Guess what, everyone? I don’t hate the royal wedding.
Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t watched any of the television coverage today (and even if The Chaser’s coverage had gone ahead, I probably would have just put it on mute and only looked if Chris Taylor was on screen). I’ve skipped over the various inserts that have been littering the daily papers. I’ve avoided the urge to purchase any memorabilia to mark this momentous occasion.
But I don’t hate it.
A lot of people out there do, though. I’ve seen countless articles and comments crying out against the incessant media coverage of the event. (I haven’t seen much actual coverage – just the opinion columns complaining about it. I’m sure it’s all out there somewhere.) Apparently it’s all we’ll be able to watch on TV tonight, too… because that’s what we do on Friday nights. We all watch free-to-air TV. (For crying out loud! If those are your routine plans, you have bigger problems. Get a DVD. Get a book.)
Personally, I’m finding it all pretty easy to skip. Turn the page, change the channel, look away, do something useful – it’s not that difficult. We’ve all been doing it to NRL games for years. However, there seems to be a level of vitriol reserved for the union of Kate and Wills that, frankly, has caught me quite off guard.
Apparently, we’re just furious that these two young adults have decided to get married, in a public ceremony, into which the Queen has elected to pour much of her cashola. (And enough about “public money” being spent on the event. The Queen’s salary is a matter for the British public and parliament to decide. We don’t tell anyone else how to spend their money after they’ve earned it, so why are we weighing in with regards to her?)
Seriously, though – if we’re so annoyed about having to hear about Prince William’s happiness, why were we so eager to be party to his grief?
When Princess Diana died, the Royal Family’s avoidance of the media was met with rage from a public who felt they were being denied an acceptable display of grief.
William was only fifteen years old; his brother Harry, just twelve. The most heart-wrenching image from Diana’s epic funeral, which broke just about every known television viewing record, was of those two young boys trailing in the wake of the coffin, which bore a bouquet of white roses and a card that simply said, “Mummy”.
The “spin” was overwhelmingly sympathetic. Diana was “The People’s Princess”, and her death a tragedy. Her sons’ lives would be all the emptier without her. Public sentiment was that William and Harry would hopefully, one day, find happiness.
And now that William has, apparently we don’t want to know about it.
We can’t have it both ways, people. We can’t only show love when it’s preceded by tragedy. Well, we can – a lot of us are doing it right now. But it looks shallow and cruel.
So, I don’t hate the royal wedding. In fact, I wish William, who lost his beloved mother far too young, all the best for his special day. I won’t be watching, because I don’t really get a kick out of it, but I don’t begrudge any of those who do. Perhaps everyone else who doesn’t really fancy the idea of watching these two shiny-haired whippersnappers get hitched can follow my example, and just find something else to do tonight.