Every time I’ve caught the news this week article two or three has been the same thing. A series of shots of a prematurely balding but otherwise reasonably handsome man in his early 30s, his admittedly beautiful wife and their new-born son in a different former outpost of British imperialism smiling and being shown some sort of twee national pastime whilst proclaiming “oh isn’t that lovely, aren’t you all just lovely”.
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, yes I do. You’re thinking “oh here we go again; some po-faced republican whinge bag is going to try and drain the fun out of enjoying our monarchy. Aren’t they just beautiful? Aren’t they just grand? Doesn’t it just make you retain your faith in true love?” Look I’m sorry ok, but it winds me up. It really does. It seems like people view the royals as if they were the stars of some sort of grand, never ending reality show. Something like Made in Chelsea meets The White Queen meets The Osbournes. Never mind the philosophical implications of their continuing status as dynastic, unelected, lifelong heads of state ordained, in theory, by god himself. Keep the monarchy, I know we’re going to, unless something pretty radical changes me and mine are never going to win. We just love them too much as a society, they’re our darlings. There’s not even really a reason why. Why do people obsess about Brangelina? I suppose people just like having other people to hold up and adore, imagining their lives as possessing everything they desire in their own. Or I dunno, whatever, probably.
But why must you thrust them in our faces all the time? The Royal Family, like dogs, are one of those things in Britain where the general consensus is, if you don’t like them you can just jolly well fuck off matey. The whole flaming country seems to be designed around the presumption that you want to see them, everywhere, all the time. What have they been doing this time? Well they’ve gone on holiday. No, actually it’s worse. They’ve “toured”. Which basically translates to a kind of grand neo-colonial sneer where the host countries are given a bit of notice to hide all their iPhones and Adidas trainers in a closet somewhere, don the reed skirts and the face paint and put on a good old show for the descendants of the people who actively denied their right to national self-determination for the better part of two centuries. Anyway, they’ve done it from what I understand to show off the fact that they’ve successfully birthed a sprog to the former empire. This is quite an achievement of course, particularly since William’s marriage has finally added some fresh blood to the gene pool for the first time since the Diet of Worms.
Poor old Prince George, he doesn’t stand a chance. Growing up preposterously privileged, constantly fawned over, always in the spotlight, led to believe he has some sort of preordained superiority over others. In many ways he’s going to have essentially the same childhood as the one had by every bitchy, queen bee archetype from every American high school drama. You could even say that the only major difference Prince George and Regina George from Mean Girls (apart from being a woman, American and fictional of course) is that Regina George will never be the British head of state. I’m getting off message again. The simple fact of the matter is that we’re constantly setting double standards when it comes to the royals. Many of those who fail to raise an eyebrow at the level of coverage given over to Kate, Wills and George’s glorified family holiday are the same people who bitch about the likes of OK! or Hello chronicling every painful detail of the wedding of some second rate reality TV star and a reserve member of the Canadian Olympic Ju-jitsu team. As a society we’re extremely quick to lambast people like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton on the grounds of being famous for essentially nothing. But it’s perfectly ok as long as one of your relatives wears a crown professionally.
So come on Britain, I implore you, let’s not do the debate about how much tourism the Monarchy brings in (you’re wrong) or how they’re great value for money really (not the point and you’re still wrong). Just please can we keep our national obsession with these people out of the serious news. Fawning over the minute details of the lives of famous people does have a place in our society, in trashy magazines. So let’s just keep it there. Or at least try and cut it down a bit. There’s always Tatler after all.