November 17th, 2010

Royal wedding, shroyal shwedding...

(Photo courtesy Clarence House)

Yesterday, the following statement was issued by Clarence House:
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.
Today, the following statement is issued by twelve fluid ounces:
Matt Carberry is excited to announce that he DOES NOT GIVE TWO SHITS about these two or their engagement!

The extent of my concern for this happy couple is superficial. If Kate is going to be in the public eye as "Her Royal Highness" and the home of Britain's most important reproductive system, William needs to do right by her - that is to say, use some of that royal money to keep her hot. It's bad enough that Kate is already photographed wearing a cornucopia of garish and silly hats; said hats will only get worse after the happy couple are wed.

Why is this news anywhere outside the United Kingdom? Why did The Colbert Report and other less serious and credible reporting outlets devote any time to this at all? Last I checked: we're fighting two wars, we're spending money like my former shipmates in a foreign port (read: drunken sailors), and the Transportation Security Administration may or may not be committing gross invasions of privacy. The media do not need to spend two minutes, or even two seconds, on the size of Kate's engagement ring. (And let's not think United States is immune to this because it doesn't have royalty. The time and space given to Chelsea Clinton's wedding in July was about 500 times more than that event warranted.)

Finally...I've read that this will provide a great morale boost for the British people. Maybe so, but I don't see why it should. Jesse Walker of Reason had the best line about this: "Lifelong Welfare Case to Hold Lavish Wedding at Public Expense." I can't see how the Prime Minister can countenance any expenditure from HM Treasury on this wedding, because that represents civil servants' jobs that could have been saved money that could have been slashed from the Budget. All the pomp and circumstance may look good and give a temporary morale boost, but in the end, it's just a distraction - and a potentially expensive one at that.