April 29th, 2011

Let’s hear it for the royal wedding

Yeah, I know. It’s fluff.

Or, as Obama would say: silly. We’ve got more important stuff to do.

But still, I had quite a bit of fun last night watching it. After having assiduously ignored the impending royal wedding and all the brouhaha surrounding it, I happened to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and decided to do some work on my computer until I felt tired again. So I turned on the TV to keep me company and completely by chance I caught the live coverage of the arrival of the guests in all their finery and couldn’t help but stay up for a while.

It’s the sort of thing Brits do so much better than we. Pomp, ceremony, and hats.

You don’t see a lot of elegance nowadays. But a great deal of it was on display as the guests arrived. And not just the women but the men, too, in their formal finery. And the hats were so fanciful and festive, elegant (my favorites) and/or whimsical.

Here’s a bunch of photos. I predict that Kate Middleton’s clonelike sister Pippa will be snapped up rather quickly on the marriage market—slender good looks seem to run in the family, as their mother demonstrated:

middletonmom.jpg

Princes William and Harry arrived dressed like characters from a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, but that’s part of the panoply as well. One question, though: don’t they teach royals posture any more? The Princes lack that regal bearing of yesteryear. They’re sort of slumpy and schloompy.

But the biggest suspense was saved for Kate’s dress, a closely guarded state secret (even Wikileaks couldn’t get a crack at it). It turned out to be classic and modest, with long lace sleeves. Bridal dresses tend to be bare and sexy these days, which doesn’t seem quite right, but Middleton smartly bucked that trend.

Her dress almost instantaneously parked a memory for me: Grace Kelly’s gown at her 1956 wedding (am I not an expert on history or what?) It turns out that I’m not the only one to have made the comparison; I see that Lindsey Goldwert of the Daily News has thought of it as well, and thoughtfully provided a photo:

kellymiddleton.jpg

The familiar way Kate and Will were chatting and looking at each other was a reminder that, unlike many royal couples of the past (including William’s ill-fated parents), these two know each other and appear to be in love. I wish them the best of luck; they’ll need it.

51 Responses to “Let’s hear it for the royal wedding”

  1. armchair pessimist Says:

    I wasn’t paying much attention either but was heartened to see hundreds of thousands Brits rally to their flag and their traditions. Tea Party material there, I think, albeit a monarchist one.

  2. Tom Says:

    The American fascination with the Royals and monarchism is a major part of our problem. The Obama voters and supporters want to be loyal subjects, beseeching royalty for succor. Obama knows this well. A king is the ultimate community organizer. Which is the basis for my doubt that Obama will go quietly into any good night.

    We have created our own nobility, our dukes and lords. The Kennedys, the Bushes, the Clintons, etc.

    Let’s get a grip: QE II is a billionairess.

    It is disgusting.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Tom: hey Tom, chill. It’s about the clothes.

  4. gs Says:

    1. One question, though: don’t they teach royals posture any more? The Princes lack that regal bearing of yesteryear. They’re sort of slumpy and schloompy.

    When Neo’s on, she’s on.

    Pages and chapters of historical & social commentary boiled down to three sentences.

    2. You don’t see a lot of elegance nowadays. But a great deal of it was on display as the guests arrived…Here’s a bunch of photos.

    Very rarely, IMHO, does the human form transcend the tradeoffs and outright reluctance with which evolution produced it. In a few of those photos, in a few of the dancer images that Neo shows.

    3. IMHO 1950s America, in its own way, could match anybody for style. Those of an age to do so might remember President Kennedy’s funeral.

  5. kolnai Says:

    None of this really bothered me in the way it seemed to irk some conservative commentators (the one line reaction at Patterico is pretty funny though). On a basic level I can assent to neo’s appraisal of it.

    The dress is nice, I guess. Not that I’d know a nice dress from a nightgown. If Grace Kelly endorsed it, I’ll defer to her judgment (not that I know who Grace Kelly is).

