Mind your own majesty
It’s royal redux as William and Kate’s wedding approaches, but there’s still plenty of time to opt out
Of course your attention is focused on the forthcoming royal wedding, uniting His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter and Fellow of the Royal Society (in college, his friends called him “Steve’’ — really) with the comely young commoner Kate Middleton. She is the daughter of what the British call an air hostess, what we call a stewardess. Sorry, flight attendant.
Who could possibly forget where they were for the last, magical royal wedding, when a slightly played-out playboy who conversed with his plants (William’s father, Prince Charles) married a cotton-headed clotheshorse with gossamer ties to the lesser nobility (William’s mother, Diana Spencer). Personally, I have no idea where I was; probably looking for work. But July 26, 1981, was of course one of the most memorable days of the 20th century.
Understandably, when you think about the forthcoming wedding, you ask: What will it mean for me?
For one thing, it means you are going to see even more of that trademark electric blue dress that Ms. Middleton fills so adroitly, and you will probably hear a lot more about Dr. Pierre Dukan’s ridiculous starvation diet that keeps both Kate and her Mum so svelte for the photogs. It also means that if you are in a bar on the evening of Friday, April 29, and a lady is present, don’t even think about changing the channel to the
Are you invited? I am thinking not. Although the complete guest list has yet to leak, it seems that Elton John is invited. The Obamas are not. Prime minister David Cameron, yes. Charlie Sheen, no. Soccer star David Beckham has apparently been invited, but he needs to play in an important Los Angeles Galaxy game two days later. The LA Times is betting that Becks will show up for the wedding, because he is a logical future candidate for a knighthood.
If you cohabit with women, you will doubtless have already been subjected to the Lifetime channel’s six-part “docu-series,’’ “Royal Wedding of a Lifetime,’’ to say nothing of its original movie, “William & Kate,’’ both of which will be airing during the week preceding the ceremony. Is this the cue for me to finally invest in hi-def? It is tempting.
Do you have a lifeboat that needs launching? Kate and “Basher Wills’’ (that’s what his minders called him in kindergarten — really) may be available. Just last week she did a smashing job, cracking a champagne bottle across the bow of the Hereford Endeavour and “flawlessly’’ crooning the Welsh national anthem “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau,’’ according to the Daily Telegraph.
Memo to Kate: Welcome to the rest of your life.
Alas, there are limits to one’s enjoyment of the happy day. Buckingham Palace has banned the production of souvenir tea towels, which were such a hit at Charles and Diana’s storybook wedding. But kitsch will out. There are all manner of teapots, silver spoons, and commemorative coins appearing to honor the joyful event. To say nothing of the William and Kate iPhone slider case, which I will be first in line to purchase. After I buy the iPhone.
I wouldn’t advise traveling to London for the full-bore nightmare, but there is a closer-to-home solution: Kate and William’s first trip as a married couple takes them to Canada in mid-summer. There are plans afoot to celebrate Canada Day, July 1, in the glamorous capital city, Ottawa, with possible visits to Prince Edward Island, Calgary, and other hot spots.
I was in Canada in 2003 when William’s uncle, Prince Andrew, came to town. He wasn’t greeted with universal love and admiration. Put another way, I learned the phrase “Randy Andy’’ from the Canadian press.
Everyone knows that the date of the royal wedding was chosen with special care. It doesn’t conflict with any important state visits, and it precedes a Monday bank holiday, allowing Britons to enjoy a four-day weekend, thanks to their gracious sovereigns. It does, however, clash with Save the Frogs Day, “the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action,’’ according to the Save the Frogs website. Right around the time that William and Kate will be waving to their future subjects in London, Save the Frog activists will be gathering on the steps of Environmental Protection Agency in Washington to raise awareness of frog extinctions.
We had the date first, STF’s Dr. Kerry Kriger told me in an e-mail. He wouldn’t object if the Royal couple put in a good word for frogs: “We have not had contact with Buckingham Palace, but perhaps you could help facilitate the discussion!’’
Alex Beam is a Globe columnist. His e-dress is firstname.lastname@example.org.