantly realised than a royal wedding.

We have but one television in our house, and so in a spirit of compromise we are currently avoiding the royal wedding coverage in the lead-up, with the understanding we will switch stations come 10pm for the ceremony itself. 

Although I like weddings I don't really hold a candle for monarchy, British or otherwise.  How can anyone really justify an approach to human beings that is all about birth determining worth?

So all these media comments about the "progress" the British monarchy has made with this wedding leaves me a bit cold.  Kate Middleton is still referred to, over and over again, as a "commoner".  I thought she was a person, silly me.  Then there's all this faff about whether or not she's a virgin.  NOT OUR BUSINESS.  And finally, the suggestion I heard from one TV3 commentator that as a future queen Kate may have been required to undergo a fertility test.  No one even mentions whether or not William goes to the altar with cherry intact, or has active swimmers.  (Not that I want them to.  Screwed up my face in dismay just typing that.)

One slight plus which warmed my cold dead egalitarian heart when someone pointed it out on twitter;  Elton John can not only go to an event packed to the brim with the powerful of Britain and beyond, he can also take his partner with nary a glance askance.  That is progress, although it's got naught to do with the monarchy imho.

Maybe next time there's a Big Deal royal wedding we'll see a female guest in trousers. 

There's lots of awesome tweeting and live blogging all about the show, so I'll leave it there and go get my wedding fix. Also:  fascinators!!

Looking for a picture for this post I thought I'd just have to go with some regal looking cupcakes, but no there was quite an array of royal wedding cupcakes on offer.  I find cakes iced with pictures of real people a bit creepy myself, but each to their own.


Apathy Jaclk said...

I've heard some people are offended that Kate Middleton is referred to as a commoner. One of the few news things I've seen on this pointed out that her parents are making the token gesture of kicking two hundred thousand dollars to the cost of the wedding.

Calling her a commoner isn't so much insulting as it's just plain inaccurate.

Hugh said...

It's funny, all the people I know who watched the wedding are Republicans, and all the Monarchists I know didn't.

You Republicans and your silly royal weddings, what's up with that?

SPC said...

It was in many ways a national cult gathering, whether the religion was the monarchy itself (with due reverent adoration for the hope of a renewal of the royal blood line body into the child of a new generation) or by association the patriarchy god of the Nicene Creed and the marriage bed law of the church.

All suitably packaged for the colonials who share in the commonwealth of this royal family, so we/they could witness the imperial capital on display to the world via the spectacle of the pageantry.

Our connection to the time of empire and before then to the time of royal perogative in determining not only temporal rule but also the spiritual faith of the people.

While we are nominally without a state church or religion, via the Crown and these occasions we are informed about who really determines who is fit to sit upon it and who has to be seen to be
obeying the laws of the church god to do so. Why our own parliament will also use the phrase our Lord Jesus Christ every time it sits.

Scuba Nurse said...

Love the post and the fact this was quoted in the "blogged" section of 'herald on sunday' may 1st page 47.
I have to say I was very interested in seeing the wedding (though I haven't yet due to being busy living life!).
I don't get particularly excited about royals, don't buy into the religion or think that weddings are compulsory to prove a couples love.
But I was gleefully awaiting all the events coordination side of things.. The dress, the flowers, the guests, the entertainment...
My feelings on royalty, marriage and any kind of political sensibilities were put aside in the same way they are when I enjoy any other mindless entertainment.
And I'm ok with that.

katy said...

Not interested in the wedding but I find the virgin thing kind of encouraging, to be honest. That is, you get the impression that this is an adult woman who has made an informed choice (not that that helped Princess Masako of Japan, a 30-year old Harvard and Oxford graduate who had worked as a diplomat when she married but has been out of public life since 2002, it is thought due to the pressure of not being successful in producing a male heir).

Julie said...

I'm not a total Republican. I'm not sure that we can just unhitch ourselves from the Crown until we have really resolved the outstanding Treaty stuff that we keep dodging, generation after generation. If that wasn't the case I would be in favour of becoming a republic in the short term.

Thanks for the tipoff about the Herald on Sunday Scube, very weird to see my name in newsprint like that!

Moz said...

Hugh, I think it's distinguishing the pomp and ceremony from the underlying issues. It's like watching Hollywood film awards while pretending that it's not an awful institution.
Yes, I'm not thrilled that people were arrested beforehand because it was suspected they might intend to commit peaceful protests a great distance from the wedding. Although that does make the point about why we would be better off without them. But then we have King Gerry right here in NZ to make that point for us already.
Much nicer to watch The Chaser's wedding coverage and wonder at the thought of The Grandson of The Queen of New Zealand marrying someone with a university degree. Or that she has succeeded at such a dramatic and unlikely goal (marrying the prince).

Giarne said...

I found myself watching it even though I promised I wouldn't and it sucked in even my husband for a while.

The most fun to be had was being cutting and rude about some of the 'costumes' on facebook - I'm looking at you Beatrice and Eugenie ... I know you were doomed with Fergie as a mum but really! The ceremony itself seemed very dry, slow and long but I guess there was a lot of protocol to follow.

I felt a little hypocritical because I'm not a monarchist at all, don't think I'm totally on the Republican fence either.

Julie, your comments about the need to maintain a link in order to resolve some of our Treaty 'trespasses' is a really interesting take on it, that hit me in the guts and puts me further on the fence.