    (That’s a joke.)

    Having said all of that, I have to confess – what is probably obvious – that I can summon no interest whatsoever in ceremonies like this. No offense to the royals, but I’ve got better things to do. Such as sleep.

    It actually reminds me of why I love living in “a republic, if we can keep it.” The way we can have a prosperous, functioning, powerful, by and large decent society while at the same time retaining a proper nausea at the thought of all authority grows only more amazing the longer one thinks about it.

    Though, I must say, some of the orgiastic propaganda around the time of Obama’s election was much worse than this pomp-y royal affair. Guess we shouldn’t get too cocky about our republic virtue after all.

    Oh, I do have a serious question – Why is anybody excited about this? What am I missing? I can understand being mildly intrigued from an anthropological standpoint, or a cultural standpoint, or, if you’re a Brit, from a historical standpoint. Maybe from a human standpoint, thinking about the horror of the royal lifestyle (which would tend to inspire pity more than excitement).

    What’s the deal? Is it just glamour and vicarious living in Laputa for a brief moment? I don’t get it. But rumor has it I’m dense as a neutron star.

  6. Mr. Frank Says:

    It’s nice to see some people make a really big deal over a wedding. Ritual can be a good thing.

  7. FenelonSpoke Says:

    It was my husband who wanted to get up for the wedding and I joined along with our son.
    I liked the dress; I liked the pomp and pageantry and I especially liked seeing beautiful Westminster Abbey, hearing the great words from the the book of Romans and the thoughtful homily. It was unapologetically Christian. I note that because in 15 years or less no trace of Christianity (except what’s underground) may exist in England and some wackos from the religion of pieces (Islam) may treat the historical momuments of that once great country the same way they treated the Buddhas in Afghanistan. So, i enjoy it for something they may never get back unless Harry gets married in the next few years. As an Anglophile this breaks my heart.

  8. SteveH Says:

    I’ve determined the British style in royal carriages and such is about one notch away from the gaudy dragon fountain one might see at a take out Chinese restaurant.

  9. Tom Says:

    Neo:
    Yeah, I’m kinda depressed. Will try to chill, but liking the dress and pomp is the 1st step in liking the “gift” of royalty, and I just can’t go there.

  10. Tom Says:

    The AP head: “Britain celebrates monarchy….”
    QED.

  11. expat Says:

    I distinguish between the wedding itself and the media circus made of it. Like Mr Frank and Fenelon Spoke, I found the actual ceremony beautiful and it would be great it the young found some sort of role model in Kate. BBC coverage was terrible: dingy reporters interviewing the hairdresser, etc, and numerous shots of Elton John with partner as well as the Beckhams.

    I couldn’t watch the post ceremony coverage, but I seriously doubt that anyone talked about the ceremony itself and what it meant. When I heard Jerusalem, it seemed to symbolize that Kate was taking on a lifelong commitment to serve the nation, and she seems mature enough to understand this. I actually have a lot of respect for the queen. She didn’t ask for the job, and if her uncle hadn’t been such a flake, she would have had a very different life. She lived through the London bombings, and she realizes the fragility of our civilization. I much prefer the sometimes stodgy protocol to the anything-goes celebrity-obsessed values now being pushed on the young. I wish Kate and William well, and I hope they come to be appreciated for their decorum rather than their hairdressers.

  12. Sgt. Mom Says:

    I didn’t get up to watch – as I said to my daughter, I wouldn’t get up at 4 AM for my own wedding. I’m kind of halfway in between Tom and Neo: I appreciate the ceremony, and the fact that the outfits did seem very tasteful, and understated … and the bride’s dress was very reminiscent of my own mother’s wedding dress, which had very much the same lines as Grace Kelly’s. I do wish them well, and it’s a good thing that both of them seem to know what they are getting into – and I was interested in the wedding in a mild way, being of British descent. But I do also believe that we are ourselves in too much of a danger of slipping over into royalty worship, with our own dear long-established (or not so long-established) political families. It made me actually ill sometimes, to read about the Kennedys being described as American royalty. When Al Gore and GWB ran against each other – both being sons of politically prominent men – that made me pretty nauseated, too. And don’t get me started on Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. We’ve started down the road to growing our own aristocracy, and I want to fight that tendency tooth and nail.

