Well, they say that HRH Prince William, and Kate Middleton, are about to experience a Royal Wedding. I wish them luck. I wish them more luck than Lady Diana and Prince Charles had, the last time we (and they) endured one of these things.
(Oh, I forgot Camilla.) Anyway, I'll tell you what I wish even more: I wish Prince Bill and Kate would just elope.
Imagine it: The Dark of Night. Escaping the Watchmen of the Palace. (One of the Watchmen, of course, is in on the plot.) The Coach and Four waiting. The excitement of the Night Ride, with the help of a couple of real "best men" and a lady-in-waiting.
The handful of young friends waiting till after midnight at the old Abbey -- maybe Glastonbury -- with a few dozen lamps and candles. Some good old St. Valentine, or Friar Lawrence, or Friar Tuck, ready to bless the young lovers as only God and Holy Church can -- or need to -- and then off to bed.
Back in the Palace, consternation. The old grandfather, the Prince Consort, sitting in front of the flickering fire, holding a drink, brooding over the what-might-have-beens of his own life. The fretting Queen wringing her royal hands, pacing in a circle of anxiety, of what-will-the-guests-say, of propriety violated . . . of secret admiration . . . all is forgiven . . .
I don't think it will happen. It hearkens to a vision of Better Yesterdays. I think what we are likely to get is a vision of Worser Tomorrows.
How is it going to be? Here's how I see it:
Poor old Westminster Abbey the scene of a Christian Wedding of a Future Defender Of The Faith, about as likely to experience the Real Presence as in the days of the Christian Weddings of Henry the Eighth. The Sacred Vows a Royal Joke. The Act of Union like the Acts of Union between England and Scotland in 1707 -- not without second thoughts; not without remorse, even. For Better or For Worse.
A gaggle of unfortunate Churchmen, trapped by ancient tradition into a situation where they will mostly be trying not to look irrelevant, nor pathetic, nor inane. There will be lots of dignant posturing in front of gorgeous paraphernalia; the trappings and symbols of the Faith having no more meaning to the Worshippers than so many pearls before Swine.
And the Swine will be there in force, sitting in the front rows of the Church (because someone has paid their Pew Rents) fussing about the Chief Seats like so many Pharisees. I'm speaking of the endless dozens of World Leaders who always show up for these weddings and funerals. I think it is for the free food.
Could it be for the limelight? Or is it just that they can't decently say No? These petty mediocrities that have by hook and crook made themselves "heads" of "states," having to pretend that they are The Powers That Are Ordained To Be, knowing full well that they are not -- the Real Powers being invisibly behind the robot cameras, behind the robot cameramen, behind the robot banks, behind the Veil, laughing at these mannequins, these marionettes -- the Real Powers are the Lizards of Was.
The British upper class has long been of the belief that the "commoners" want, like, admire, and are impressed by, pageantry. Apparently this is true. This time, it may not work so well. I do not think it will backfire exactly, but I do not think it will produce the usual, expected, desired effect.
For one thing, the average British citizen isn't all that happy and contented right now. I'm guessing that he or she has some private doubts about just who is on top and why, but he or she knows that it isn't him or her. (I'm trying to use the Queen's English here; sorry if I sound awkward, guv'nor.)
Do they still love the Bankers and the Stockbrokers of The City like they did, say, four years ago, or twenty-four? Do they trust their political parties, not one of which can so much as muster a majority in parliament? Are they happy with the European Union? the immigrants who share their street? the Health Ministry?
John and Jane Bull have been getting more Bull, and less John-and-Jane, recently. The average British citizen is slowly slipping into below average -- and he doesn't think it is entirely his fault. And he is right. And he doesn't know what he can do about it. And neither do the rest of us. How is he going to react to this spectacle? Will he see it as respecting tradition, or as flaunting of privilege?
I don't know, but Prince Charles and Mrs. Charles' nice car got pelted with paintballs by student demonstrators last December, when they were out for an evening at the London Palladium, so respect for the dignity of the Royal Persons is considerably less than universal.
Maybe the royals will pull this off in their favor. But this time, given the times, it may look less like royal pageantry, and more like royal burlesque. It will look like burlesque if the Lizards want it to -- they, and they alone, frame the picture. They like to set the royals up for embarrassment (they do it more or less every week in the tabloids); it helps keep them in their place.
When this party is over, I think the "commoners" are going to be just a little more sullen, a little more aggrieved. Nothing major. Just a little. There won't be a Royal Flush; just a little more of the Royal Mess.
Bill and Kate, take my advice. Elope. Have some fun. You'll be glad you did. And so will Friar Lawrence.