An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
YOU’D HAVE to be living under a rock not to know there was a big wedding this Victoria Day weekend. And even if you didn’t get up in the middle of the night to watch it on the telly, you no doubt saw highlights on the news.
It was, by all accounts, an expensive affair — hundreds of thousands for the dress, the flowers, the ring, the cake, the sausage rolls. No matter who paid for it, more than a few are questioning the extravagance.
Those, of course, are the party poopers, the ones who solemnly believe the days of royalty should be put behind us.
And yet, others are loyal Royal watchers to the core. They’ll point out that all the expense is a good investment in the British economy from the resulting tourism and souvenir sales alone, and will say it’s a tradition worth keeping.
To them, Royal watching is a national, and international, pastime. They’re the ones who know why we have a Victoria Day long weekend.
I’m somewhere in the middle. The Royals are, without question, entertainment for the masses, a pleasant diversion from the many troubles besetting our world right now. I certainly didn’t waste a night’s sleep watching the nuptials live, but I know some who did.
And the many highlight reels and breathless TV reports were, I confess, engaging for the sheer opulence of it. And we all now know what a fascinator is.
Much is being made of the supposed “modernization” of the British royalty that this marriage represents. Two children of broken families — dashing, likable Harry and the divorced, slightly older Meghan. Not so long ago such a union simply wouldn’t have been contemplated within the Royal family.
It’s as if it’s all part of a grand plan, intended or not, for the British royalty to make itself relevant again, accessible to the people.
The Royals certainly need to be relevant but the secret isn’t in making themselves cool or usual. Embracing a more liberal attitude towards convention is a good thing, indeed, but part of what makes the Royal family so attractive is a sense of distance. Nothing wrong with a little stodginess to go with a youthful new look.
To us commoners, the Royals are from another universe. We can and should never get too close to them. We can and should admire the good works they do and enjoy watching them, but they should never become ordinary like the rest of us.
That would take the fun out of it.
Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.