William and Kate, a familiar refrain?

Are William and Kate married yet?


Jesus Christ, what’s taking so long? With all the media coverage of the Royal wedding, I feel like it actually started three weeks ago but we’ve been forced to sit through an awkward pause created by the wedding photographer putzing around with his equipment.

In these last few weeks certain media outlets, in particular NBC News, have been obsessing over the forthcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton to a degree usually reserved for disturbed ex-girlfriends. When the coverage first kicked into high gear the networks hit the ground running with such an intense pace that I assumed the wedding itself was occurring later that week. When that didn’t happen, I had assumed it would be the week after. Then came another week, and another. It got to the point where I couldn’t remember a time where Kate and Willie weren’t engaged. I thought back to my first kiss and swear I could hear Meredith Veira in the background talking about Middleton’s stylist and how those guards can’t move or smile for any reason – EVER!

The marriage of the second in line to an overseas crown whose power and influence is purely ceremonial and metaphorical must be of great interest to the American people. Otherwise, why would so many countless hours be dedicated on broadcast networks and associated cable news channels to the Royal wedding? Plus, as any Editor who has ever been called upon to explain the presence of inexplicable tripe on their front page will tell you, the news media exists purely at the whim of the public. It is a one-way street, and if you think you see a car coming down the wrong side of that street, it must be because you are facing the wrong way.

Never mind that I don’t know a single person who has spoken a word aloud in my presence concerning William, Kate, or any of their family members, not even on accident or in a roundabout way. The closest I’ve come was when the first disc of Jonathan Ames’s HBO comedy series “Bored to Death” arrived at my house on Monday and one of the episodes featured a meth-head who happened to be British, but even he couldn’t be bothered to mention the House of Windsor.

Obviously, we can’t put too much weight into such things when determining public interest in a story, because it’s all anecdotal. I cannot assume my personal experience to be the whole of the nation’s. So instead, I turned to a cruder yet more tangible method of measurement: TMZ.com and Perez Hilton.

I visited both sites on the evening of Tuesday, April 26th at 7:36pm. Perez Hilton had one post earlier in the day about the music selection, but the impetus for the mention was on the rumor that Jay-Z and Beyonce might perform in some capacity. As for TMZ, the last post they had on the subject was early Monday morning, and it was on the site only because it mentioned our President, Barack Obama.

Okay, I’m grasping a bit to make a point, but it’s there and worth noting: those who make it their job to cover the superficial can’t be bothered. Yet NBC News, an allegedly more legitimate news outfit, has aired unprecedented matrimonial coverage. Even as I was writing this piece, I received an alert via Twitter informing me that NBC was conducting an interview with Diana Spencer’s former psychic, who claimed that the ghost of Diana will be “turning up somewhere” during the wedding. My hope is that it’s in chains, a la Jacob Marley, and that she’ll try to warn Kate not to become entrenched in centuries of inbreeding the stoic passive-aggressive nonsense and to flee Buckingham Palace as fast as she can.

Yet despite all the attention, I don’t even know what sort of significance this has for us, if any at all. In the early 1980s they somehow got away with presenting the wedding of thirty-two-year-old louse bachelor Charles and twenty-year-old beauty Diana as being a “fairy tale wedding.” In hindsight it seems ludicrous, and surely our cynicism would prevent the same thing from happening in 2011. If that specific marriage were to happen today, we’d see it for what it was; not a romance, but an obligation between two people who have absolutely no physical chemistry and engage in awkward body language around each other.

The Spanish leg of the Habsburgh family from which William is descended inbred itself into extinction, culminating in King Charles II of Spain.

Yet we just accept that Kate and William are a little different. They entered into a relationship that was apparently of their own making and, unlike Charles, women think William is adorable. As such, they’re “so cute together,” although that assertion is a bit confusing since pictures of them in close physical proximity are all posed and in the others they’re stiff as boards with enough room between them for the Holy Ghost and Diana’s (which as NBC confirmed earlier will haunt this wedding). One has to wonder if we’re going to look back on this wedding in the same way we looked back at Charles and Diana’s, scoffing at how easily all were duped whilst refusing to acknowledge that we ourselves were also caught up in the pageantry.