  13. texexec Says:

    I liked it all. Got up at 3am (I’m in Texas as though I haven’t mentioned that enough in previous posts) to watch it and stayed until the end. :) )

    I’m a sucker for pomp and ceremony, great looking uniforms, beautiful women who were by and large, tastefully dressed. I especially like the marching bands in their scarlet tunics. Hell…I get a bit choked up when I see the Texas Aggie band playing and marching in a military formation and **I** graduated from The University of Texas! (My dad was an Aggie.)

    Some of y’all need to lighten up…look at it as simply one damned good ceremony. Heck, to a large extent, all of Europe is a theme park and the Brits do their events the best.

    I thought Kate was elegantly dressed and her sis is HOT!

    My $0.02.

  14. Kate Says:

    I got to hear my favorite hymn, Jerusalem. So was that all the Christians in England today gathered in Westminister?
    Do we still consider Rowan Williams a Christian even given the way he endorses islam?
    “Blue Blood” What nonsense. Surprised that adults fall for such claptrap. But then so many adults believe in socialism too, so you can’t fix stupid.

  15. gs Says:

    Or, as Obama would say: silly. We’ve got more important stuff to do.

    Easy to say, when you weren’t invited.

    Do you suppose the Obamas got up early to watch?

    Here I am, tainting the occasion with partisan schadenfreude. I am an Uncouth Person.

    snicker

  16. helvetica Says:

    I don’t know if it was just me, but everyone in the wedding party looked rather tense, like “let’s get this over with”. I heard that when Charles heard the news of their engagement, he said that it was about time because they had been practicing long enough. The bride’s mother looked really gleeful which was also weird, like gold-diggerish.

    I also generally like princes/princesses and pomp/circumstance, but I dunno what it was about this wedding, it just seemed off to me. Almost like it had the air of “once more for old time’s sake”.

    I also think that it was wonderful that the Obamas weren’t invited. LOL

  17. FenelonSpoke Says:

    Rowan Williams has some excellent sermons, but I was glad he didn’t give the homily. He is an apologist for Islam

    There are Christians in England. They weren’t all at the Abbey and surely everyone there wasn’t a Christian.

    I did like that the couple didn’t want presents but wanted money donated to charity. I think that’s a very good thing.

  18. baklava Says:

    It’s so easy to armchair quarterback and have negative opinions about this and that.

    I applaud them – and I wish them the best.

    Class is – not to envy

  19. Parker Says:

    It is a no interest or importance to me. Pomp and fashion are not my thing, and if the folks in the UK want to continue their love affair with the House of Windsor, more fawning adoration to them. On a personal, human level I wish the couple long life and happiness.

    Now can we all get back to planting vegetable seeds and tomato, pepper, and eggplant transplants? It was a great day to be in the garden, and I hope the weather holds through tomorrow so I can play in the dirt again.

  20. Oblio Says:

    What I saw was charming, if bittersweet. Kate with an homage to Princess Grace, that mid-century icon of class of beauty; William, the RAF pilot, in Irish regimentals, with the WWII vintage planes flying overhead (a Supermarine Spitfire, a Hawker Hurricane, a Lancaster bomber): aging relics of Their Finest Hour. William and his family reminded us that the kings and queens of England descend from a warrior elite. The man’s name itself: William Arthur Philip Louis. The great hymns–not only Jerusalem but also Cwm Rhondda for the Welsh, and Parry’s “I was glad,” a setting of Psalm 122 composed for the coronation of Edward VII, the apogee of imperial power and glory. Titles for England, Scotland, and Ireland. Strong symbolism of a Britain that was once great. Everything but a declaration of war on the modern age.

