Our Obsession With Prince William and Kate Middleton

Thanks to Disney, most American women have an unrealistic princess fantasy

Why is America so obsessed with British royalty?

Prince William announces that he and college sweetheart Kate Middleton are to marry, and the media in this country acts like we just pulled out of Afghanistan. Actually, that’s a bad comparison. The end of the war in Afghanistan would get far less coverage. But two awkward rich kids decide to finally get hitched and the networks are tripping over themselves to book every cheeky gossip columnist with a British accent so that the anchors can ask burning questions like, “Is this really love?”

I blame Disney for all of this. They have made billions by marketing a princess fantasy that many women in this country carry with them through life. And every time a pretty face comes along to break the royal ugly streak that fantasy kicks into high gear. That is why the wedding of Charles and Diana set record news ratings in this country. And that is the driving force behind all of this — money.[SIGNUP]

The Royal Family has no real power in Great Britain. They are a tourist attraction. It is estimated that Buckingham Palace and the Royals attract more than one billion dollars in tourism each year with most of the money coming from Americans.

We all seem to forget that the Royals are from a bloodline of cruel and corrupt monarchs who tortured and enslaved people on every continent in an attempt to rule the world. But who cares about all that when they throw great weddings?

Don’t you remember a document was signed in this city that declared our independence from the British Monarchy? A long and bloody war followed that finally won that independence. We rejected the throne and all its trappings. That was more than 234 years ago. Can we finally cut the umbilical cord now?

By all accounts we cannot.

The royal wedding is scheduled for 2011. I’m certain we will have weekly updates on everything the princess-in-waiting does or doesn’t do until then. American women, who had no idea who Kate Middleton was last week, now dream of being her. And when the wedding day comes around it will get wall-to-wall coverage on every news network. Hundreds of millions will watch a ceremony that flaunts the kind of wealth than when wasted during troubled economic times has inspired revolutions, but will now inspire the unabashed fawning of the American media and a population that will ignore history and our current problems to find out every detail about “the dress.”

So, if you are one of the many who have a royal obsession, enjoy the current distraction. After all, you paid for it. The Royal Family exists because of you. They have become America’s most expensive reality TV show.

LARRY MENDTE writes for The Philly Post every Monday and Thursday. See his previous columns here. To watch his video commentaries, go to wpix.com.