Friday, April 29, 2011

Cold-Shouldering the Royal Wedding?

A deep indifference to today’s royal wedding kept me from paying much attention to it until this morning. Since we don’t have a television, there were no breathless announcers to remind me over and over about its epochal importance.

Then, when I opened this morning’s news headlines, I discovered how really, really significant it is — with top billing in every news service and multiple articles about Kate Middleton’s dress splashed all over the place. The event has even earned a feature illustration today on Google’s main page.

Strangely enough, the vast bulk of the coverage seems to be American — I had to scroll far down the page before I found an actual British news article, although I assume there are plenty of them.

I’m as pleased as anyone that the legitimate line of succession for House of Hanover Windsor will now be assured. But really, do we need all this?

Not everyone in the UK has joined in the frenzy, however. Having noticed that certain large commercial enterprises are displaying a lack of interest in today’s historic occasion, our British correspondent JP filed this report:

Poor Show: Cold-shouldering the Royal Wedding?

by JP

At a time when independent shops, usually those at the posher end of the spectrum, are embracing the Royal Wedding with gleeful abandon (and, it must be admitted, hard-headed business sense, for which shop-keeper would pass up the opportunity to entice customers into their store with a new, eye-catching window-display?), High Street corporates such as Boots, WH Smiths, the banks remain puzzlingly void of celebration. Why this should be so is perhaps a mystery — is this another example of a risk-averse society where bean-counters at these enterprises have balanced profits against sentiment, and accordingly decided that display of untoward patriotism might be taken amiss by certain sectors of our culturally-enriched society? Or is it a more diffuse indifference, symptom of an ‘I can’t be bothered’ attitude, mistakenly projected onto their customers? Do those customers perhaps retain a deeper sense of affection for tradition and members of the Royal Family than the businesses themselves — quite happy to take their customers’ cash yet wary of sharing their passions?

Whatever the reason, or reasons, at a time when the UK is embroiled in various military campaigns as well as being involved in a life or death struggle with Islam, it seems curious that these businesses are not exactly standing shoulder to shoulder with the Royal Family, whose most prominent member, namely the Queen, is also head of the Armed Forces (see here: “The Queen as Sovereign is Head of the Armed Forces. She is also the wife, mother and grandmother of individuals either having served, or are currently serving, in the Armed Forces.” )

If Britain is a nation of shopkeepers, then some of its most well-known examples appear to have retreated into the limbo of no-man’s land without a leg to stand on. Poor show indeed.

For a more positive view, see the Evening Standard article:

London is royal party capital: Wills and Kate thrilled by plans for 2,000 outdoor celebrations

Londoners will celebrate the royal wedding with 2,000 outdoor parties, the Evening Standard has learned. The capital plans to party in record numbers to mark the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. One event will be broadcast to millions watching in the US. [….]

I can’t help but wonder if the universal celebratory mood — among the plebs, at least — isn’t evidence of a widespread subliminal hope that somehow a pretext may be found for skipping Prince “Halal” Charles in the line of succession and moving directly to a younger, more interesting, less loopy, and more photogenic monarch…

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it: it’s time for Princess Kate to buckle down to the task and start whelping out the little princes so that everyone can have a look at them.

26 comments:

Lawrence said...

I wish the couple well.

I hope their privilege and celebrity will be used by them in a positive constructive manner.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, you're just jealous because your adopted country can't do pageantry for toffee. The nearest you get to it is cheerleaders - a dirty old man's fantasy.

The Royal Wedding was a splendid occasion, dignified and joyful. The "plebs" as you call them - how snobbish for a country that has supposed to have abolished class distinctions - are the backbone of England.

As for the stuff about shops - what's your point exactly, other than to sneer at something you by your own admission haven't been watching and nevertheless appear to look down on?

Baron Bodissey said...

Interested --

Re: "plebs" -- methinks you don't get irony!

Re: "the stuff about shops" -- evidently you failed to notice that that portion of the post was written by an actual Englishman, not me. Perhaps JP will show up to explain what he meant.

Baron Bodissey said...

BTW -- in what sense is America my "adopted country"? Given that I was born right here in Virginia, that is.

Anonymous said...

But since you quote it, and do not argue against it, it is still part of your point. Otherwise why quote it, or if you disagree, why not say so?

And I don't see what your point is. "Do we need all this?" you ask, as if Royal Wedding Enthusiasm is just soooo idiotic/plebby. Next minute you are castigating the British, albeit by means of a quoted comment, for not being enthusiastic enough.

And no, I don't get the irony in "plebs" because it isn't there.

Anonymous said...

Since you quoted JP's comment and did not argue against it, then it is part of your point, which I still can't see.

"Do we really need all this?" you ask, as if Royal Wedding Enthusiasm is just soooo idiotic/plebby. Yet at the same time you castigate the British - albeit by means of a quoted comment - for not being enthusiastic enough.