    Why did people watch? The lure of STATUS that is irreproachable, that can’t be won and can’t be lost. Status is great god of the modern age, the Rosetta Stone and key to all mysteries. Of this, celebrity is only a proxy.

  21. Tom Says:

    They descended from once-upon-a-time warriors perhaps. The Windsors were the Gotha-Saxe-Coburgs because Queen Victoria married a wee little German prince, until 1917, when the Royals determined they had to seem more British and renamed themselves by royal edict. King George V and Kaiser Wilhelm were cousins, but war is hell.

  22. helvetica Says:

    Oblio, yes bittersweet is a great way to put it. It was hard to put my finger on what it was, it almost seemed like everyone knew that somehow this wedding just wasn’t the same as the ones that it was emulating.

    I wasn’t born for the Charles/Diana wedding, so it’s tough for me to compare if the same malaise was there in the past. It’s almost as though the whole world is wishing for the 1940s-50s to come back.

    I am not bashing the bride/groom here, just commenting on the weirdness in the air.

  23. Oblio Says:

    Yes…once upon a time.

  24. Oldflyer Says:

    The Toms of the world are really a trip. Wake up Tom; it has nothing to do with you. Oh, and sneer at the Windsors if you will, but no one was denigrating Elizabeth’s parents as they rode out the blitz with the rest of the Londoners. Certainly there is no reason to down play the warrior qualities of William or Harry. Although William calls upon his courage to rescue others in distress.

    Apparently the Brits are not as weary of their Royals as we are led to believe. Better to have identifiable Royals than to have a President who believes he should have Imperiall treatment. Believe me, on a day to day basis our Chief of State is much more intrusive than the Royal family. And more expensive to maintain.

    I think many people do love pomp and ceremony. I miss it; just as I miss the idea of dressing up for church, dinner out, etc. It seems there is no longer anything “special” about special occasions.

    We taped the events (on a VCR yet). My wife is watching Barbara Walters even now at 9:15pm Eastern, as she absolutely gushes. I wonder how long before Barbara and her ilk go back to sneering at the Royals.

    I had occasion to observe Diana and Charles from relatively close range on a few occasions. She was a beautiful woman; and she always knew where the cameras were, and how to play to them. Poor Charles was treated like a step-child when she was on the scene.

    I feel sorry for Kate in a sense. In the eyes of the media, she will always live in the shadow of, and be compared to “you know who”. From what I see, she can hold her on–if given a fair chance.

  25. Judith L Says:

    I’m a multi-generation American, descendent of Revolutionary War soldiers, both North and South soldiers, and, of course WWII. But I married an Englishman. I think it takes that close a relationship to fully appreciate how utterly different the United Kingdom is from the United States of America. I love being a citizen of a Republic. But the monarchy is essential to the British identity and cohesion. Abandoning it would not level their ingrained cast system. So, imo, occasions such as today are a sign of hope for the future of the country. An the Anglican liturgy provides the most elegant wedding ceremony know to man–and woman.

  26. nolanimrod Says:

    My favorite bit of bathos?

    … assume the role she’s been preparing for since childhood.

    Talk about a schemer!

  27. Wandriaan Says:

    The Europeans trash the most noble elements of their heritage (such as true and mere and plain Christianity), but they retain the worst parts ( such as the European aristocracy with its horrid history-in my view the main cause of the many leftist revolutions in Europe).
    It is worthy to note how today the European Left (the BBC, the Guardian, their continental counterparts) adores the pampered aristocrats and hates the sober living clergy. They recognize themselves in the aristocrats, while the former Left hated them.
    That’s why I call them ‘the gentry Left’. In the US you have the same thing: the Hollywood Left, the Times, liberal media, Academia etc.
    Todays Left controls all sugared places of autority without merit, just as the old aristocracy did. That’s one reason why the Left hates Sarah Palin: she is the exact opposite and the enemy of the gentry Left. She presents a threat to their meritless privileges. She is a dangerous commoner, a crude peasant ‘who should know her place’, but instead revolts against her betters and tries to incite the herd of the unwashed to do the same.

