It’s a wedding we’re all invited to. Not the actual church service, you understand; not even Barack Obama is on the guest list for that so we needn't feel too offended.
But, if the idea of a royal wedding floats our boats, we can at least all watch it live on television. Britain’s Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, says he believes two billion people will watch the event across the world. That’s about 29 percent of the human population of the entire planet. Probably just about anyone on the planet with access to a television. Perhaps Mr. Hunt recently visited random-numbers-from-thin-air.com or maybe he has spoken to two billion people who assured him they’d be tuning in. If he’s right then April 29 might be a good day to go looting, as policemen and security guards all over the world will be glued to their television sets desperate to form an opinion of the bride’s dress. Although maybe don’t go looting in London, where MI5 will no doubt be on their toes looking for trouble-makers.
Whatever the audience though, there will be many people on all continents who will see Prince William tie the knot with Kate Middleton.
In Britain, the wedding mania has long since begun. Mania in the Greek sense of the word, even. Madness. Not only are people making special edition Wills and Kate toilet seats and condoms, other people are actually buying them! Think of just about any mundane, inanimate object, put the happy couple’s faces on it and you have a business plan. Then all you need do is head into the centre of London and peddle the special edition safety pin or whatever it is to the 600,000 extra foreign tourists expected in London over the wedding period.
Then with a pocket full of cash, head to one of the thousands of street parties being organised across the country. In fact, why not set up your own street party?
If it’s wedding fun you’re after, stay in the south. The folk of Hertfordshire for example have applied for at least 132 street parties already. There is evidence that people ‘up north’ are much less likely to join in with the marriage mania.
In fact there are plenty of people who couldn’t really care less about the royal wedding. Like the 4.9 billion people who won’t watch on television; the 4.9 billion who will be too busy on facebook or sleeping or looting. Even among the Brits. Regardless of whether they’re royalist or republican, the British public has the day off and many people are heading on holiday abroad, away from the madness. At least there’s more chance of them seeing some sunshine. Tourist industries in the Canary Islands, Morocco and Portugal are all making a killing out of the wedding too. That’s what I call sharing the wealth.
The wedding will certainly be a flag-waving moment of national togetherness for tens of millions of Britons who have known better times. Morale has taken a blow at the hands of budgetary austerity and the event provides the chance for a quick economic boost and a fun day out.
There is a small minority (13 percent according to one recent poll) that wants to scrap the monarchy altogether. A great deal more would consider themselves indifferent. But even if they can’t get excited about Wills and Kate, they will still get a Friday off work.
It is a wedding we’re all invited to but not one everyone has to attend.
By Mark Davis