And I see no irony in "plebs" because it isn't there.

Anonymous said...

Since you quoted JP's comment and did not argue against it, then it is part of your point, which I still can't see.

"Do we really need all this?" you ask, as if Royal Wedding Enthusiasm is just soooo idiotic/plebby. Yet at the same time you castigate the British - albeit by means of a quoted comment - for not being enthusiastic enough.

And I see no irony in "plebs" because it isn't there.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why you keep removing my comment, since it was perfectly civil. Perhaps a little too robust for your new world sensibilities.

Cheerio. Visit New English Review sometime if you can hack it.

Baron Bodissey said...

Interested --

Don't bruise yourself jumping to conclusions.

I didn't "remove" any of your comments. Blogger has an annoying "spam-filter" feature, which embargoes any comments it considers spam. For some reason it often blocks perfectly normal comments and lets a lot of the real spam come through.

As soon as I saw your comments in the spam cache, I released them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, yes, I did jump to conclusions.

I still don't get that stuff about "High Street Corporates". Is Boots the Chemist supposed to sell Royal Wedding Athlete's Foot Powder?

As for the banks, well they did take the day off.

Dymphna said...

@ Interested:

If you read us with any regularity, you'd know we're already fans, and have been ever since they launched, way back when. IIRC, Robert de Bove was there at the time. We were around to see Hugh Fitzgerald,lately of Dhimmi Watch,come on board. Frankly, his new home is far more spacious and architecturally interesting than the one he left.

They always have an impressive home page:

The New English Review

Jerry Gordon writes the Iconoclast at NER. He's a tireless reporter on American Jihad. People can get on his subscriber's list. We get his mailings and I sometimes comment there:

The Iconoclast

Norman Berdichevsky, who wrote a wonderful book on the Danish-German fight re borders, is a good historian. Right now he has an account of Catalan art in this month's issue:

Dali and Gaudi
-----------------

Au contraire, we do indeed (and sadly) have a royal couple. In fact, the Dauphin is a royal pain in the gluteus maximus. Kate and Wills would be a great biiiggg improvement on His Ineptitude, still clinging bitterly to BOTH his teleprompters.

From your comments it would appear you lack a sense of irony or wit, a strange phenomenon in a Brit. BTW, if you read us closely, you'd have long since learned the Baron is an Anglophile. And he is conversant with the rather more rigid class differences in England. We have them, too, but are afraid to admit it. And ours are more flexible since the US was founded as an anti-monarchist state. Just as well, I guess, since George Washington left no descendants.

kloutlichter said...

we put on a damned fine show though!.My logical side does not agree with the monarchy but from a historical perspective it gives an anchor to an identity that I love and hold dear.In the coming years what will a turk or a syrian give a fig about blighty,the Somme,Trafalgar,peas pudding and good old british spirit.Very little me thinks.When its all gone then we will realise what we are missing and what we have now in its place. Minarets and shadows that walk down the sreet.Great!

kloutlichter said...

At the weekend I was at the grave yard in KirkOswald in Ayrshire that Tam O'shanter of Robbie Burns fame is buried.There lay stones and people going back 400 yrs just about,and the place has had a shrine on it since around 642 A.D. funnily enough.(That date is familiar for some reason or other) Will Mohammad and yusif and the like really care.Names like Ferguson,Agnes,Donaldson,Mc Clymont are there,names of people I still know now.All this is changing.I must be getting old and sentimental but it make me proud to live in such a place.

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces†

"Do we really need all this?"

In some quarters it is not politically correct to be a republican in the United Kingdom.

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces†

Whatever the reason, or reasons, at a time when the UK is embroiled in various military campaigns as well as being involved in a life or death struggle with Islam, it seems curious that these businesses are not exactly standing shoulder to shoulder with the Royal Family,...

The Royal Family has hardly been adverse to islam, what a curious and false statement.

mace said...

Dymphna,

Actually, the US has a rather low degree of social mobility compared to other Western nations,including monarchies such as Canada,Australia and the Scandinavian nations.

Republicanism is not a protection against rigid class structures.

LAW Wells said...

4Symbols, while I'll admit your point that there re some quarters where republicanism is considered abhorrent, they'd be few and far between, what with the catchwords equality and democracy being so liberally splattered about.

And as fo the Royal Family... once a threat is noticed, count on the Royals. Until then, not so much. Being hoodwinked is not their fault (this is the first fooling, remember?).

And BB - a monarchist such as myself accepts that William is more popular than Charles, but the idea of monarchy is such that popularity isn't the selector. God is. As such, to skip Charles would establish a horrid precedent, and leave a republican change even more in evidence.

