Saturday, 23 April 2011

Royal Wedding: Who Cares?

"In Glasgow, which has a population of almost 600,000 not one application for a street party has been made.   In the London boroughs...there will be around one party for every 9,600 residents.  But in Birmingham the figure is just one for every 41,000 residents, in Liverpool one for every 27,630 and in Manchester one for every 20,130. having just four street parties...while Leeds has 21 and Sheffield 31. "


The figures present their own evidence for the dominant national opinion regarding the forthcoming royal wedding.  The greater majority of people simply aren't interested. 

Perhaps the street closure licence of £150 per party has contributed to the lack of applications.  It seems an extraordinary sum of money for something which could easily be arranged for free with the mutual consent of any secondary road's residents.

Or perhaps people feel unwilling to share cucumber sandwiches and trifle with neighbours whose names they hardly know.  The post-WWII vision of close communities was decimated by Thatcherism and has not recovered.

This has nothing to do with any class divide, as suggested by The Telegraph's title which implies only working class people live 'up north'.  Cheshire, for example, has some of the most expensive properties outside of London.  And so long as a person has a job, they could be fairly described as working class.  It depends on how the term is defined.

More likely, the nation has reached celebrity overload. Hardly a day goes by when we're not bombarded with yet more trivia about who is wearing what, who's dating whom, and who appeared at which party. Every newspaper, magazine and day-time TV chat show offers an endless parade of people who haven't actually done anything worthy of celebration - rather like the new royal couple, actually. 

Almost inevitably, comparisons with previous royal weddings - and funerals - are being made, when the nation flew into a fuss on a grand scale.  An economist might fairly point out that these occasions raised valuable revenue for the country's coffers which could do with refilling again.  A conspiracy theorist might add that the reaction to these events were exercises in mass mind control.  This time around, the majority of people don't seem to have taken the bait.

Don't misunderstand me; I feel no dislike or antagonism towards either the new royal couple or the royal family as a whole.  They serve their purpose as an international tourist attraction.  The Queen herself seems to have been a stabilising influence throughout the many decades of her reign.  I wish she'd write her own Queen's Speech and share what she really thinks, and I wish all the royal family would pay their full quota of taxes exactly as the rest of British people have to. 

And I certainly hope that Kate and William have a happier marriage than Charles and Diana seem to have done.  Here's hoping that another rash of unfortunate insider gossip doesn't erupt as it did around William's parents - gossip which, however self-inflicted, did much to create the general lack of interest in the forthcoming 'no frills' wedding.

Otherwise, just like the majority of British people, I'm not interested.  I will not be watching the event on TV - and, besides, I don't even own a TV.

One last thought:  To most people, a no frills wedding means a trip to a registrar's office followed by a meal in Wetherspoon's.   My guess is that April 29th will be a tad more extravagant than that.


Anonymous said...

Well I have several options to choose from. I could either; watch the TV (yawn) but fortunately mine comes with an off switch,
Play on my computer,
Do some gardening while trying not to disturb the local wildlife,
Or take my parachute and some hula hoops and go play with some children at a fun day.
Ah, only problem is I am reliant on public transport, can anyone give me a lift to Lowton??

Adele Cosgrove-Bray said...

Is that all they're having to eat - Hoola Hoops? Now that's really no frills!

Anonymous said...

No a friend of mine has been baking for the past two days and there will be hot dogs and the like!

Adele Cosgrove-Bray said...

Ok; so where does the parachute come in...?!!