Man walks into a column, no.18: Royalty

Ok look, I’m going to blog about the royal wedding. It was, in case you hadn’t noticed, a bank holiday at the weekend and I was too busy enjoying beer, flame-grilled food and warmth (when out of the wind, anyway) to get my blog on. And to top it all, my iPhone 4 arrived yesterday. So you get this.

I’m a republican, I think. No matter how much I agree with the typically persuasive Rick @FlipChartFT that active republicanism is ‘the day before yesterday’s battle’ because our monarchy has lost its power and there are bigger abuses of power to tackle (full post here), all it takes is a glimpse of the smug, entitled face of one of the minor royals to bring out my ‘up against the wall’ side. Sometimes, rational argument loses out to base human feeling.

Speaking of which: the royal wedding. To my genuine surprise, I watched it, and to my even greater surprise, I really enjoyed it. This despite catching far more than glimpses of many too many minor royals. (Minor royals irk so much because however worthless and offensive the Prince Philips of the world are, surely more revolting are the nobles who hang on, parasite-like, to the Prince Philips of the world.)

The wedding moved me on many levels. First and foremost, I like weddings or, at least, weddings where the bride and groom are young and (moderately, in William’s case) attractive and (moderately, in Kate’s case) in love. The drama created by the pre-ceremony build-up, the solemnity of the ceremony itself, and the relief and joy when everything’s gone off without a hitch.

Second, I love dramatic religious buildings, and Westminster Abbey is one of the most impressive. Friends I spoke to complained about the seriousness of the music, but anything less than serious, traditional music would’ve been an insult to that hallowed historic space (what would they’ve preferred: Somewhere Over The Rainbow? All Things Bright And Beautiful?).

Third, and by far most important: the crowds. A million people, apparently, from across the globe. Apart from the very occasional protest, what else has the capacity to stir the passions of so many? And how wonderful, how stirring, how fun, to hear the chant of ‘kiss, kiss’ when the newly-weds were on the balcony (and how lovely it was that they did).

Those who complain about the cost of the security bill seem to miss the fact that it’s our own fault for turning up. If the better side of royalty can provoke sufficient happiness in enough people then, good democrat that I am, I’ll be content to see my own baser instincts outweighed.


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