But maybe that’s just the cynic in me, the same one that’s done a 180 on this whole deal (nobody’s more surprised than I am folks). Surely there can’t be any harm in the continued obsession with the outdated pastiche of historical mis-steps for which the House of Windsor happily serves as an apt metaphor, or more specifically in the union of Kate and William, a man who has been raised and coached in recent years to be a public apology and antidote for the shortcomings of his immediate and extended family. Nor is there anything to be concerned about when there is around the clock coverage of the marriage of a future monarch with no discussion as to the absurdity – all sentimentality aside – of a world power devoting so much of its wealth and resources towards coddling a family which has accomplished little in the last hundred years other than to speak the words of others well and live a lavish and posh life on the public dole.

I suppose it doesn’t matter, so long as they’re not terrible. Right?

I guess what gets my goose more than the fact that it’s 2011 and there is still a Royal Family is that we operate under the pretense that their existence somehow matters or holds any actual meaning; and, yes, I include myself in that statement. The reasons given by Brits and Yanks for the continued cultivation and fascination with them are purely superficial: history, tradition, tourism, etcetera.  In other words, William, Harry, Charles, the Queen, and all of them are the equivalent of the big-headed costumed creatures that roam the grounds at Disney and Six Flag theme parks, except the heads of royals are slightly more apropos to human scale, and they aren’t nearly as charming or emotionally available. Yet, somehow, the minutiae of a single ceremony involving one of them supersedes death and conflict in four separate countries.

Distractions are one thing; we employ them on a daily basis in order to keep from going insane. On this level, though, it seems almost morbid.

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6 Responses to William and Kate: enough already

  1. Tony Barbaro says:

    Amen brother….you’d think a Kennedy was getting married or something.

  2. Jes. says:

    The American media is giving the Royal Wedding more than twice as much coverage as the British media: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/25/royal-wedding-coverage-us-uk_n_853420.html

    I feel like it’s being shoved down my throat and, frankly, I don’t like it. We shouldn’t be obsessed with British royalty, but the media keeps telling us that we should. A friend of mine is taking the day off of work, so she can immerse herself in the Royal Wedding. I don’t get it.

    With all of the stupid royal wedding themed consumer products, it feels like another corporately co-opted holiday, but it’s not even our holiday!

    This frenzy is worse than even the most hyped Hollywood wedding, and American women are lamenting that they’ll never have a chance to bag the heir to the throne. Not that many of these American women have even been to England, but they’re disappointed anyway.

    What bothers me the most, though, is that this entire circus is being created by the news media. Maybe a few women would be obsessed, but it wouldn’t be this ridiculous spectacle that’s being forced on the very same country that went to war to escape the king.

  3. LM says:

    It’s a total snooze. This lovely lady gets to spend the rest of her life being total how often she screws up–and by whom? What do they accomplish in a day–anything amazing or worth billions of dollars of income?

  4. HomeTownGirl says:

    Two more sleeps til the big day !!! Wooooooooooooo – can’t wait.
    You’re a grouch Kevin Marshall and obviously not a Brit.
    (i take it you won’t be getting up at 4 am to watch the live coverage)

  5. Amanda Miller says:

    I am an Anglophiliac, but I’ve made sure I don’t get OD’d before the wedding. The only bits I’ve come across are BBC America, and that thing with Diana’s psychic that I told you about (and only because I was waiting for The Voice to start.) However, I’m very tired of every 3 statuses on my Facebook saying “OMG I DUN CURR ABT THE ROYAL WEDDING”

  6. Mickey says:

    I am very proud of my total avoidance, up to now, of any media whatsoever regarding this overblown, overhyped, non event involving a family of rich white moochers whose only claim to fame is a blood line dating back to people who actually ruled the nation that ruled ours more than 235 years ago. Thank you, Kevin and Jes, for proving that there is still some intelligence left in this country.

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