American Elephants

The Royal Wedding by The Elephant's Child

There is much talk on the talk shows about the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Some Americans are offended that other Americans pay attention. Many husbands find it obnoxious that their wives love the romance of a royal wedding.  Their wives find their husbands’ callousness obnoxious.  Lots of people just don’t get the fascination.  The media wallows in fascination.  So there you are.

I find it interesting.  The British like their royalty, except for those who don’t. Many assume that the royals are empty, vapid characterless folk.  It takes courage and fortitude though, to perform kindly at constant appearances, charity functions, to endure elaborate ceremonies, and to pretend to enjoy long state dinners with other heads of state.  It cannot be an easy life, and they have no real choice. It is the role that they were born to. Despite the trappings, I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do.

When you are just a rich celebrity, you can be rude and do pretty much whatever strikes your fancy. If you go too far, you may have to pay the price. Royalty cannot do that.

I like the spectacle. The British have a long tradition of spectacular ceremonies, and they do it all very well.  It’s fun to watch.  I wish the young couple well and hope they can find happiness in the formal lives they must perform. But I’m not caught up in illusions of fairy tale romance, and I won’t stay up half the night to watch.

I like English history, which is partly my history, though many generations removed. I’m a mix of English, Scots, Welsh, German and Dutch with a stray Norwegian and a Frenchman thrown in, way back. And I had a good many ancestors who fought against the British, twice.

For an explanation of the difference between the United Kingdom, the British Isles, Great Britain and England, don’t miss this brief but enlightening tour.  For an earlier British ceremony when King George III rode to address Parliament on the distressing issue of war in America in 1776, see here, with a picture of the royal coach as well.

Enjoy the spectacle or ignore it, but refrain from being rude about the whole thing. That gets a little tiresome.

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