Saturday, April 30, 2011

Opting out

I'm not much for Royal events. In 1977 (for the Silver Jubliee) I caught measles aged 5 and missed the only street party I could have attended. While everyone else in the street had fun outside in the blaring late 70s summer, I was tucked up on the sofa with a blanket over me and the curtains closed. One of the kindlier neighbours came in and hung some bunting across the ceiling for me, but for the majority of the day I was left alone, desolate and mortified. I'm sure that day was crucial in developing a self-fulfilling sense of expectance of exclusion which has continued throughout my life.

I have little memory of the 1981 Royal Wedding - as I've mentioned elsewhere, the 1980s were a decade-long depression for me, and this wedding is a useful marker of the start of it. Sham wedding - sham decade. Even the wedding photos lied. Diana was the same height as Charles.

He is totally standing on a box.

Coming back from a nice holiday in Italy, with no internet or tv for a week to saturate my palate, I was prepared to give the Kate/William wedding a chance, but after watching the news the day before, and seeing screaming Royalist American tourists, whipping themselves into a frenzy of hysteria, along with the sycophantic, endless media coverage, I decided enough was enough, and made the choice to switch off. This was not going to be 1977 all over again. I was going to opt out of our National genuflecting Love-in on my own terms.

So while half the country was rapt in front of the television, watching how Kate Middleton was "now no longer a commoner" (in the exact words of one broadcaster), me and my husband drove the car out to the middle of nowhere and climbed a great big hill (Nicky Nook Fell), then ate a bar of chocolate when we got to the top as a reward. We'd expected to be alone, but you'd be surprised at how many other people seemed to have had the same idea. Whole families of people who didn't care that much about the Royal Family, escaping society for a few hours.

By the time we got back it was all over.

My husband told me that one of his friends was in the ironic situation of being given the day off work to watch the Royal Wedding, but he'll also have all the days after that off work too. He's been made redundant as of today due to the cuts.

I expect William and Kate will have an absolutely lovely life. No cuts there.


Anonymous said...

When I first heard that William was going out with the Kate woman, I was absolutely shocked. Until I realised it was Kate *Middleton* and not, as I'd thought, Kate *Silverton*.

Anyway, we escaped the wedding fever too. While Will was taking Kate up the aisle, I was taking my better half up Dove Crag in the Lake District to look for the Priest's Hole. (A cave, by the way, not a pub, or anything else for that matter).

Old Cheeser said...

I'm with you on this one - I'm not a roylist - although curiousity got the better of me and I ended up flicking on the TV a few times. I just enjoyed getting the day off work and in fact this extended Bank Hol weekend has been bliss. Sorry to hear about the guy who got made redundant - bummer.

That is such a revelation about Charles and Di being the same height though! Mind you, I guess if anyone bothered to observe a few pics of the couple together, they would have soon realised...