Though my mother remarked that she doesn't expect Charles to share his parents' longevity, and I can understand why (since three queens in the last three centuries have basically ruled for nearly half that time, while nine kings have ruled for the rest)

JP said...

Whelping out little princes indeed. As the London Guardian puts it this morning, commenting on the hope for an Olympics baby: "Royal uterus watch begins today."

The point about the shops seems startlingly obvious to me and that it is perhaps a case of belabouring the self-evident - many High Street corporates were embarrassed to be seen endorsing the Royal Wedding, either in their window displays or tv adverts, as if the event, and the build-up to it, was taking place not in the UK, but in some remote, faraway country and, therefore, not really worthy of their engagement.

Anne-Kit said...

I thought the whole spectacle was absolutely lovely; the unashamedly Christian service at Westminster Abbey heartening and full of hope; the choice of music muscular ("Jerusalem" has to be one of the most beautiful hymns ever written); the waving of the Union Jacks - and Commonwealth flags from other nations - in celebration, triumphal!

Good to see the British have not lost it completely!

God save the Queen!

Ray Boyd said...

As someone who was somewhat neutral regarding the monarchy I am now more of a monarchist simply because of the islamist threat to my country.

And the reason is that the armed forces swear allegiance to the crown and not parliament. Should the doomsday demographics run their course and the muslims were to win an election even by a slender margin the armed forces could save our country.

A muslim government would quickly begin to dismantle the very democracy that brought them to power. At the first signs of that sort of malarkey a military coup would be very welcome. It's a last resort I know, but the voting public are hardly likely to vote in a government that would take steps to prevent the inevitable in time.

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces†

LAW Wells,

" ... but the idea of monarchy is such that popularity isn't the selector. God is ... "

“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”.

That power is not absolute if it were then I would be compelled to join Prince Charles on the fifth pillar of Islam - the Hajj to Mecca or Prince William into the bondage of the heretical middle class political elite.

The shape of political power in the U.K. with its elite heretical hierarchy and mass subjugation looks uncannily islamo.

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces†

Subjugation not celebration.

Three due in court over Kelvingrove Park 'street party'

Man arrested in Cambridge for royal wedding protest plan

Nearly 100 people who police feared would attempt to disrupt proceedings were banned from attending central London in advance of the day in a “pre-emptive strike” against potential anarchists. Therefor all we have to do is give the “pre-emptive” dissenters nasty names such as anarchist or racist and everything is lawful and safe.

bewick said...

Such bitterness.
My recallable memories started when I was 3 or almost 3.
One of those was a street party outside my gran's house. I couldn't remember, because I didn't know, what was the occasion.
Now I'm fairly sure that it must have been 1947 and the current Queen's wedding. There were actually Spitfires overhead in rural Northamptonshire.
Mmmm. In those days virtually no-one had TV, the UK was on rationing, and most people were poor. Still had a street party though. Since Gran lived 60 miles away, and only the very rich had cars, we must have got there via the railway - a big cost to my Mother even then.
To the present day.
I watched on TV and totally enjoyed. The Hymns? Well they were the same that I sang, as a choirboy, at many weddings - often as soloist.
This morning I visited some Sikh friends to fix the daughter's computer.The father had switched off the TV in the shop after the actual ceremony. He didn't see much after the wedding was blessed.
The rest of the family watched the lot. The 14 year old whose computer I was fixing told me that she had been captivated by the whole 3 or more hours.
In fact, apart from the car obsessed 21 year old next door, I don't know anyone who didn't watch.

This may well have been a pageantry spectacular but it was also a regular church wedding of two people clearly in love. I wish them well. Would that my own marriage had had such promise.
The hacks who try to denigrate yesterday should be locked up in the Tower and perhaps the chopping block should see a new lease of life instead of being an historical curiosity.

1389 said...

@Lawrence,

I, too, wish them well.

That said, I did not blog about the wedding, but only because the subject matter is outside of my bailiwick or "reporting beat", so to speak. I do a "Caturday" feature once a week to lighten things up, but that's about it.

Hesperado said...

1389,

I like your "Caturday" features!

LAW Wells said...

4Symbols:

That power is not absolute if it were then I would be compelled to join Prince Charles on the fifth pillar of Islam - the Hajj to Mecca or Prince William into the bondage of the heretical middle class political elite.

The shape of political power in the U.K. with its elite heretical hierarchy and mass subjugation looks uncannily islamo.


How you took a comment regarding the sanctity of the succession and arrived at the absolute powers of kings, I'll never know. Just because they are right to succeed the throne (due to God putting them in that family) doesn't mean that every decision they make is from God.

You forget about free will, and it is a most grevious oversight on your part. To be honest, I think it's you who sounds more like the Islamic mirror, rather than British society.

And quoting the Beeb on suppression of free speech is the height of irony sir. Hell, they can barely get their grammar right.