Prince William and Kate Middleton were married April 29. The Royal Wedding! I know. I can hardly contain myself, either.
Of course, I mean I can hardly contain my frustration. I’m not frustrated with the Royal Wedding, per se. Well, okay, I am, but I’m madder at the celebrity-centric media that want to shove it down our throats.
First, I really don’t care about any marriage unless at least half of the couple is interesting to me. Frankly, neither Prince William nor Kate fall into that category.
Secondly, I am an American, and–––while I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world, and while I love travelling and enjoying other cultures our planet has to offer–––what foreign royalty does shouldn’t really apply to me, unless it could turn into an all-out war. And no, angry cake-throwing at the reception is not a war, no matter how fatal it turns out; the same goes for any incidents involving the conga line.
Truth be told, what royalty does at all shouldn’t matter to anyone.
Maybe this is a particular issue to me, since I myself am subject to royalty. I was born to an American father and a Belgian mother, and have inherited the citizenship of both nations. I can’t tell you who chairs the Senate’s Social Affairs committee or who leads the Socialist Party, but I’m still allowed an opinion on all matters Belgium. Lucky me.
While Americans live under a monarchy-free republic, Belgians reside under a constitutional monarchy-parliamentary democracy government, where the monarchy’s duties are strictly ceremonial, and all legislation is handled by a parliament.
Belgians have a system much like Britain’s, where the a royal family gets paid lavishly–––not just in money, but in private servants, extravagant vehicles, fine jewelry, mansions–––for making monotone scripted speeches and waving to nobody in particular whenever they leave home. That, and well, sitting around and drinking tea.
Since I’m entitled to an opinion on the monarchy, here it is: It angers me that some of my fellow citizens get to sit on wads of Euro and drink tea. Why do they get that privilege? Granted, I may not be the best person to ask since I’m across the pond, but my general query should raise a question: What does the royal clan do that makes them more worthy than other Belgians of prominence?
You could say, “Well, they were descended from noble families.” I say, so what? To me, that’s like saying that George Washington’s children should each get a turn at the presidency, or that Mike Holmgren’s children should each receive their own NFL team to coach.
I have a problem with the idea that a few citizens get to live lavish days while their common subjects have to support their lifestyle. It’s even more ludicrous when the media endorses this institution by peddling their news to us.
I used to think that having royalty–––having someone to ceremonially reign over society–––was one of the best parts of my family’s motherland. I don’t even know why I thought of that. It was something novel to me, I suppose. When I heard of Republican movements making advances in Europe, I was somewhat dismayed. I thought, “But it’s a grand tradition!” Of course, I failed to note that slavery and limited suffrage are traditional, too. Just because it is a tradition doesn’t mean it’s ok.
That’s why I am upset that media outlets are on overdrive trying to feed me information about and coverage of the royal wedding. Frankly, I think it’s a sham. Not only are British taxpayers opening their wallets to finance this spectacle, which has a good chance of becoming a laughingstock (think of Charles and Diana), but the media want to treat it like a serious matter. I don’t see how it could be serious. He has an entire nation’s wealth at his disposal and she has a hot body. It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize-winning logician to see why this wedding is happening.
Maybe I should just be thankful that this isn’t happening to Belgium’s royal family. Or maybe it is. How would I know? I can’t even name the leader of the Socialist Party.
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