    The wedding, however, was beautiful; it contained much of the true beauty of Anglican Christianity, that the Brits so stupidly have thrown away. It could inspire beautiful ideals of marriage and family life in young boys and girls everywhere.
    If only the gentry Left (many of whom where in the service) would not do anything to destroy just that. Keep the pomp and style, destroy the substance, make the whole thing hollow. That’s the Left for you.

  28. Oblio Says:

    On service:

    Harry served in Afghanistan.

    The Duke of York served in the Falklands.

    The Prince of Wales served in the RAF and Royal Navy. He was also a pilot.

    The Queen served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service as a driver.

    The Duke of Edinburgh served at sea during the Second World War and served actively for 12 years. his grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg, served in the RN 40 years and ended as First Sea Lord. his uncle Louis Montbatten ended a long naval career as Admiral of the Fleet and Supreme Allied Commander of the South East Asia Command.

    George VI served as a turret officer during the Battle of Jutland, which was no joke.

    So we should give the Windsors credit: they serve.

  29. Tom Says:

    Oldflyer:
    POTUS is the Federal CEO; the Queen has no such duties, responsibilities, nor power. She is a token, a hood ornament for the nation, and is vastly rewarded. Fortunately she’s done her job well.

    That we have to deal with Baraq is an entirely different issue. Would you like him to be the American royal, for life, and his first daughter the next queen?

  30. Wandriaan Says:

    ‘Investigate everything, keep the good’ said St Paul and that’s what Europe should do. The whole idea of hereditary aristocracy is unreasonable and undefensible. It is also in blatant contradiction with the Christian idea of all men and women created equal in the eyes of God.
    It was the major issue in the whole American revolution. It was indeed what was best in the American revolution. The reason why I love America is that it is Christian without blue blood rot.
    Windsors certainly occasionly served well. It is reported as in amazement, with commoners it would just taken for granted.
    Social cohesion in Britain is not provided by the aristocracy. Social confusion is provided by the aristocracy (and the gentry Left).
    We should learn from each others strong points, not from the bad things. Europeans can learn from American equality, Americans can learn from European beauty and tradition.

  31. gs Says:

    helvetica Says: Oblio, yes bittersweet is a great way to put it. It was hard to put my finger on what it was, it almost seemed like everyone knew that somehow this wedding just wasn’t the same as the ones that it was emulating.

    Sensing that they’re no longer making history, but reenacting it?

  32. Parker Says:

    This subject has drawn out many interesting and conflicting POV. I didn’t give it a single thought or pay any attention to it, but as usual, I have to really think about the subject in different ways after reading comments at neo-neoimpanema .

    Judith L says, “But I married an Englishman. I think it takes that close a relationship to fully appreciate how utterly different the United Kingdom is from the United States of America. I love being a citizen of a Republic. But the monarchy is essential to the British identity and cohesion. Abandoning it would not level their ingrained cast system.”

    The class structure in Britain is real, and I suppose you’re correct, it is ingrained and unthinkable to change their attachment to the symbolic monarchy. And there are certainly worse forms of societal organization than a symbolic monarchy. And, despite BHO claiming France as our closest ally, we all know the Limyes are the ones we count on in times of trouble.

    Oldlfter says, “The Toms of the world are really a trip. Wake up Tom; it has nothing to do with you… no one was denigrating Elizabeth’s parents as they rode out the blitz with the rest of the Londoners.”

    The family (for the most part) has shone courage and served as a source of strength in perilous situations more than once. I tip my Twins baseball cap because you’re right, they have been noble when the chips were down.

