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Monocolumn: Royal Wedding – Let The Class Wars Begin

Monocolumn: Royal Wedding – Let The Class Wars Begin
culture

In Britain, significant royal events – births, deaths, marriages, jubilees – feel like an extra Christmas. They represent the imposition of a bonus period during which gaudy decorations are hung and rubbish souvenirs purchased.

Monocle
  • 28 april 2011

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

In Britain, significant royal events – births, deaths, marriages, jubilees – feel like an extra Christmas. They represent the imposition of a bonus period during which gaudy decorations are hung and rubbish souvenirs purchased. Media outlets connive in a ceaseless chorus of instructions to be joyful and the potential responses seem cruelly reduced to a choice between mindless obeisance or ill-tempered meanness.

The build-up to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has not lacked for attendant inanity. Reams of simpering verbiage have been written, hours of drivelling conjecture broadcast and tonnes of red, white and blue tat sold. Those ostentatiously indisposed to celebrate have been no less predictable – and therefore no less annoying. But the flag-waving serfs and the hairshirt-wearing roundheads are united in missing the point.

The wedding is of some constitutional importance: one participant will eventually become head of state and church, and commander-in-chief of Britain’s Armed Forces. And so will one of the couple’s children (although a recent Reuters poll found 47 per cent of Britons asserting little or no interest in the wedding).

However, what has been of most interest is the way Britain has reacted to the forthcoming nuptials. The issue is class – that complex curse which baffles outsiders to Britain and ties infinite painful knots inside the locals.

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Image by jimmyharris

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