I know that I am known for being cynical about what people deem to be “popular” and “good”, but this is just something that I can’t just let pass by without complaint. Today saw Britain and the World engulfed in Royal Wedding “Fever”. With an estimated two billion people (just less than a third of the world’s population) watching Prince William marry Kate Middleton, it is difficult to deny the worldwide interest in the nuptials of the future King of England.
However, I was not one of these people.
As I have made it extremely clear to all those I encounter and all those who see my posts on social networks, I was not a fan of The Royal Wedding. I just don’t see what the big deal is. Why should London come to a stand still? Why are two billion people interested in a wedding?
The media has completely bombarded us with coverage of the wedding from word one. Ever since the announcement of their engagement in November 2010, news agencies worldwide have attempted to cover every single aspect of the wedding, from what dress Kate would wear, to where the couple would be going on their honeymoon.
I don’t understand why that many people care about the fine details like this. Maybe those interested in fashion would love to see the dress of Kate or a travel agent might care where they’re going on holiday.
My severe dislike of this wedding didn’t really being until a few weeks ago when in France. On television, the only channel in English was, the US news agency, CNN. Every night there was a thirty minute special on the Royal Wedding, hosted by an extremely stereotypical Englishman.
This steadily drove me insane until I was sick of the wedding talk and the constant comparison to the wedding of William’s parents Charles and Diana. My bugs with the coverage continued today, when I woke to find my parents watching the build up to the wedding on Sky News. I am a fan of Sky News, but not of today’s news anchor Eamon Holmes. Seeing his annoying chubby face outside Buckingham Palace only increased my anger. Never have I been so eager to leave the house to go to work.
Before these massive pieces of media coverage, the Royal family had never even registered a thought in my mind. Their lack of appearance in my brain made me think even more. What’s the point of the Royal Family? What purpose do they serve to our country? Do we really need them?
It seems that there is a split in public opinion about the monarchy and whether it is a good or a bad thing.
Monarchists would say that the Royal Family are a symbol of our countries history and act as a perfect representative of our country. The tourism they attract is extremely substantial, with tourists coming from all corners of the globe to visit London and Buckingham Palace.
It is also of the belief that the Queen has much more respect worldwide than that of elected heads of state. That is a useless comparison however. The Queen is only much more respected than elected officials such as Berlusconior Bush as she does very little. She is involved in zero decision-making that affects the
day-to-day lives of people in Britain. If she were to start making tough decisions that actually changed the way people in Britain live, her popularity would plummet.
The symbolic representation the Royal family bring to the world is not a good one. We all question why the Americans stereotypically consider we English as upper class tea drinkers who use an extremely posh accent. By no means does the Monarchy represent the majority of the population. They represent, at most, 5% of the British people and in a multi-cultural, 21st century Britain, is this acceptable? Does the slightly racist Duke of Edinburgh fit into multicultural Britain?
Since the engagement, Kate Middleton has also been referred to as “a commoner” by the media, due to the fact she isn’t a royal. This is despite the considerable wealth of her family. In a BBC special, Kate’s family tree was traced back. The presenter seemed almost disgusted to find that, three generations back on her mother’s side of the family, Kate’s ancestors were miners. A tad ridiculous.
The sexist nature of the Monarchy is also ridiculously outdated in 21st Century Britain. Why should a woman such as Princess Anne be behind Prince Andrew in the line to the throne, despite being older than him? Why should Prince Andrew automatically jump ahead of Anne in the line to the throne, just because he is male? It seems strange that in much more equal times that such a sexist system would still be in place.
Monarchy all round just seems a little outdated to me. Britain needs to enter the 21st Century. I’m not necessarily suggesting abolishing the Monarchy, just improving and updating. Maybe a less sexist, more modern and more democratic system is out there.
With Britain’s voting system being put to referendum next week as it is considered “out-dated” , why should the out-dated Monarchy not face the public vote. This is a simple way to bring the democracy back to the Monarchy. If the public accepts them, we once again live in a democracy.
I know I will once again be dubbed “a cynic” for my opinion but I am interested in hearing everyone else’s opinion on, the wedding, the monarchy and all things royal. Follow me on Twitter @naspearing and tweet me either with the #aroyalyes or #aroyalno to let me know your thoughts. Similarly comment on the post or on Facebook. I am happy to take all your opinions.