Wednesday, November 17, 2010

today : who are the Royal Watchers?

9 hours into the royal engagement story and everything is as you would expect. There is only one fact to report and the news people are doing their best to spin it out as much as they can. One question intrigues me. Just who are these people who brand themselves 'Royal Watchers'?

When I was a mere teenager, I had a pal whose mother was obsessed with the royals. It was around the time of the Charles and Diana wedding and she'd been completely overcome with it. I, a staunch republican, was once more or less frogmarched from their house for suggesting that the tyranny of the monrachy should be overthrown. Apparently, my standpoint had caused actual tears. Things were never quite the same.
Nowadays I am still a republican but am more sanguine towards the actual people. Then, asking why we should fete and look up to Diana, possessor of precisely no O levels, at a time when the rest of us were desperately caught up in the scramble for exam grades, was one of the things that set my friend's mother off. Of course, I'd simply driven a wedge into the faultline of the poor woman's hypocrisy, but on reflection I could have kept my counsel, realising that her obsession was beyond logic. These days I possess no particular liking of the royals. But neither do I harbour any malice towards them as people.

What continues to baffle me are the snoots who appear out of the woodwork each time there is a Royal story.

They teemed across my TV screen today. Hour after hour I was assailed by women in twin sets with double barrelled names and ski-holiday tans; and men with comb-overs, tweed jackets and dubious dental hygeine.

There must be a specific path set out for them. If you attend a minor public school and are just not quite characterful enough, or well-bred enough, or pretty enough, or clever enough, to become barristers or editors or PR people, then I imagine the careers advice is to become a Royal Watcher.
Except none of them actually brought any insight or knowledge to the role.

They are (along with much of the current Cabinet) the best example of how a private education can go a long way. Teach people that they are superior beings and it doesn't matter how thick/useless/lazy they are; they will breeze through life with a brash unself-awareness, somehow convincing everyone that they are worth something when, if you scratch one billimetre beneath the surface, they pretty much aren't.

It is these people who have infested my TV and radio for the last 9 hours, telling me that Kate Middleton is a naturally beautiful woman with lovely teeth (always a measure used by the upper classes - without shame they assess their women as bloodstock). It was one of these people who commented that it would be controversial that Kate is a 'commoner' marrying into a blueblood dynasty - the inference that she might contaminte the bloodline with dangerous mediocrity. When was the last time you heard someone referred to as a 'commoner'? Somewhere around 1788, perhaps.

1 comment:

  1. I think "Royal Watchers" should focus more on their own life. Or on helping others. The royal family is already pretty well off and doesn't really need them.