Saturday, May 19, 2018

Royal Wedding 19th May 2018

BBC Radio 4 had a speaker this week who is a republican and said that he considered the Royal Family to be too expensive and of waning popularity. I doubt that he is correct. Government is expensive as indeed are democratic presidential elections which we in the UK do not hold. Personally I welcome the fact that in the UK we have no president or costly presidential elections. Actually the news that the UK will save £100m this year by not holding elections for the EU parliament, does illustrate how expensive elections have become. That is of course not a reason for avoiding important elections but an argument for limiting elections to those which are essential for preserving democracy.

As for the Royal Wedding;  the marriage of a British prince to an American actress is significant not only to the UK throne but of course more importantly, to  relationships between races both at home and abroad.  

Meghan Markle having taken out British citizenship has not limited interest in the wedding from the USA, quite the reverse if the crowds of multi-national well-wishers gathering in Windsor are any yardstick.

My old long since closed Jesuit boarding school in Old Windsor, Beaumont College, used to require boys to go cross country running through Windsor Great Park to The Copper Horse at the top of The Long Walk. The walk down the mile from there to Windsor itself was also frequently undertaken with or without the Js' permission so I can appreciate how on a sunny May day, how much fun there is likely to be had not only for the happy couple, but also for their hundreds of thousands of well-wishers.

Though the reason for Prince Charles having to be more involved than was originally planned by walking his future daughter in law down the aisle is of course sad I am pleased for Charles that he has become involved in this way. Charles is a similar age to myself  and I suspect was affected in a similar way by being required to attend a far away boarding school. His being caught as a school boy taking a drink of cherry brandy in a local pub made headlines at the time and is still remembered by many of his generation today. I doubt that such an action by any teenager would cause a hair to be turned in C21. Add to that the slightly stultifying effect on individuals that a C20 boarding school education risked then, Prince Charles in my view carries more burdens than the media tend to give him credit for.

Watching the FA Cup Final this afternoon - "come on you blues" - is more my cup of tea.

I wish Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, The Prince of Wales and their families, well.

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