For all republicans watching on TV, this was a great chance to see a mighty machine (Westminster Abbey) performing at 100% capacity, doing what it was designed to, which is always fascinating, but in the case of the abbey will definitely highlight the attempt by the architect to recreate the sense of one-ness with nature so crucial to religious propaganda.
Some staunch republicans will even feel a reluctant catch in the throat at some stage. Do not worry, you are not losing your convictions, you are watching a movie. Given the same treatment, any wedding would be as moving, even without the mass hysteria on the streets.
And for the secularists, some of the camerawork will almost recreate what it would have been like to be a medieval serf subjected to the full cathedral treatment. A bit of modern archeology, if you like. I look forward to seeing the old place deal with a coronation. The grandest exhibition of The Nanny State in town.
Then there will be issues like why aren't there girls in church choirs? The little things to make up for having vomited at the sound of the fashion correspondent swooning with ecstasy.
And then there is the fascinating game of Spot The Peace Camp. In none of the footage from the BBC / Sky / CNN has the sight of Brian Haw been allowed to ruin the day for the adoring billions. How pathetic is that? More or less pathetic than the arrest of a theatre group for planning to perform a mock decapitation of a head of state? A Channel 4 camera crew was also held in custody in the free country in which the royalty has no power at all.. no none at all.
Compared with the average gypsy wedding, this was fairly lavish. And hopefully, Willenkate will have a better reception than the gypsies we recently saw on TV, who seem to have lost their ability to party altogether. But the royal pair can hardly expect less media harassment than gypsies. Whatever the media say now, there will be a papparazi around every corner. And the adoring mob now baying for gratification will feed the media frenzy, buying anything with their images on. And so the market in Willenkate content will boom. And in the way of this kind of goldrush, tend to destroy the commodity it is based on.
Therefore the only way to escape this attention is to become unmarketable. To become normal, as the European bike-riding bank-clerk royal families seem to have managed. They are not hounded by media or worshipped as demigods. But then, they do not have the powers the Queen does, whether used or not. And they are generally not very rich. Certainly not as rich as the British royalty. Wealth and power are media catnip, and are enough to guarantee attention for life. But the pageantry makes things much worse, creating the enduring mythology, which is still one of Prince Charming and the Beautiful Princess. Exactly the poisonous formula which ultimately killed Diana Spencer.
It seems that none of the lessons of 1997 have been learned; that the job of royalty isn't to learn from its mistakes, but to be able to recreate them precisely and on command. The apologists and drivel-mongers are already at it. Some quotes at random from a popular forum:
'Like it or not, people need celebrities.'
'Celebrities make us feel that we are part of something. They bring meaning to otherwise empty lives.'
'They feed our fantasies and provide an outlet for our need to empathise with others. '
And then we kill them. People do not need celebrities. People do not lead empty lives. What they need is a society which does not block every attempt to express their natural empathy. They do not glossy fairytales in Hello magazine. Celebrities are empathy porn, not the real thing.
The people who sell celebrity need celebrities, which is why they also need our natural instincts to be as suppressed as possible. Which is why we live in a squalid, degraded society which despises the poor and weak, and only respects power, perfection and ruthlessness. Today's level of Olympian elitism is vital to the workings of the Exclusive Society. How else can we be made to detest and fight each other if the Shiny Things are accessible to all?
It is also partly why Britain is the basket-case it is. As yesterday's economic figures showed, Willenkate-obilia is the only thing keeping us out of recession.To paraphrase Mel Brooks:
The British Empire.
You know who we used to be?
The Empire on which the sun never set..
Herds of elephants sent as gifts to Queen Victoria by adoring potentates and moguls.
The workshop of the world.
Two World wars, one World Cup.
The masters of popular music.
Thousands of investors begging to invest in British wars and slave plantations.
Look at us now. Look at us now!
Selling balloons on the street. To Korean tourists..
Importing printed paper plates from China to keep the country out of the workhouse.
...We have one wedding to turn global pity into enormous respect.All satellite channels to GO.
But the overriding, Blazing Hypocrisy of this charade is that all the morons organising 'street parties' and being pillars of the community for a day will be back in their hermetically sealed anti-social housing units tomorrow, as they will have been for the last ten years while society crumbled around them. And today will leave nothing behind but stale sausage rolls and grubby madeleine bunting.The highlight of the day came during the Bishop of Lambeth's little lecture to the bride'n'groom to be, and was probably the first ever public sighting of the best quote in Chaucer.
'Whan Maistrye comth, the God of Love anon
Beteth his lite wynges and Farwel!
He is gone.'
When a religion with 2000 years of ordering people about resorts to hippie ideology, you know it has its back to the wall. The good Bishop also reminded that today is the saint's day of Catherine of Sienna, who is supposed to have drunk a bowl of pus to prove her indifference to earthly matters. I doubt if that item was on the literal or metaphorical menus of either the Bullingdon Club or the officers mess in Sandhurst.