    Wandriaan says, “Todays Left controls all sugared places of autority without merit, just as the old aristocracy did. That’s one reason why the Left hates Sarah Palin: she is the exact opposite and the enemy of the gentry Left. She presents a threat to their meritless privileges. She is a dangerous commoner, a crude peasant ‘who should know her place’, but instead revolts against her betters and tries to incite the herd of the unwashed to do the same.”

    I agree. Sarah Palin and Kate and Will, long may they run.

  33. Wm Lawrence Says:

    Mmmmm! Grace Kelly…

    But to the topic; On local talk radio today the host was doing a bit about what would be an appropriate gift for such a couple since they probably already have a toaster and Quisinart. I have decided that the only thing I have to offer is the one thing all celebrities claim to crave, but can never have. I am going to give them the gift of privacy. I didn’t watch the wedding and I have resolved to avoid reading about them in the tabloids or following them ‘on all celebrity all the time’ TV or radio. I suppose you may think I’m a cheapskate since I do these things already, but hey it’s what I have to give. I’ll live my life and let them live theirs in, at least to me, total obscurity. I think I may extend this boon to many others in the pop culture limelight also. I anticipate much less stress and lower blood pressure. That’s my gift to myself since I’m being altruistic…

  34. texexec Says:

    William voluntarily went to Peru to serve there helping the natives, scrubbing toilets and eating crummy food like the other volunteers. He’s a solid guy.

    I wish OUR Royalty Wannabe had done something similar instead of stirring up trouble in Chicago, hanging out with known and documented terrorists, attending a wild eyed preacher’s church, and starting his political career by legalistically removing opponents in political races.

    I’d take William over The One ANY DAY. Right now, as they are.

    These days, I’m not so proud of OUR way of selecting a CEO. A biased media sways votes from otherwise uninformed people many of whom receive their money from the government they elect.

  35. armchair pessimist Says:

    Boy, what a bunch of wet blankets! We complain that the Brits have lost their spirit and when a million of them come out to cheer their country and their crown we still squawk. The monarchy has served the country well over 1,000 years; we took a different road and hopefully our way last as long…although I have my doubts.

  36. armchair pessimist Says:

    …and hopefully our ways will last as long…

    Haven’t had my second coffee yet.

  37. waltj Says:

    I happened to be in Europe on other business at the time of the wedding, so I got to see most of it while waiting in an airport lounge. For me, the introductory music (Handel’s Zadok the Priest, among others) was the highlight. Also, as a former military man myself, I like seeing the various dress uniforms and learn about the regimental histories.

    I’m republican to my bones, but the American Republic is a direct descendant from several European monarchies, the British one most directly. We lose nothing by acknowledging our debt to our monarchical forebears in terms of establishing a functioning civil society on North America in the 17th Century. At the same time, I have no regrets that we followed a different path from, say, Canada, and went our own way when we did.

    King George V and Kaiser Wilhelm were cousins, but war is hell.

    Tsar Nicholas II was also a relative by marriage (the Tsarina was one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters) to King George and Kaiser Bill. Obviously, this did nothing to prevent WW1.

    One story about the Windsors’ view of duty and service: As the D-Day landings in Normandy were underway, Churchill wanted to have a look for himself regarding their progress. As there there were still threats of German U-boats and Luftwaffe attacks, as well as sea mines, there was some risk involved. King George VI, knowing full well who was more important to the war effort, pulled rank on Churchill and said he’d go instead. Churchill reportedly was furious, but had to accede to his sovereign’s imperative. As it turned out, neither ended up going, but George had made his point.

  38. expat Says:

    waltj,

    That’s a wonderful story about George VI.

  39. kolnai Says:

    armchair pessimist – you make a good case, or at least one that hits me in my area of concern.

    When I thought for a few seconds on whether or not to care about this, I concluded it was at worst harmless and at best a last gasp of a dying England.

