Buckingham Palace yesterday reported that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II finally got around to meeting her grandson’s fiancée’s parents, Carol and Michael Middleton, at a private luncheon at Windsor Castle. You don’t see palaces reporting much of anything in this country, alas.
In case you’ve been in a coma since Kate Middleton and Prince William announced their engagement last November, there’s been a wee bit of unpleasantness regarding the commoner bride and her middle-class parents, who met when he was an air-traffic controller and she was a stewardess; the pair, self-made millionaires, now run an online party-goods store. (One of Kate’s uncles is purported to have the words NOUVEAU RICHE tattooed between his shoulder blades.) It’s been whispered that William’s friends don’t really like Kate, because she sometimes says “toilet” instead of “lavatory.” What is up with that shit?
But what struck me about Buckingham Palace’s pronouncement is that the Middletons had never met the queen before. It’s, what, a week until the wedding now? It’s enough to make one believe the relationship between William and his grandmum is something less than chummy—and perhaps between his dad and her as well, which wouldn’t be a bit surprising seeing as he’s been stuck waiting there in line for her throne for the past 2,000 years. And all may well be less than copacetic between the queen and William’s stepmum, Camilla, who, while boasting a suitable pedigree, also cheated on her husband with Prince Charles even though the rogue prince was godfather to their son.
It’s really quite confusing up there amid the rarefied air of the upper classes. But Camilla’s husband’s since remarried, she and Charles have married, William is wedding Kate, and all’s well despite the tragic death of Camilla’s rival, the Princess of Wales, and those nasty phone-tapped conversations about tampons. I’m sure the bride will look lovely, no matter who makes her dress. We’ll all be buried in a flood of wedding kitsch. And then the Royals can get back to the sorts of bad behavior, insensitivity, churlishness and idiocy that make them so endearing and enduring. Long live the Queen!