If you are a royalist, or just one of those who think that they do no harm, and work hard, then prepare to be offended. Best stop reading now.
For most of today, the media has been consumed with the subject of the expected birth of a child to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. (Even typing that makes me laugh) The legions of the world’s press are gathered outside St Mary’s hospital in London, hoping for that first photo of the couple, and their new baby. TV reporters are interviewing anyone who appears, asking if they would like to see a boy or girl, as if it made any difference to anyone, except the parents. Countless times, they have gone over and over the fact that the child will be third in line to the throne, irrespective of gender. Crazily coiffured royal pundits have been dragged out into the heat of London today, to comment, for a fat fee, on any number of inane subjects, supposedly relating to this baby.
Politicians, from both the government and opposition, have been quick to offer their delighted salutations, and to be seen sucking up to the royals, and their millions of fans around the globe. Foreign visitors are particularly prized, especially Americans, or Commonwealth citizens. The reporters take a special delight in showing how much the royal family is loved in America, and still admired by most of the people in our former colonies. Of course, this is ridiculous. Just because a handful of camera-keen tourists, and some foreign news programme executives make much of this ‘event’, is no reason to assume that their opinions are shared by the majority in their countries.
Within the last couple of hours, the birth of a boy has been announced. He was actually born at 16.24, but then a lot of people would not have been home from work, busy mums would have been looking after their own youngsters, and the nation would not have been sufficiently ready to receive the full splendour of the announcement. Better by far, to wait until a grateful populace had eaten their evening meal, and settled in front of the TV. Then, all stations could cancel whatever else was going to be on, and go ahead with the report. It is interesting to note that this was also delayed until after the main soap operas shown here had finished. That would have been a step too far, to alienate those viewers.
The hordes of reporters had been placed in every and any possible vantage point. Outside the hospital, outside Buckingham Palace, even in the area where Kate Middleton grew up. Cambridge was featured, even though the connection is tenuous at best. The questions now become even more ridiculous, once the actual news is known. ‘How much champagne do you think will be needed?’, asked one journalist. The significance of the names is discussed, as if the very continuance of the country depends on the choice. The whole thing is a sickening pantomime of sycophancy.
Given the actual state of this nation, the chance to divert the public from what is really happening, by virtue of this royal farce, is a real boon to a government under siege by its critics. The saddest thing, is to see the ordinary people buying into it in their droves. I just feel ashamed of the royals, the journalists, and the pundits; and deep inside somewhere, I think they are a little bit ashamed too. Not much though.