    I think for folks like me the tendency to react badly to ceremonies such as this is rooted in a nebulous construct in our minds composed of one part pigheaded Jeffersonian revulsion at pompous royal displays and one part the memories of the hideous Cult of Diana (so scathingly detailed by Theodore Dalrymple and Peter Hitchens).

    I’m not saying it’s right to let this construct define one’s reaction to the ceremony, but we shouldn’t forget that for all the good that can be said about the monarchy – and I fully concede it all, believe me – things are different now, and there’s a “tabloidification” of the royals that could be argued to be insidiously degrading, like most things in England these days.

    I spent some time in England during my undergrad days (as I’m sure many here have as well), and, speaking totally anecdotally, I often got the vibe that England was a nation that had opted to find its national focal point in a mixture of Oprah, Jerry Springer, and Danielle Steele melodramas. It’s the same sort of thing a lot of conservatives get steamed about when President Obama goes on Letterman or Oprah, or when we pics of Obama’s pecs as he strolls along the seashore. In the case of the monarchy’s tabloidification, it may not be the royals fault, but that just adds to the tragedy. I wouldn’t cast aspersions on them or the institution. Yet, I find it hard to take this stuff as anything but playacting. I hope the people’s heart was in it; I suspect by and large there was something altogether more superficial going on.

    Still, none of that means that the ceremony in itself was a bad thing, or that any effusions of patriotism were unwelcome. It doesn’t even mean that the monarchy is something to be denigrated. It’s just that on ground-level there’s a bathos to it that rings hollow, precisely because of the sense that the way modern, socialist Britain has reconciled itself to its “peculiar institution” is by reducing it to front-page sensationalism cheek-by-jowl with David Beckham and Posh Spice.

    As Walter Bagehot warned, one ought not to let sunlight in upon magic. And the reason I couldn’t get interested in it is because the magic is gone.

    I hope this captures a more nuanced “back-story” to the seemingly knee-jerk reactions against the ceremony. I personally was not against it, and didn’t feel much about it at all, as I noted in my earlier post. Nonetheless, I think if I had watched it I would have felt like projecting the old “magic” onto the display in front of me, and then an upsurge of sadness would have emerged as I realized that this was only a pale imitation of it.

    Hey, guess I’m an armchair pessimist too!

  40. armchair pessimist Says:

    Kolnoi, very interesting and I wouldn’t be surprised if your pessimism proves absolutely correct.

    Perhaps the Royals had to become Stepford kings and queens; it was that or exile on the Riviera, or worse. It’s not as though they were needed anymore, or more accurately, allowed to make themselves needed. Maybe it isn’t in the Windsor genes anymore, for generations of being glorified movie ushers must take their tole, but if there was ever a time for a British Queen or King or even a red haired Prince make another speech, pointing an accusing finger at the politician class, both parties, and saying, “What have you done to our Britain? Turned us into a suburb of Brussels and the world’s flophouse, that’s what!!”, it’s now. Even the sternest republican over here, not to mention much of the British people, would grant that the royalty had earned its paycheck and then some.

    Most likely nobody will and so I’ll climb back into my gloomy armchair.

  41. Curtis Says:

    I like Kate. She’s purty. I think there’s room in this world for great big weddings and pomp and circumstance. Better than our Lady Gaga!

  42. ziontruth Says:

    I watched the updates on the royal wedding for an hour or so before attending to my preparations for the weekly coming of the Bride and Queen known as the Sabbath. Like “armchair pessimist” (first post here), what I found exciting isn’t so much the wedding itself or the young couple, but the timeless truth about humanity revealed, especially by the British people.

    Here was a nation’s rallying to the flag, and a wedding wholly under the auspices of religion. Here was the antithesis to Lennon’s arid, vapid, insipid and ultimately hopeless vision he penned in his Imagine, and the truth that people could never settle for such a vision. The Marxists tell us we ought to evolve beyond nationalities, and to want to be Citizens Of The World, but what does that give people but the charming prospect of melting into a global glob (ironically considering the slogan, “Celebrate Diversity”)? They tell us religion is outmoded, but they think “Life’s a b****, then you die” could satisfy Homo sapiens? Human beings long for significance, and they also long for distinction rather than a drab and dreary multicultural mixture.

