Friday, 19 November 2010

I do!

Hooray for Prince William and Kate Middleton!  How noble of them to finally drag themselves up the aisle in order to boost a flagging economy and cheer up the huddled masses queuing round the block to buy their Daily Mail Souvenir Wedding Editions, china commemorative mugs and poorly printed t-shirts (a bargain at £19.99 a pop).

Whilst we don’t yet seem to be indulging in the kind of hysteria that surrounded Charles and Di’s nuptials, there is no doubt that this will occupy some sections of the press for months to come.  Let’s face it, there’s only a limited window for this event to dominate our every waking thought, so you can’t really blame them for trying to make the most of it.

It seems incredible that, in the space of a generation, we have moved on so radically in our attitudes to the Royal Family.  Back when Charles and Di got spliced, there was intense media speculation (albeit couched in euphemistic terms) as to the virginity of the blushing bride.  Now, we are all quite comfortable with the knowledge that Wills and Kate have been at it like rabbits for years on end.  And why not – at least they’ve had a chance to get to know each other which is far more than his unfortunate parents were allowed.  As someone remarked on Have I Got News for You last night, this year would have marked the 30th anniversary of Charles and Diana’s marriage and the 37th of Charles’s affair with Camilla.  BTW, just what was Camilla thinking describing the news of the engagement as ‘wicked’ to a reporter who caught her on the street?  Was she intending to follow it up with ‘Yo, dat Katie is like a sick mutha, innit?’ Or maybe ‘Now I is not de only Royal Ho’.

BBC Breakfast News yesterday took itself off to the Royal Derby factory or Royal Worcester or somewhere where they had warehouses full of pre-prepared wedding paraphernalia, just waiting for a final date stamp and a bit of a dusting off.  The Creative Director was interviewed and was clearly thrilled with her 15 minutes, bless her.  She was asked about whether they would print ‘Kate’ or ‘Catherine’ on their products.  “Oh, it will be Catherine,” she breezed, smiling from ear to ear. “Although we were a bit worried about the WC aspect.”

Laugh?  I nearly choked on my organic, hand-milled Granola and Yak milk.  Feck me!  The woman has, in one sentence, managed to reduce the whole of the Royal Wedding to toilet humour.  WC?  FFS!  Now every time I go to the Ladies in a restaurant or cinema, does she seriously think I will be struck by our patriotism in putting the Royal initials on the door of every khazi?   An object lesson in the need for media training, if ever I saw one.

After this little nugget, the presenters asked people to contact them with details of any Royal Wedding memorabilia they had.  What soon became clear is that the cupboards of Britain are stuffed with heaps of dusty crap.  WHY would someone keep a Charles ‘n Camilla mug with the wrong wedding date on it?  Apparently the confusion arose because the date of the wedding was changed at the last minute.  Was it?  Gosh, that event has adhered so firmly to my memory, ahem.  In fact all I can remember is catching a nanosecond’s worth of the TV coverage and a reporter saying in worried tones that, far from the massed hordes of screaming Royal groupies that were expected, the whole of the south of England had sighed a collective “meh” , turned over and gone back to sleep.

Then Mildred Mills-Boon from Milton Keynes rang in to say that, when Charles ‘n Di got married, she had collected a range of milk bottle tops with their faces printed on them, pressed them flat and still has them stuck into an album.  Unfortunately that still makes me laugh so much that I could barely type the words and you were almost treated to a paragraph detailing how Mildred collected milk bottle tops with Royal faeces on them….

Perhaps we could have a competition for the naffest Royal Memorabilia?  The trouble is America would win hands down.  We happened to be in the US on the first anniversary of Diana’s death – a time when the events around it were still quite shocking for the majority of us Brits.  What did we see on a giant hoarding?  An ad which read “Get your Diana Anniversary Beanie Doll here!”   So appropriate, so respectful!  You could almost imagine it was sold with a side order of a heap of tangled metal and a dead boyfriend doll.

Meanwhile, the tacky souvenir roadshow rolls on.  Apparently there is a revived market for copies of Kate Middleton's engagement ring - the one which once belonged to princess Diana.  How many brides will be tripping down the aisle this summer sporting copies of Kate's dress, Kate's ring, Kate's hair style, Kate's wedding makeup....Don't you think you'll be sick of it all before long? 

I do!


  1. Stop... STOP!!! I can't stand any more of this royal wedding crap. If it goes on any longer I may just have to by myself a souvenir mug!

  2. Much as I love jewellery (and I do love it) that is one ring I wouldn't want to be wearing...

  3. PVLiF - go on, you know you want to! If you save up enough tokens from the Daily Mail you can probably pick one up for £599.00 - a bargain!

  4. AuntieGwen - that ring has a bit of a worrying provenance doesn't it? I suppose she felt she couldn't turn it down...

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