Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tiaras, stars and stripes

Photo source
Who would have thought that America would be so interested in the upcoming Royal wedding?

By America, I'm not referring to the average person - obviously I don't know what they're thinking. It's the media that I'm talking about. They are obsessed, and this has completely taken me by surprise.

Growing up in a Commonwealth country, I've been used to seeing magazine covers frequently graced by Princess Diana, and constant articles about various members of the Royal family. Then we moved to the UK, and I really saw just how much media coverage is devoted to that family.

I wasn't surprised, though. Love them or hate them, they are the British Royal family. Of course the papers in the UK are going to be filled with stories, ranging from somewhat informative to the downright ludicrous and salacious.

For what it's worth, I don't consider myself a monarchist. In fact, as far as Australia is concerned, I'd say I'm a staunch republican (and no! not as in American politics). I don't believe that Australia - on the other side of the world from Britain - needs a royal family as a figurehead. It's time to cut the ties.

When Australia held a referendum to become a republic, I was living in London and made the trek to the Australian embassy to have my vote. I voted yes to a republic, and was hugely disappointed that more people voted no.

Despite these feelings, the longer I lived in the UK, the more of a soft spot I developed for the Queen. I came to understand the hard work that she actually does, and the seriousness with which she takes her role. Sure, the ease of life and lack of hard work that's attributed to so many other members of the Royal family may be a fair accusation, but not so for the Queen. She's a good sort, that one. I think there's still a place for her (and family) in Britain.

So there it is. I'm quite fond of old Lizzie... BUT you won't catch me buying magazines purely because of their stories or gossip about Prince William and company. Not interested. Couldn't care less, and I still believe - passionately - that Australia should be a republic.

Moving to the US a year ago, the lack of media coverage on the Royal family was refreshing.

And then last November, that engagement happened. Since then, on a daily basis, Wills and Kate have been the topic of choice on various morning talk shows (including The View), and People magazine - the only gossipy mag that I allow myself to buy - has a weekly page dedicated to the Royal wedding plans.

I never expected this level of interest here... The dress! Her fitness regime! Her lustrous hair! The rings! He's not going to wear a ring! Will they have a pre-nup? Who's invited? Which channel will be broadcasting it live?

Perhaps it's because the golden era of the Kennedys - the closest to a royal family in the US - is no more.
Perhaps people are getting tired of the column inches devoted to reality 'stars' and teenage mums who have found fame via MTV (do not get me started on that!).

I have a feeling that it's simply a case of people wanting to witness a real, bona-fide fairy tale. A lavish fairy tale, and not a tacky Hollywood wedding.

As for me? I don't really have an opinion on Wills and Kate. As with all newlyweds, I just wish them the best and hope they are truly happy together. A happy Hollywood ending.


  1. You make some good points. I agree, the Royals are harmless - I just don't think we need them in Australia :)

    When I was in Canada, it was like being in bizarro world (Seinfeld reference). Everything looked North American and everyone had North American ways of speaking, but all their coins featured Lizzie and the mag covers talked about the Royals. Trippy is the only word I can think of to describe it.

  2. Well, they would have been good points except I deleted the post because on rereading it sounded rude! Sorry for the muck up.

  3. I too think the amount of coverage is ridiculous. Good for them, wish them the best, I could care less that they met when she was wearing next to nothing on a run way, and I don't need to hear every little detail of the wedding. I can barely remember all the details from my OWN wedding! lol :)

  4. It's crazy, huh? I have been truly, truly surprised by the coverage here. I find it amusing :)

  5. Ah, the Royals. Good on them. I don't give a shit but good on them!

    I must say I think I have a girl crush on Kate though. She's so...British. Poised. Elegant. And looks like she's been raised in the fresh air. Strapping. Great thighs.


  6. "...looks like she's been raised in the fresh air"

    I love that description of her. I agree, she has a fab figure, but in a healthy outdoorsy kind of way.

    And as much as I try not to pay attention to all the photos of Kate? I want thick, lustrous locks like hers. Hair that looks healthy, submissive, and doesn't require hours of wrangling just to look only half-shit, as opposed to completely shit. Maybe her hair does require hours of styling, but at least the end result is worth it.