America Keeps the Royal Family in the Palace
Come this time tomorrow it will all thankfully be over. The American media obsession with the Royal Wedding would be fascinating if it didn’t swallow up news coverage of everything else. Now it is just annoying. Kate and William seem nice enough, very unroyal in many ways. But I owe them what I owe every other young couple whom I don’t know: my complete and utter ambivalence. The network news executives have visions of Charles and Diana dancing in their heads. Specifically, they remember the huge ratings they got back in 1981. As much as they have tried to make Kate Middleton the “new Diana,” the ratings will be about half what they were in 1981.
However, there will be a strong segment of the population in this country, mostly women, who have watched and learned everything about the couple and will be up early to take in every second of the ostentatious pageantry that runs through the thick of an austerity program that has cut many social programs in Great Britain. And that’s why many across the pond don’t give two hoots about the wedding or the royals. A Reuters poll showed that only 22 percent of Brits say they’re making plans to watch. And two-thirds of the city of London is closing up shop and getting out of town. Why? They don’t want to deal with the American tourists.
[SIGNUP]That’s right. One million American tourists have booked flights to England just to catch a glimpse of the couple. It’s been dubbed America’s Royal Wedding fever. I and many others have another symptom—Royal Wedding nausea. I am certain that is why Royal Wedding sick bags are one of the most popular souvenirs in London. You know, just in case you can’t make it to the “throne,” complete with the Kate and William toilet seat. (There are also Kate and Willie condoms, which will hopefully prevent future royal weddings.)
Americans, not the English, are responsible for the continuing existence of the Royal Family. With no real governmental power, they are a tourist attraction. There have been calls in Great Britain to stop giving public dollars to Buckingham Palace. The Royals get well over $50 million a year for expenses and upkeep. But the argument against that has always been that the Royals bring in 10 times more than that in American tourist dollars.
I blame Disney. They have promoted this princess fantasy to every little girl in this country. But believe me, the real Royals are no Snow Whites. They come from a line of oppressive rulers who have littered history with beheadings, slave trading, genocide and looting, not to mention several attempts at world domination.
Remember that we fought a bloody war to finally rid ourselves of Mother England. A couple centuries later, it’s time to cut the cord completely. You can start by sleeping in tomorrow.