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True-Life Confession: Sleeping Through the #! Royal! Wedding!

April 26, 2011

This is hard for an AngloFile to admit, but swag notwithstanding, I cannot seem to get all goo-goo-eyed about Kate & Wills, Wills & Kate, hashtag-Royal-Wedding. Only a fool of a blogger would allow this entire month of pre-nuptial hoopla to pass without jumping on the meme, snagging a radio appearance or two, grandstanding online with intimate “knowledge” about the charming couple, or at a minimum (given what an egghead I can be), offering a historical retrospective on British royal knot-tying.

Hitched: George V and Mary.

Well, color me F.O.O.L.

Now, I’m not completely alone in “dreading the wedding.” But I’ll wager I have more company among jaded Brits than starry-eyed Yankees, like the abject American participants in this snarky BBC America reality series:

Royally Mad, BBC America

Royally Mad: Enough to drive you ... barmy?

Maybe I’m still irradiated by the Fukushima-like fallout of my own generation’s “fairy tale” couple, whose wedding-day photos just make me feel … sad.

I am actually far more optimistic for the union of their son and Ms. Middleton (“Waitie Katie,” a.k.a., Cat the Commoner). The couple are older, for one thing—well, she is—and better acquainted, after years of friendship. Also, both have college degrees, which statistically bodes better for their marriage. And the queen and her retinue, sensitized by years of social disaster, seem to be welcoming the new in-law into the fold, or as some would have it, The Firm.

Still, I just can’t buy into it, “buy” being an all too operative word here. (NBC is selling a royal monogram logo on, Lord help us, a 44-cent United States postage stamp!) While the couple’s affection may be real enough, the whole affair has been utterly staged, stylized and slickly packaged for international consumption. One socialite’s dig on smiley, cosmeticked, orthodontic Kate: She seems excessively “American.”

So, sue me if I don’t feel a need to be boost The Firm’s Neilsens. I can’t see the point in losing sleep to listen to breathless hired TV commentators (“As long as you have an English accent, you’ll work,” one producer tells the New York Times.) Even Wills, himself, I can’t help but feel, is taking a hit for his family. Wouldn’t he probably rather marry in the chapel at St. Andrews college and head off in obscurity to a nice warm island?

But he, and we, know the importance of stagecraft for reviving the fortunes of his beleaguered family in a nosy, shabby republican age. So the couple press together their pancaked cheeks for the cameras and flash the giant bling. She’ll wear a tiara on the Special Day, for which even faux-populist P.M. Cameron will don tails. It may rain, but (hundreds of?) thousands will watch from the streets and pricey rented flats, while millions look on (beginning 4 a.m. in my time zone) from dens and bedrooms.

Me? I’ll sleep in and catch it in reruns.

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