Monday, April 25, 2011

Royal Wedding 2011

AOG, London

I just spent the better part of my weekend traipsing all over London. I would like to say that you can't help but notice that there is a Royal Wedding in our midst….but I’d be lying.

Regent Street
London’s West End was, for once, not at all interested in Royalness. 
This may, and probably will, change by Friday. 
But if you walked around Oxford street, you’d be forgiven for thinking the wedding had been and gone. 
Until you turn into Regent Street that is. Once there, you do get a feeling of, not Royalness, but Britishness. Why? 
Only because they have Union Jacks flying from one side of the street to the other all the way from Oxford Circus to Picadilly Circus. But that’s about it. 
Here and there, some stores had either a union jack “motif” on their window, or something alluding to the happy couple. But little else.

Further afield the West End, for example on the train back to the airport, you could see some towns had one street with bunting and union jacks. But not much else.

However, this is not to say that the wedding is not having an impact on sales. Many shops (Ted Baker, Paperchase) have some sort of Union Jack/Royal regalia object or product for sale to commemorate the event.

As do the tourist stands which pepper all of the West End. You know, those places which entice you to purchase a mug with the portrait of the Queen or Prince Philip, or a postcard with some royal plastered on it, or any other "royal" kitsch paraphernalia.
 Or the ubiquitous Union Jack with a portrait of Kate and William. These are bestsellers they told me.

To be fair, most of the people I spoke with are happy they are getting married but not so happy about the financial state of their country. The wedding is reputed to be on the Queen’s bank account. That is to say, the British “people” are not paying for it. 
Except that not many people believe that and, of course, no one will even know the true cost of the affair.

However, officially, her majesty is paying as are Miss Middleton’s family –who, by the way, are millionaires (you didn’t think he was going to marry somebody poor did you?). 
Certainly the Royal family is paying for the dress and the receptions at Buckingham palace (where some food will be served but not as much as you think!*).

But what I think they are not paying for is the cost of policing the event, and the clean up afterwards.

As it is, London Police are inspecting manhole covers, drains, traffic lights, and lamp posts along the parade route. Overall, the security operation is expected to cost £20 million ($32.6 million).

However, it is worth saying that many people can’t help to look back to that other royal wedding, the fairy-tale one, when the heir to the British throne married a certain Lady Diana Spencer, mother of this year’s groom.
If you need your daily Royalty fix, look no further than this blog by the BBC.  
*A few years ago, the Palace uncovered an alarming statistic about guests attending the Queen's annual garden parties. Rather than just nibbling on one or two snacks, they were consuming, on average, 14 sandwiches, cakes, ice creams and scones (I mean, how dare they those plebs!). The palace has come up with an ingenious solution — they  have reduced the size of the treats on offer!

1 comment:

xochimiqui1 said...

I was there for the ORIGINAL wedding...1981! So the "child" is getting married you say? Ho-hum!