Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Nation Rejoices

There was once a Jerry Springer Show about a man who married a horse.
Oops, sorry. I wrote about Jerry Springer several weeks ago. This piece was going to be about Charles marrying Camilla.
Let me start again.
One of the surprising things about getting older is that many things seem more extraordinary and incredible than when you were young. One would expect the opposite - that long familiarity would foster acceptance. For me, one of the things that becomes ever more baffling is the concept of royalty.

Children's stories are full of kings and queens, princesses and princes and that's where they belong - in fairy stories. As an adult I can't understand how anyone can take the concept of royalty seriously. And one of the things that annoys me about the current royal family is that they appear to take it very seriously indeed.
I don't mean the sense of public duty but the mountain of evidence that they care deeply about all the nonsense of titles and protocol. Nothing exemplifies this more than the convoluted formulas that have been designed to give Mrs Parker-Bowles the maximum royal standing whilst not outraging public opinion.
The important thing for Charles I would guess is that she's been given the coveted Royal Highness title for that's the tag that is most precious to them. It's the one that requires subjects to bow their heads or curtsey. If it were rendered as an HTML tag your monitor would probably tilt forwards in a sickening display of electronic obeisance.
Stripping Diana of that title was, for that childish bunch, the ultimate humiliation - far worse in their eyes than Charles shagging Camilla behind her back throughout their marriage. And the late Duke of Windsor, who you might have thought had his priorities right in giving up the throne for the woman he loved, was furious that his wife was denied the Royal Highness title and nursed that grievance until the day he died.

I've seen stories of blunt, down-to-earth Anne freezing out so-called 'close friends' who had the temerity to call her 'Anne' instead of 'Ma'am'. And then there are the even more bizarre stories from royal experts about Charles' early girlfriends, and Diana before their marriage, having to call him 'Sir' in even the most intimate situations. In the Unroyal Lowness of ordinary life the only people who say 'Do you want to shag me, Sir?' are couples into S & M or 15 year old girls making one last desperate attempt to avoid suspension from school.

The only thing to look forward to about today's news is the possibility that there might still be enough anti-Camilla feeling for some entertaining abuse to be hurled as she goes about her royal duties. There's no shortage of historical precedents. At one time, Queen Victoria was loudly booed whenever she ventured outside the Palace. And Camilla herself was once pelted with doughnuts in a Wiltshire branch of Sainsburys.
Not that I'm condoning such a thing. After all, a doughnut packs about as much punch as a gelding at a stud farm. No, in honour of her new title the mob should unleash the cornish pasties. They have a nice hard upper crust and a more aerodynamic design. Charles probably sells them in his organic Duchy Originals range. And just like those foxes that she pursues so relentlessly, the old girl - sorry, Her Royal Highness - would probably enjoy the thrill of the chase. As Oscar nearly said, the uneatable being hurled at the unspeakable.


At 12:16 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Thanks for that post Mr Lupin. Believe me there are millions of us who feel exactly the same as you. However we do not have the skills that you have to nail it so succintly.

Thank you.

It's the 'nonsense' bit that's so hard to express.


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