Wednesday, February 23, 2005

You Can Lead A Horsey Type To Water...

...and then watch her jump right in, struggle around trying to stay afloat, and then flop ashore under the watching gaze of the UK's media. We must admit that Charles and Camilla is an epic 33-year love story to rival the English Patient, or maybe Black Beauty. There is no other way to explain their unalloyed willingness to expose their love-life to the pitiless scrutiny of the tabloid press. Only Marty Markowitz seems to embrace looking foolish as eagerly.

What the latest kerfuffle over Prince Charles' wedding to Camilla shows is that the Royal family will forever need to keep providing fodder for that nasty gang of hacks and knaves that is the royal corps of "constitutional" historians. Given that the UK is currently without a constitution, one would think that this profession would be as useful as the architectural dancers or the chocolate fire protectors of lore.

Indeed, the death of Dianna, and the descent of at least one of her children into tabloid hell had led us to hope that such bow-tied buffoons would vanish whence they came, replaced by the 3am girls and simple-looking telly reporters. But no, David Starkey an awesomely good historian twenty years ago, and Vernon Bogdanor trot out to glaze significance upon a middle-aged man doing right by his mistress.

Constitutional history in the US is much more fun. For starters, there's a constituion to study, and writers to examine, and motives to question. Constitutional law is, according to some cute associates of ours, rather boring, but if you get turned on by seeing Antonin Scalia as batman, I'm sure you'd disagree. You get try and work out whether Madison rocked to firearms, and whether the founders just loved keeping slaves or regretfully had to accede to the socio-economic realities of the South.

"It has gone from a smooth operation to a fuss and now a farce," sez David Starkey. Now where's my cheque?

No, David, as dear Lord Falconer (mate of Tony Blair though he may be) pointed out, the sum effect of all the successive marriage acts is that a middle-aged man can do right by his mistress whenever the hell he likes. But dredging up obsolete legislation from 1836 seems like the right response to the stench of royalty. Like wearing ridiculous clothes.

Likewise the issue of whether the "public", that is hordes of excitable overweight women in gigantic fluffy union jack hats, is allowed to attend the wedding to the wedding. The public is allowed to get as near to the wedding as they like before coming up against a policeman in a yellow jacket, who says that you can't get any nearer to the wedding than Slough without having nineteen people swear you're not a terrorist. And whinge to the Daily Mail later.

Likewise the Queen's non-appearance. She's as bored of the whole mess as we are, but just has to think harder about an excuse.


At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you think the queen was upset about Prince Charles wanting to be Camilla's tampon?


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