    One cynic on the Daily Mail remarked that that’s how cults and religions arise. My thoughts on this are: Indeed, but that is how human nature works. If you try to shut the door on the traditional edifiers of human existence, you will see them get back through the window, and get back they will, only in forms far worse than ever seen in the traditional manifestations: Nazism, Marxism, death-worshiping Environmentalism, to name just a few. Or people will turn to a traditional way that is the bane of modern life and liberty–Islam.

    Look beyond the media extravagance and you see in the excitement of the British people a genuine, resounding “No!” to the shibboleths of Cultural Marxism. It is patent that those vacuous tenets, those life-draining ideas, have been foisted, in Britain as elsewhere, on the people against their will. The will of the people is, at the very least, to have a distinct and (gasp) exclusive national existence, and their true spiritual longings often go beyond the pantheistic New Age platitudes that the heirs of Antonio Gramsci have put before us as substitutes for the past ways. Let those tyrants therefore beware the day the people’s inhibitions are broken and their true spirit is unleashed.

  43. newton Says:

    “The bride’s mother looked really gleeful which was also weird, like gold-diggerish. ”

    You seem not to know that Kate’s mom is a millionaire in her own right. She made her fortune as a small businesswoman who made it big, which allowed her and her husband to provide for her children the best education money could buy. Her good business sense was so obvious, her husband joined her at the firm.

    Had it not been by the sacrifices she made and the results, her daughter would have not studied at St. Andrews – and much, much less become the Duchess of Cambridge and consort to the second in line to the throne. The Middletons are not aristocracy, but everything they have, they’ve earned.

    “Gold-diggerish”? Hardly. She’s probably quite happy that a commoner, a descendant of coal miners, is now part of the royal bloodline.

  44. Papa Dan Says:

    Oblio – Rick Wakeman has a video and CD called Amazing Grace that includes a beautiful performance of Jerusalem and many other old hymns. I often listen to it on Sunday afternoons.

  45. armchair pessimist Says:

    @ziontruth,

    From your keyboard to God’s eyes!

  46. ziontruth Says:

    Amen, armchair pessimist. God, family and country–no human being is truly free unless those are the focus of his life. I refuse to be a pessimist. “It ain’t over till it’s over” isn’t just a quip for me, it’s what I really believe.

  47. helvetica Says:

    Newton, actually I did know about her parent’s finances. She still looks gold-diggerish to me – there are other types of gold rather than just money.

  48. newton Says:

    “She still looks gold-diggerish to me”

    She may still have the look of an airline stewardess, but that means she keeps herself looking young.

    Not bad for a woman who has been married to the same man for about three times the amount of time as their new in-laws’ blood parents.

    BTW – Have you seen the official pictures? You can already see the difference. Those two are going to last.

  49. E.M. Crotchet Says:

    waltj:

    Tsar Nicholas II was also a relative by marriage (the Tsarina was one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters) to King George and Kaiser Bill.

    He was not just related by marriage, Nicholas II was a first cousin of both George V and Willhem II.

  50. julia nyc Says:

    William definitely married up, as far as I’m concerned. Tere’s something so inspiring and impressive about the steely self determination of the Kate’s mother’s family. Her dress was pretty, but I think Grace Kelly’s was a lot better. Better neckline, and the sash at the waist was a great detail. She should have ripped the whole thing off, instead of the main “look”. Still, kate she looked really classy and it was nice to see a bride looking regal, and not like some hootchie cootchie girl, which is what a lot of brides look like these days, thanks to the “night gown bridal dress” influence of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Love the Brits. Can’t help it.

  51. Art blog Says:

    Great post, very enjoyable read and i agree with most you say.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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